Garden antiques freshen outdoor living spaces

Gardens are our little pockets of calm where we can escape the city, relax and recharge.

Despite the benefits of time outside, gardens often get left neglected or in need of TLC.

A quick and effective way to bring your space back to life is to add architectural items such as garden antiques.

Many antiques are perfectly suited for outdoor life and develop more character and charm with weathering in the garden. Solid, cast iron pieces can be painted or left to develop a natural patina from their exposure to the elements.

Whether you’re looking to make a statement or cultivate a secluded spot, antiques are a wonderful way to embellish your garden.

Urns

A pair of cast iron campana style urns on integral plinths, the shallow wide brimmed lobbed bowls above waisted socles, the stepped plinths with impressed crazed patterning. English, 1870s.

A pair of cast iron campana style urns on integral plinths, the shallow wide brimmed lobbed bowls above waisted socles. English, 1870s.

When you introduce historic pieces into your outdoors area, you should try to make it look as if they sprouted from the earth.

The easiest way to do this is to combine your antiques with a touch of nature.

Items such as cast iron urns can easily be transformed into flower pots by adding soil and a healthy plant.

The natural beauty of the flora will help integrate your antique into the landscape.

Greenery such as lichen and moss will help ease the transition between the man-made and natural worlds.

Fountains

A rather fine Baroque style three tier garden fountain carved in patinated Doddington Sandstone. The three strongly carved ascending bowls each rest on ornate and sturdy baluster stems. As the water flows the air is filled with the soothing and gently tinkling sounds of a babbling brook. Shown with clover shaped basin SNo 12697 not included. French, mid 19th century

A Baroque style three tier garden fountain carved in patinated Doddington Sandstone. French, mid 19th century.

When you are looking to introduce garden antiques, you don’t have to stick to a theme. Opt for a mix and turn your garden into a shop of curiosities.

Statement pieces such as elegant fountains are a wonderful way to draw the eye and the graceful blend of stone and water makes a lovely contrast in texture.

Furthermore, if you have placed an antique fountain in your garden, don’t be afraid to contrast it with something newer.

Modern pieces can work well with antique items. It’s all about finding a balance between past and present.

Benches

A small cast iron garden seat for two in the Rococo style. English, mid to late 20th century.

A small cast iron garden seat for two in the Rococo style. English, mid to late 20th century.

Finally, you should think about where to place your antiques.

Antiques are great for creating a focal point in the best parts of your garden.

Try using two urns to frame a gateway or place a gorgeous antique bench at the end of a path.

Antique furniture connects you with history and can help transform a shady spot in your garden into a peaceful oasis.

Article courtesy of Anthony Bridgman, co-director and head of restoration at Westland London, an Antiques dealer based in Shoreditch, London.

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