How does one choose art for the garden?
Just like choosing art for your home, it is a matter of taste and style. Garden art can be as subtle or as grand as you desire. I would say it is less risky to play with your choices of most art in the garden – as it is secondary to the landscape-whereas art placed inside your home is more of a focal point.
I will speak for myself in saying that I love to be surprised by an interesting object tucked into the foliage. One of my favorite objects in the garden is a mirror. If placed in the right spot it can be very magical, almost like peeking into a different world, because it will reflect something that is not in that immediate plant palette. If you angle it just a bit it will catch the sky as well. However, we just finished a beautiful sculpture garden using golden colored gravel, a few specimen plants and some very interesting art pieces and I liked the simplicity very much.
Is it best to come up with a theme first or can a variety of styles work in a single garden?
Once more it is a matter of choice and will also depend on you style of garden. An old watering can planted with nasturtiums may look perfect next to the entrance to a vegetable garden, but that same “piece of art” would look pretty hokey next to an infinity edge pool, black stones and modern furniture – which obviously calls for pink flamingos.