Classic urns have uses far beyond holding olive oil and flowers. They can be used very effectively to add unexpected sculpture and more in the landscape.
Traditionally they’ve stored everything from wine to cremated ashes. Today, we typically use urns in a range of styles as decoration throughout our homes and in the garden. Lately large, simple, Mediterranean-style urns have been catching my eye. They add curb appeal to entrances, draw the eye as sculpture, add color to the garden and serve as fountains. Check out a group of urns that range from antiques to modern art, along with some ideas for how to use them, to see if using a large urn in your yard is for you.
Bring in a splash of color. While this home and its surrounding landscape have many traditional elements, the avant-garde outdoor art collection and furnishings delight and surprise. This sculpture takes the traditional urn form, blows it up to unexpected proportions and draws the eye from all over the yard because of its bright orange hue.
Make a bold statement. This gigantic urn sculpture is an apt choice for an olive grove, as large urns were traditionally used to store olive oil in places like Italy and Turkey.
Create a fountain. This designer created a fountain using three hand-thrown Greek urns against a stone wall and three spigots.
Make a focal point. A large glazed urn plays off all the shades of green in this garden full of conical evergreen trees and rounded boxwood shrubs.
This black urn is classic because of its familiar shape, modern because of its placement and dark coloring.
Urns occupy the space between the ground and a stone wall here, serving as architectural bases for climbing vines.
Add an appropriately scaled architectural element. Large palm leaves and other tropical plants could eat up most garden statues like a Venus flytrap gobbles insects. This urn’s simple shape does not distract from the shapes of the lush and exotic plants.
Pick up on overlooked hues. The ochre of this urn ties together the colors of the dry grasses, the sand and weathered portions of the wooden fence.