Get inspired – add art to your garden

By Pam Roy | Jul 13, 2011

Photo courtesy of Pam Roy

Sorticulture Best Display of Show designed by Pam Roy.  

This is the season for garden tours.  What a great opportunity to appreciate beauty and creativity and be inspired!

Combining color and texture with plants and foliage can create a masterpiece of art.   Add a focal point of ceramic, metal, or glass and ratchet the “ wow” factor to the next level.

Having just completed a display garden for Sorticulture, Everett’s annual garden arts festival, I was able to view an intriguing array of creative ways to introduce art into the garden by the various artisans who participated.  

Glass balls serenely floated in the basins of basalt dish rocks.  Etched metal sheeting dressed up mundane rain barrels.  Copper dragonflies and hummingbirds floated above spring blossoms.  There was a line of people 10 deep eager to buy ornamental iron tomato cages.

In our display garden, we planned a color palette of foliage that picked up the colors in the main art piece, which was a large vase used as a water feature.  

These colors of copper, green and tans contrasted with accents of burgundy and crimson foliage.  By strategically placing the accent plants the viewer’s eye was lead around the garden.

The hardscape elements of rock and steel also had some of the same copper and tan colors.  A small blown glass orb added a bit of sparkle.   

If you’re interested in adding art to your own garden, some of the upcoming garden tours feature art in the garden and are a great source of ideas and a fun way to spend a Saturday.  Here are a few local tours that are worth a visit:

• Mukilteo Garden and Quilt Tour Saturday, July 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  This biennial event started in 2007.  

The self directed tour features eight “premier’ gardens. Each of the gardens also showcases a variety of handmade quilts.  There are one hundred quilts on show this year.  You will need a car to travel between the gardens.

Tickets are $12 advance and $15 day of show.  They can be purchased online

• The Snohomish County Master Gardener Garden Tours are another source of inspiration.  There are two more tour dates scheduled, July 16 and 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

This is a great opportunity to see what 14 different master gardeners have created in their own gardens.  Some of the gardens may have also incorporated art into unique settings.   

For information on tickets and tour locations, call the WSU Snohomish County Extension Office at 425-338-2400.

Get creative and bring some art into your own garden. The delighted grins on the faces of Sorticulture attendees as they walked by carrying their newly acquired art was a true testimony to the joy of art in the garden.

Pam Roy owner of Planscapes has been a landscape designer and horticulturist for 30 years in the Northwest. Contact her at 425-252-9469 or view

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