A guide to garden antiques & ornaments

Whether for indoors or out, garden antiques and ornaments are highly sought after. But which items should you buy? How do you know where to place them? Where do you seek inspiration? Darren Jones of Lichen Garden Antiques offers expert advice.

Q. Are garden antiques a good investment?
A. Antique garden ornaments are highly collectible and a good investment for the future – and you can appreciate their beauty on a daily basis in your garden. If the item has provenance it will add value, such as these large limestone lions which were sourced from a French chateau.

Limestone Lions from Lichen Garden Antiques

Q. What ornaments are popular for gardens and what in particular would you suggest might make an impression in a small town garden?
A. Antique garden ornaments come in all sizes and prices and in a variety of materials, including lead, cast iron, marble and limestone. Ornaments are chosen for practical purposes – a birdbath, a fountain, or a stone planter to fill with flowers – or simply for their beauty. A small decorative bench, or an elegant urn can create a lovely focal point in a town garden.

Antique bench from Lichen Garden Antiques

Q. Where can I get inspiration for using antiques in my garden?
A. There are lots of resources to give you ideas including design websites and magazines. We work with some of the country’s leading landscape designers on properties for their clients, often finding pieces for a specific location in the scheme. We’ve also been fortunate to be asked to work on five gold, medal winning show-gardens at Chelsea Flower Show, which is probably the ultimate source of inspiration for people.

Q. If you are considering reclaimed paving for paths or patios, what types of paving are available?
A. Lichen supplies the best quality reclaimed limestones and York stone for both external and internal use, as well as cobbles, walling stone and other decorative stones. The choice is really a matter of personal taste but you’re very welcome to call us to discuss your ideas.

Reclaimed York Stone from Lichen Garden Antiques

Q. Are there any trends in garden antiques?
A. One of the main trends in recent years has been the increased use of what would have traditionally been garden ornaments in the home. There’s no reason not to use a cast iron urn in a reception hall for example, or a small statue on a landing. It’s a really good way of creating an accent piece as well as a topic of conversation.

Q. Where would you position a statue in a garden?
A. A beautiful statue or antique urn always makes an excellent focal point in a garden. For that reason, they’re often positioned in an arbour, or at the end of a vista to catch the eye and give a point to walk to.

Lead Putti from Lichen Garden Antiques
Q. What is a staddlestone and how are they used today?
A. Staddlestones date back to the 16th century when they were used to raise wooden storage barns above the ground to prevent mice from eating the grain stored there. Today they are purely decorative, often used in a border or to line a driveway.

Staddlestones from Lichen Garden Antiques

Q. Where would I position an antique gate in a garden?
A. Who doesn’t see a decorative gate, half open and want to know what’s beyond? As well as providing a practical entrance, gates are used in landscape design to divide different ‘rooms’ or sections in a garden. We currently have an original 19th century kiss gate, which has to be the most romantic anniversary or wedding present!

Kiss Gate from Lichen Garden Antiques

With a unique collection of original garden antiques, Lichen Garden Antiques sells highly collectible ornaments for the home and garden including urns and planters, gates, stone troughs, antique benches and beautiful statuary. They work with some of the country’s best-known landscape designers and have supplied natural stone flooring and architectural pieces to gold medal-winning show gardens at Chelsea Flower Show for the last five years. They also offer a specialist finder service and export worldwide.

Visit their showroom in Cheltenham by appointment.

Tel: 00 44 (0)1242-609551  Mobile: 00 44 (0)7885-378688
www.lichengardenantiques.com