Just as cake is the excuse for frosting for some of us, gardens seem to have become an excuse for garden art. I can think of a handful of local gardens where art upstages plants (something hard to do for a plant nerd like me). Part of the reason I enjoy the Henry Moore sculptures at Denver Botanic Gardens is that despite their massiveness, the garden surrounding them are not upstaged.
Then there is this imp in Jim and Dorothy's terrific garden in West Denver (one of my very favorite gardens). This improbable totem pole is riveting. It is irresistible. I am so glad it is in their garden and not mine however: it shines like a beacon and calls forth. Look at that expression! Panic? Irritation? Despair? Fear? Self Consciousness? It is undeniably cute (in a ghoulish way) and I love it. But if it were in my garden I would burn it after a week or two: it epitomizes everything I go to the garden to escape. To each his own.
I have more than my share of little garden sculptures and ornaments tucked here and there: subtle, almost invisible. Gardens in my book are for plants first, me second, and everything else way down the list. Garden ornamentation: I enjoy best in other people's gardens. (I just visited Lauren and Scott Ogdens unbelievable gem of a garden and saw nary a sculpture: yipppeee!)