The most inviting garden designs incorporate both rhythm and movement to draw your attention to its features and motivate you to move through the garden. When you use your eyes to a view a garden, you are using your kinaesthetic sense. This is what enables your awareness of the positioning of the garden’s features so that you can navigate the garden with ease.
When you cast your eyes around the garden, the way elements are structured and positioned creates interest. This combined with the sense of space makes you want to explore the garden to discover its secrets. The structure, layout and key elements of your garden play a part in this; for example, paths and garden beds encourage you to travel in straight lines, while curved pathways, gateways and arches draw the eye onwards.
What are kinetic garden features?
The study of kinetics is the study of motion and its causes, and there are many kinetic garden features that help to create a beautiful setting. For something to be considered a kinetic feature, water or air should make some kind of physical difference to it. It is about the interaction between the garden art and the environment.
Kinetic sculptures and garden art items can add both interest and energy to the garden, mainly because movements are caused by nature. Such garden features sway in the breeze, inviting sound and movement into your perception. Kinetic garden features (such as water features or wind spinners) tend to have a calming or meditative effect on the viewer in that they encourage you to pause and reflect. When you can see how and why something moves, falls or sways, this simple awareness brings a sense of peace.
How we use kinetics in the garden
It isn’t difficult to turn your garden into an animated yet relaxing space. Human beings are hardwired to register movement, so when movement is integral to a sculpture or piece of garden art we are mesmerised. There are many kinetic elements you can use in the garden to enhance the overall look and feel of it:
Water features are a wonderful addition to any kinetic garden because they bring both movement and sound. Cascading water is relaxing and pleasing to the eye, and the consistent flow of water captures the attention and requires presence. If only for a few moments we stop what we are doing and focus, a water feature has done its job.
Wind chimes are thought to be good luck in parts of Asia and are used in Feng Shui. They are very common throughout the East and are considered to maximise the flow of chi (life energy). The tinkling tones of wind chimes always create a relaxed atmosphere, which is why the sound is often included in guided meditations.
Wind spinners and windmills
Windmills and spinners create visual interest in your garden. Since adding motion creates a focal point you can use a wind spinner or windmill to draw the eye, and even detract from eyesores. They can be some of the most eye-catching features in your garden.
This spinning lotus kinetic windmill is a perfect example; it features two separate multiple prongs spinning rings that spin in alternate directions. This spinning leaf windmill garden sculpture comes in red, bronze or champagne colours. It is another item that will add a dynamic feel to your garden when the wind catches the spinning leaves.
Plants and wildlife
You can bring kinetic beauty to your garden by planting the kind of plants that add movement. Ornamental grasses like blue oat grass, blue fescue, sedges and rushes move gently in the breeze. They don’t need to be cut back so they are a low maintenance option, and they can also be used as winter decoration in outdoor pots.
Other plants that add movement to your garden are Verbena bonariensis, which is a lovely perennial with pretty flower heads on tall stems. These work well visually alongside ornamental grasses. You may also like Orlaya grandiflora or Ammi majus, which are stunning annuals that bring a romantic feel to the environment.
Insects and birds naturally create a vibrant, active environment. By filling your garden with flowers and bird feeders you’ll encourage wildlife to visit your garden.
Ways to complement garden kinetics
In order to complement the kinetic elements of your garden, you can strategically place pathways that draw the eye to aesthetically pleasing aspects of it. Introducing a multitude of colours through plants and flower arrangements is another way to create an engaging environment.
Uniform planting (leaving an equal amount of space between plants) brings order to your garden, as does the repetition of certain types of plants or hues. Finally, garden art adds visual appeal. Rusted birdcages, garden arch climbers or hanging orbs may be the perfect finishing touches to your garden oasis.
Look upon your garden as the canvas, your plants the hardscape and your garden furnishings the medium that invokes the desire to move through the garden. A few key kinetic features will bring your garden to life all year around. Nature’s Garden Gift is here to help you create your ideal garden, so feel free to get in touch for product advice and don’t forget to browse our blog for helpful gardening tips and insights.