Tracy DiSabato-Aust, author of The Well-Tended Perennial Garden and The Well-Designed Mixed Garden , made this interesting assertion at a garden design seminar that I attended today: "Garden art ... we're not talking about the little wooden bent-over lady you see everywhere ... but true art ... is a necessity in the garden today...." That got me thinking about garden art as a trend. Art fits right in with the current broader trend toward treating gardens as outdoor rooms and decorating them. Most of the gardening books and magazines today feature garden art regularly in their photos. Even famous artists like Dale Chihuly are designing art specifically for the garden (see Red Reeds installation pictured below). Few of us are going to spring for the six figures that a Chihuly installation costs. But modestly-priced pieces, such as metal sculptures or one-of-a-kind painted benches, are a different story. Gardeners who are committed enough to want to decorate outdoor rooms with art, are likely to spend generously if it means a lightened spirit -- and "ooohs" and "aaahs" from visitors. In my art gallery days I observed that the commercially successful artists tended to pay attention to changing tastes and trends. The garden art trend could open up new opportunities for artists with an entrepreneurial streak who pay attention. Photo courtesy of www.chihuly.com. Be sure to visit the site and check out the slideshow for "Chihuly in the Garden" at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, a feast for the eyes.