The great classic gardens of the past almost always featured outdoor garden statues as focal points in their designs. These would often be on a grand scale, with larger than life portrayals of men, women, birds and beasts. They would be used to attract the eye down particular vistas, to add height and interest to a flat area, or to provide a foil for water gardens or ponds.
Can those classic traditions be transported to ordinary householders’ garden? The answer to that is ‘yes’, although it is usually in a miniature form. A small garden cannot reasonably display a 20 ft stone statue, but can attractively display the same design at one tenth of the height. Garden statues have therefore become very popular for the modern garden and gardener.
Materials Used in Garden Statues
Garden statues have traditionally been carved from natural stone, but similar and often cheaper results are now commonly achieved through the use of concrete molds. Apart from concrete and stone, though, some may prefer the shiny Asian garden decor created from bronze. However, that is not all that is available. Marble is a type of stone, but deserves separate mention due to its superior and luxurious luster; you can also find garden statues in fiberglass and metals other than bronze.
Concrete statues, although tough, can still get damaged, and concrete aggregates such as fiber stone are now regularly used in the production of garden statues from concrete molds. Fiber stone, for example, is concrete reinforced with a fine but very strong mesh, which gives extra strength and durability. This is ideal for high quality, long lasting statues, and can even be used effectively for large, classic style statues for the larger country garden. Also, being lighter than concrete on its own, fiber stone is easier to transport and move around the garden should the need arise.
As with many product, you can go to the bottom end of the market and choose plastic statues. These may fulfill your immediate needs, but if you are seeking to reproduce a classic garden of old, you will probably prefer sticking to stone, concrete or concrete aggregates. It is well worth the extra expense both for statues and outdoor planters.
Subjects for Garden Statues
There has always been a wide choice of subjects for garden statues. Many are of classic origin, such as cherubs, angels, Apollo, Venus, Sphinx and many more religious and mythical icons. In recent times, though, animals have become a popular choice of subject for garden statues, and you may find the majority of the statues you see today are of animals. Statues of lions and unicorns go back many centuries, but today most popular animals can be found as garden statues. Cat and dog statues are easy to find, but you can also find frogs and toads, squirrels and other animals.
Planning Statue Placement
The best time to consider where to place garden statues is when you are planning your garden design and layout, but that is not a necessity and may not be practical anyway. The great country gardens of the past, and today, used large statues as focal points in vistas, or in prominent positions, where they can freely impose their stature without detracting from the rest of garden. Smaller statues can be very effective in small gardens, but to get maximum effect, as with large gardens, it is worth spending a bit of time considering their surrounds so they blend in seamlessly with the garden design. Just buying a statue while you are out because it catches your eye may lead to disappointment when you get it back home and find it looks out of place in your garden wherever you put it.