Garden Art

Vanessa Nagel's pebble mosaic

What is Garden Art?

Garden art can be cheap or expensive. It can be brand-spanking new, recycled ‘junk’, an ancient cistern, upcycled from a different use, found on a beach, or a wonderful collage of anyone’s creative imagination. ‘Art is in the eye of the beholder’ was never so true.

Learn more about the Pebble Mosaic pictured above.


Vanessa Nagel's pebble mosaic

Our Garden Art

We collected and intermingled art at Dragonfly Hollow from 1990 to 2022! Here is a sampling of a few pieces. A cherry tree stump provided support for the Thai spirit house where traditional spirit-greeters dwelled. One of a number of glass flowers graced the entry garden. A ceramic squash never deteriorates. Glass leaves remain colorful year-round. Three balls in different materials terminated the gabion seat wall. Vanessa’s design of the Japanese crests in the copper-plated steel panels provided the perfect backdrop to a cheery, stone Buddha. A Little and Lewis raven head kept watch over the ‘It’s For the Birds’ garden from a Douglas fir.

Left to right: Teak Thai-spirit house greets visitors, because it’s “where the good spirits live.”; A collection of spheres: glass, concrete, and recycled metal; blown glass fronds; a ceramic squash keeps the crop circle in fruit all year; bird houses and feeder are watched over by the hand-painted, concrete raven head by Little & Lewis; Glass leaves are ‘evergreen’; (center) laser-cut, copper-finished steel panels.



Garden Art Elsewhere

We find garden art in every good garden (and even on city streets!). Often the art is what is known as ‘site specific’, meaning that it was designed specifically for the spot in which you find it. In public gardens it is usually well anchored, too. Here are some of the pieces that have caught our eye over the years

The Slate Hole Wall, Andy Goldsworthy

A little Andy Goldsworthy-The Slate Hole Wall-in The Edinburgh Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, Scotland

Inverewe art

Nestled into an inlet in the NW corner of Scotland, Inverewe has an amazing diversity of unexpected plants as well as exquisite art.

RHS Wisley

The art within the RHS Garden, Wisley, outside of London, is primarily in its shaped plantings. The image on the left does contain a traditional centerpiece.


Ninfa, a medieval town turned into a huge, incredible garden, just outside of Cisterna de Latina, about an hour’s train ride from Rome. Art in this garden IS the medieval city.


Sunnylands is in Rancho Mirage, CA, and is a drought-tolerant gardener’s heaven. The plants are so sculptural that art would just disappear. The only art is a long reflecting pool.

Chelsea Physic Garden

Hidden along the Thames River in London, England, The Chelsea Physic Garden is well-known for its medicinal plantings and so beautifully done.

The Alhambra – a world heritage site – in Granada, Spain should be on everyone’s bucket list of gardens to see. Incredible mosaics, carvings, & water features.

miscellaneous site-specific art

Miscellaneous selected art from gardens on the Bay Area Peninsula, CA. Everything from rusted steel, fine granite sculpture, painted garage door art, to willow structures by Patrick Dougherty.

site specific art

Art is wherever you find it. In this case, water storage in the Boboli Gardens, Florence, Italy; natural forms by Maya Lin near Long Beach , WA; a stenciled wall with the two colors of their native soil in Rousillon, France.

Wagner_Waddoups garden

This garden no longer exists, but I remember it as one of the first private gardens that set a garden theme that made the garden incredibly cohesive.: in the fireplace, trellising, sculptured plants, gate, and down to the mailbox. Ron Wagner/Nani Waddoups Garden .