There is something very appealing about rusty colours in the winter garden and the most beautiful rusted metal of all must be corten steel which gets a rusty layer on the outside surfaces and then stays that way with no more rusting or breaking down.
We have several sculpture pieces made of corten steel so I wish to share these with you.
The first two photos are quite similar and both look great on their 4 ft tall metal spikes among our border planting in the Hot Garden.
The newest piece we have is a Tree of Life, a lovely metre wide and laser cut from a sheet of corten steel and it fits well where we have fixed it up on our pale cream coloured house wall. It presents as a viewpoint from down our central path looking up from the bottom fence of the back garden.
We have two pieces made by an artisan blacksmith who works in South Shropshire, the area of the county in which we live, but he is further south. We bought a tall piece featuring a dragonfly in flight which we have positioned close to the wildlife pond where he looks at home. The second piece is a life sized cockerel which the blacksmith called Gregory and asked us to keep the name!
A much smaller sculpture is a life sized wren which moves constantly on its gently moving bent metal stem allowing the wren to sway at our head height with the slightest breeze. He is very popular with our garden visitors. After rain he sports a water droplet right at the tip of his beak! Such a charmer!
Garden sculpture inevitably often features plants. Ferns are a common subject along with seed-heads. We have several pieces featuring poppy seed-heads on four foot rusted steel stems which can double up a plant supports in the summer. The simplest of this style of sculpture are based on simple sphere. These all fit into borders with herbaceous plants throughout our garden borders. At the other end of the scale is a tall heavy piece based on the fluffy seed-heads of clematis and this is shown in the 4th photo followed by the clematis seed-heads themselves.
Obelisks often have metal ornamental features at the top which add to their simple charm.
One of the first corten steel sculptural pieces we put in our garden was an armillary sundial, a present from Jude, the Undergardener aka Mrs Greenbench.
When we visited a National Garden Scheme garden a few years ago in Herefordshire we discovered it to be a garden and gallery for outdoor sculpture and calligraphy work on stone and laser cut into steel. We bought two pieces from a series of corten steel rectangles designed to hang and be seen from both sides. The left hand piece below says, ‘The grass is always greener on the other side with the word ‘greener’ readable from the other side. The right hand photo features the words ‘The stars are always there but sometimes you just can’t see them.
The next block of photos shows our group of three laser cut screens.
In the front garden in one of our ‘Doughnut’ beds we have a few pieces working together to enhance the planting.
I will finsh this tour of our garden corten steel sculptures with this trio of beautifully twisted pieces. I hope you enjoyed this tour – perhaps we can look at these pieces again later in the year when they are within planting schemes.