One popular position for garden artwork is as a focal point, standing alone and commanding attention. This can be either formal; a piece, perhaps on a plinth, symmetrically placed at a meeting point of garden paths, or informal; when a sculpture is sited in an apparently random spot. In this case, careful thought needs to be given to sightlines and to what background will show the sculpture off to advantage. A dark hedge can be a good setting. If a focal sculpture is what you want, be sure to consider what the artwork will look like from all angles, because it will be seen from all around.
Another favourite spot is as a destination, at the end of a path or, in larger expanses, at a distance to add interest to a view and encourage exploration. A sculpture can also serve as a sort of visual steppingstone, guiding the eye on to a view or different part of the garden. A case in point is the David Harber Chalice sculptural water feature chosen by Nicholsons for the garden pictured above and to the right, which leads the eye onwards to take in the whole scene. The artwork also illustrates formal positioning, aligned centrally with steps and an avenue of trees behind.
A third option for sculpture placement is to put a piece directly with plants or grass, whether appearing to be quite separate from greenery as when sitting on top of mown grass, or almost merging with nature as when sunk into taller plants or grasses. Putting a man-made object right in the middle of nature can add extra depth to a bed or lawn, merging or contrasting with natural textures in all sorts of interesting ways. Care does need to be taken however to ensure that an artwork isn’t overwhelmed by greenery.