The classic gardens of old generally included garden statues as centerpieces in their styles. These would often be on a grand scale, with bigger than life representations of males, ladies, birds, and beasts. They would be used to draw the eye down specific vistas, to include height and interest to a flat location, or to supply a foil for water gardens or ponds.
Can those traditional customs be applied to your’ garden? Of course, it can, although it is normally in a reduced size. After all, a little home garden cannot properly show off a 20 foot high stone statue. But it can make good use of one at one-tenth of that height. And garden statues are still popular design elements in modern home gardens.
Garden Statue Materials
Garden statues are traditionally carved from natural stone, but few of us are skilled carvers and hiring it out is really expensive. Nowadays, molded concrete or similar materials are much more common and affordable. Lower cost statues often use fiberglass or cast resin. Both can simulate a stone look.
Metals too have changed. Where solid bronze might have been popular in Asian formal gardens, its priced out of the range of most homeowners. Now it’s more common to see a synthetic statue with a metal look or real metal highlights.
Fiberstone is a popular statue material. Fiberstone is a paper mache like material made from cement and plastic resin. The combined material is light, and when the resin cures, it becomes very hard and waterproof. This is perfect for high quality, long-enduring statues, and can even be used for large, traditional style statues for the bigger formal gardens. Also, being lighter than concrete, fiberstone is easier to carry and move around the garden as needed.
On the bottom end of the statue material ladder is plastic. They look good at first, and plastic is cheap, but stay away from plastic as it degrades quickly in sunlight. It might meet your immediate requirements, however if you are looking for to replicate a traditional garden of old, you will most likely choose staying with stone, concrete, or resins. It is well worth the extra expense both for statues and outdoor planters.
Garden Statues Subjects
There are garden statues symbolizing all sorts of subjects. Many are storied origins, such as cherubs, angels, Appollo, Venus, Sphynx and numerous more spiritual and mythical icons. Lately, animals have been a popular option of subject for garden statues. Lions and unicorns have been popular for centuries, today dogs and cats top the list, but there are plenty of frogs and toads, squirrels and other animals too.
Positioning and Planning
The magnificent country gardens of the past used big statues as centerpieces in vistas, or in popular positions, where they can easily position their stature without diminishing the rest of garden. Of course, they had architects and professional planners to work things out. We’re more likely to pick out a statue first, then find a way to fit it into our existing gardens.
Still, it’s best to spend a little bit of time considering their surroundings, so they blend in with the garden style. Smaller sized statues can be really effective in little gardens, but they have to fit both eye and space.