Why it works in a garden. Industrial pieces bring an element of the unexpected to a garden. They work from a design standpoint based on the concept of juxtaposition. Consider these four characteristics: size, shape, color and texture. When placing an industrial element in a garden vignette, match it to a plant, boulder or hardscape based on one or two of these four characteristics. By doing so you will form a relationship between the piece and your space but still have enough contrast.
The salvaged metal piece shown in this photo works in this garden because the rust relates to the dried flower heads with regard to color and texture. The shape and size of the piece cause it to stand out and make an interesting yet appropriate statement. Let’s look at some other examples and why they work.
The grid pattern speaks to the geometry of the steps and to the terrace railing above. The wire rust mimics the color of the railing, providing continuity between levels. The serpentine shape of the cedar breaks the geometry of the space, adding softness and artistic interest. Additionally, the silver color of the cedar’s trunk repeats the color of the concrete.
The design of this piece relates to the garden’s rustic style and location. The colors and textures of the various metals complement those of the rock work, giving this vignette of combined hardscape materials a homogenous feel.
This piece, by metal artist Benjamin Parrish, works on several levels. The strands of hair mimic the nearby twisted grapevines. The implied movement of hair blowing in the wind lends an additional layer of interest. Finally, on sunny days the bright metal reflects precious light in this shaded woodland garden. On cloudy days it mimics the overcast sky.
The reflective glass both captures ambient light and mimics the reflectiveness and color of the metal planter. All of this provides a stage for the traditionally pruned evergreen, creating a contrast that really works. This vignette emphasizes shapes and does so with style.
This garden is a study in juxtaposition. The metal cage and rocks of the gabion are in high contrast, adding drama. The cage speaks to the fabricated steps in color and texture, as well as to the terrace furniture in shape. The color of the gabion rocks is also repeated in the furniture.
This wall exhibits high contrast because of the industrial feel of the concrete and the unique, organic pattern of the wooden forms. It is a marriage that is appropriate in woodland gardens as well as urban enclaves.
Its low price, light weight and availability make concrete board a contender for a variety of outdoor applications. It can be cut with a circular saw that’s been fitted with a diamond blade. Be advised that the application of a good concrete sealer will increase its longevity outdoors.
Concrete board is useful for building privacy screens and small non-load-bearing walls. A simple frame of outdoor-grade lumber can be clad with this material, creating a unique and beautiful garden structure. The texture and color striations of concrete board mimic granite cliffs in the application shown here.
This water feature provides the relaxing sound of falling water that we all enjoy, but does so in a very contemporary, industrial way.
See more ways to get industrial style at home