Metal as Anything

If you’re looking for a way to liven up your outdoor space, metal sculptures, planters, pots and accessories are the perfect way to add some decorative glitz.

With its jaw-dropping style and sheer beauty, metalwork is one of the hottest garden trends right now. Major garden shows around the world have featured an array of metal in their exhibits – from steel arches and arbours, abstract sculptures and woven wire statues – to introduce a touch of glamour, contrast to foliage, separate garden rooms and add functional yet dramatic structure.

Even my local garden centre has got in on the act, using aged metal retaining walls, oxidised trellises, rustic screens and shiny pots and urns to create a glitzy display.

And it’s a design feature that you can easily transplant into your garden.

Clever use of metalwork will draw attention to different parts of your garden too, offsetting delicate plantings or adding beautiful details ranging from the grand to the whimsical.

Metal’s on-trend appeal has everything do with its versatility and ability to work with any theme, complement any colour and add a distinct style. It creates a solid counterpoint to a lush, verdant garden setting. It’s a strong contrast to the delicacy of blooms. It can add sophisticated chic, quirky bling, striking drama or moody elegance. It lends instant vintage-appeal, minimalist industrial aesthetics, rustic simplicity or country charm. Metal really is the perfect decorative garden accessory for your outdoor space.

If you’re thinking about adding some statement-making metallics to your garden, here’s some simple tips:

1. Pick a palette

Keep colour in mind as you add metal elements to your garden. Metal garden accessories are available in a range of colours – galvanised silver-greys, burnished bronzes, soft golds, gorgeous copper and rustic browns to name a few. If you have a small garden, try to stick to one hue, so your metallica is coordinated and not a frenzy of competing elements and colours. Also think about the colour of the flora around it. If you have a fantastic and interesting metal sculpture or statue, don’t overpower it with a riot of colours that compete and distract. Let the metal be the hero.

2. Think about texture

A garden bed of shiny succulents will look even more eye-catching if you introduce something with a matt or rusted texture to add visual contrast. The opposite is also true – a bed of cottage flowers with matt stalks, leaves and blossoms can be set off to great effect by something bright and shiny. Succtus has a wonderful range of metal accessories, with textures ranging from the truly rustic (think old garden tools), vintage-style basket planters and bird cages, chic galvanised handbag planters and distressed Florence urns. Click here to view them.

3. Find a focal point

A metal sculpture or statue, hanging ball planter or rustic bird feeder adds a dramatic focal point. Incorporating a statement piece like a sphere, ring, bird bath, statue or pedestal not only attracts attention, it instils a sense of style and personality. When siting your sculpture or accessories, consider how the sun travels across your garden and the way its light will shadow or highlight your new addition and reflect on its surface. Metal can also take centre stage on a porch or balcony garden in the form of planters, jugs, wreaths, hooks for hanging baskets and display shelves for planters.

4. Upsize your space

Don’t stay one dimensional. Go for height and elevate your floral or succulent displays by incorporating tall metal planters and urns, plinths and pedestals or hanging buckets and baskets for height variety. Choose a simple gold planter for a classy contemporary touch, whereas ornate metal planters can bring yester-year whimsy or classical elegance to your garden or patio. Succulents and metal work really well as decorative pieces. Plant some in silver metal soup ladles and hang them side by side. It’s not only a space saving idea, it will add great decorative appeal to your balcony.

5. Pint-sized pizazz

Metal animals like birds, butterflies and lizards bring the feel of the country or the bush to city gardens. Miniature carts, wheelbarrows and bicycles hint at the romance of bygone days, whereas brass, copper or iron lanterns and hurricane lamps placed or hung strategically will cast a soft glow to showcase your garden after dark.

6. Mirror, Mirror on the wall

Increase your garden’s bling-factor by adding a strategically-placed mirror on the wall, fence or shed. It will not only make your garden look larger; it will also reflect all its new metal-icious glory. If you don’t have space for a mirror, you can add bling with a fabulous piece of metal wall art, a decorative plaque, a metal carriage clock or an aluminium or stainless-steel screen. It will transform your space, add life to a plain wall, hide an unsightly view or utility box, and ensure a touch of magic in the fairest garden of them all.

7. Go Galvanized

New or vintage galvanized tubs and troughs make wonderful planters that give large gardens an instant country look. (Be sure to drill holes in the bottom of your container before you plant to ensure good drainage.) Galvanised iron provides a rich contrast to plants, by reflecting light and making foliage colours pop. However, if you only have a small garden, patio, deck or balcony, there are a range of gorgeous galvanised metal handbag planters available from Succtus that will give you the same effect on a smaller scale.

8. Give Old Tools New Life

Vintage garden tools that are too rusty or broken for work in your garden can be used as funky wall art, or placed in a garden bed as a point of interest. Succtus has a gorgeous garden tool wall hanging, if you can’t get your hands on any old relics.

9. Vintage Vibe

Why plant in flower pots when you can use rusty milk cans, old cast iron baths, galvanized buckets or display pot plants in stylish bohemian metal trays? Give new life to old galvanised watering cans and buckets by transforming them into planters. If you do happen to have Nan’s old tea pot, alarm clock, laundry bucket or rusty watering can, these can make whimsical planters, reminiscent of a Disney fairy tale. If not, look through flea markets, op shops and second-hand stores to see what you can repurpose in your garden.

Vintage items need not be new. There are a range of fantastic paints that reproduce the look of shimmering, distressed or oxidised metal – verdigris copper, shimmering stainless steel, lustrous gold effects, brushed iron and other metallic patinas that allow you to make everything new, old again.

10. Take a Seat

An icon of the Aussie landscape, steel garden furniture has been popular since the 1950s. Original pieces of furniture can be found at garage sales and flea markets, or you can buy brand new items that mimic classic vintage style. Add Succtus’ gorgeous cushions to metal chairs make them even more comfortable.

It’s hard to go past the charm of metal. Whether its’s rusty and worn, has a beautifully aged patina or is bright and shiny stainless steel, metal accessories will stand the test of time and retain their striking appeal in the years to come. Don’t forget to complement your metal accessories and garden furniture with other architectural elements, like pathways, flagstones and stepping stones. A path that leads the way to a feature point of your garden is a lovely reminder that the journey is just as important as the destination.

Check out Succtus’ range of metallic masterpieces for your garden here.

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