Gardens have held a magical, almost mystical, presence in the lives of humans over the last few centuries. Exhilaration stirs as we enter a garden, smell the aromatic and sensual delight of heady flowers, gaze upon the dazzling colors of the flowers, and enjoy the visual stimulation provided by the statuary strategically placed throughout the garden.
Garden statuary can be an integral part of any garden adding to the aura of a peaceful sanctuary. Statues large and small can add to the beauty of a garden by complementing the sweet smelling flora, tall trees, and verdant bushes.
Placing Your Statues
Statues, if cleverly and prominently displayed, complement the flora and fauna of any natural or fabricated garden. The placement of statues should be carefully thought out to achieve the best effect. After all, our garden statues are for our delight and enjoyment as well as the pleasure of our two-footed or four-footed garden visitors.
Shrubbery, Flowers, and Trees
Take into consideration the existing shrubbery, plants, and trees when deciding where to place your new garden statuary. The soft contours of bushes and hedges can add a delicate touch that complements the rough contours of the statues. Moreover, the bright colors of flowers and roses can contrast the natural coloring of the concrete or cement statues that you place in your garden.
A corner location is an ideal spot for a fountain, large statue, or small collection of statues, such as a child and small domestic or forest animals. Likewise, this is a fantastic spot to create a small garden sanctuary, complete with a bench where you can rest and enjoy the view.
Placing smaller statues among the plants in a flowerbed creates a bit of appeal that adds to the total effect. Polished river stones, attractive edging, or uniquely shaped rocks can create a line of refinement around a garden or assortment of statues.
Ponds have become an increasingly popular facet of gardens, ranging from the simple to the deluxe. Ponds lend themselves easily to the placement of statues. Small pond animals including frogs, turtles, ducks, swans and lizards appear quite at home around the perimeter of a carefully groomed pond.
When placing statues around a pond, however, be careful to eye up the aesthetic appeal. Over-placement, uncomplimentary sizes, or the use of too many statues takes away from the total effect. Moreover, it is essential to keep in mind the size of the pond when selecting the statues. If the pond is small, then smaller statues should be used and the larger statues should be avoided. If the pond is large, a variety of statues is appealing, particularly a grouping of smaller and medium statues.
Memorials and Tributes
Memorials and tributes are often created with a focal point defined by carefully selected statues. In some cases, statues can be commissioned for their subject, and in other cases, they can simply be purchased ready-made.
Busts of famous people have been used for centuries to honor those among us who have made a significant impact in society. They can be seen prominently placed in foyers, gardens, and elsewhere. Reproductions of some of the more famous busts are still quite popular.
For personal gardens, a memorial created from statues may stand to honor loved ones who have gone on before us. A child's memorial will often hold a small gender specific statue and perhaps smaller statues of the child's favorite animals. Pet lovers have turned to statues of their pet's breed to memorialize the beloved family pet. This type of memorial is generally given a prominent or special location in the garden.
Stepping Stones and Benches
Stepping stones and benches are a wonderful addition to any garden. Strategically placing a short path of stepping stones to lead to a secret garden inhabited by garden statuary is a delightful practice. On an initial visit, everyone knows that the path leads to somewhere special, and the anticipation that builds up simply improves with each additional step.
Finally, the secret enclave of statues is revealed and the result is sheer delight at the wonderment of it all. Placing a bench nearby for perusing the statues is recommended. In fact, placing an urn next to the bench with colorful flowers adds a nice touch to the entire area.
Holiday and Seasonal Statues
Typically, a gardener who specializes in showcasing holiday themed statues will need sufficient storage space for off seasons. If this is possible, holiday statues are a true delight to anyone with a passion for garden statuary and decorating. As the holidays change, the garden transforms from one magical holiday theme to another.
Ghouls, goblins and monsters sneak out into the darkness of night to startle any garden-goers during the Halloween season, while angels, reindeer and elves forecast the arrival of Christmastime. Turkeys for thanksgiving and rabbits and baskets for Easter are the harbingers for each special holiday.
Even the smaller days of special importance can find a place in the garden with groundhogs on Groundhog Day and leprechauns for St. Patrick’s Day. Whatever the holiday or season, statues have been finely and uniquely crafted for the occasion.
Medieval and Mystical Statues
Perhaps the best location for medieval or mystical statues is around an unexpected turn of the garden for an extra element of surprise. An air of mystery surrounds these creatures, and a secret or partially secluded spot in the garden shrubbery offers added atmosphere.
Caring for Statuary
Mother Nature can be a harsh mistress for garden statuary, especially in some locations and seasons. Therefore, special precautions should be taken to protect these focal points of the garden and to extend their pristine appearance as long as possible.
Painted statues may need to be placed in an enclosed area that will offer them protection from the elements. While the stone and concrete may hold up well enough, the painted areas are sure to take a beating and look a bit less attractive.
If the painted statues will remain outdoors for a lengthy time or even all year long, coating the statues with a liquid car wax should offer sufficient protection from the elements. However, special care is needed since car wax tends to leave a white residue if not wiped off properly.
Using a water sealer that is designed for concrete or masonry on statues that will be placed outside is extremely important. In fact, statue owners should do this once a year for all statues and especially for statues that hold water as part of their features, including birdbaths and fountains.
Following directions when applying a water sealer to statuary is extremely vital. Sunny days offer the best weather conditions for drying the statue once it has been sealed with the water sealer. Moreover, it is essential to wash the statuary prior to sealing to remove any particles of dust, dirt, or grime.
Garden urns and concrete flowerpots need special attention as well. In addition to sealing them with water, it is vital to guarantee that the urns and flowerpots drain properly. A build up of water that freezes can critically damage the pieces forever. It follows that saucers normally kept under flowerpots should be removed during freezing seasons.
Furthermore, most garden statues should be placed upon a paving stone, concrete block, or concrete pavement to protect them from the harsher elements of the soil and ground. Statuary is generally very durable, but a bit of help from human hands cannot hurt.
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