Foter

How To Choose Garden Statues And Sculptures

|

The idea of statues and sculptures decorating gardens is trendy, though it is far from new. In fact, excavations have determined that the Neanderthals had sculpture gardens. Every ancient culture had gardens with ornamental installations, from Mesopotamian to Egyptian to Far Eastern to Mesoamerican. It appears that decorating a garden with statues and sculptures may be inherently human.

Homeowners today are taking a more sophisticated approach to their outdoor spaces. They want them to be an extension of the living spaces in the home, and they are designing them as such. It certainly uplifts a garden, makes it more welcoming and more entertaining, to install beautiful or whimsical or simply unexpected statues and sculptures.

What Are the Most Popular Types of Garden Statues and Sculptures?

Just about anything that you can imagine! And some you would never have dreamed of. Here we have broken down some of the more popular into categories. 

Animals

You can get a statue that looks like your dog or cat. There are beautiful butterflies, dragonflies and praying mantises - small ones for accents, some up to two feet in height. Maybe something more exotic appeals to you, such as an elephant or alligator. Is a safari on your bucket list? There are lions and tigers and giraffes. Do you collect everything to do with Jurassic Park? Look in the dinosaur section. For those into the literary scene, a raven will evoke Edgar Allan Poe.

Brown Classic Resin Succulent Turtle Statue
Brown Traditional Plastic Knothole Owl Tree Statue
Colorful Stylish Metal Standing Peacock Statue
Gray Classic Concrete Garden Snail Statue
Green Traditional Resin Turtle Statue
White Elegant Plastic Perch Pelican Statue

People

Children are popular - children playing, working in the garden, fishing, reading. Adults may be folks from other eras or cultures, historical heroes, elderly couples still in love. Replicas of ancient Roman, Greek, French and Italian statuary bestow a touch of classicism to the garden.

Gray Classic Resin Basking In Glory Statue
Gray Traditional Resin Fisherman Statue
Gray Classic Plastic Patriotic Flag Children Statue
Traditional Resin Girl On Bench Garden Statue
Gray Classic Plastic Flower Girl Statue
Gray Contemporary Resin Venus Statue

Religious Figures

Angels; Buddha; Confucius; St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and the environment; Moses with his Ten Commandments; ornate Hindu gods and goddesses, such as Ganesha and Lakshmi; and Japanese Jizo, intriguing figures who pray for us and who will surely start a conversation.

Gray Stylish Resin Angel Statue
Brown Traditional Plastic Meditating Buddha Statue
Gray Traditional Resin St Francis Statue
Gray Classic Resin Madonna Garden Statue
Gray Traditional Resin Queen Of Angels Statue
Gray Contemporary Resin Extended Grace Angel Statue

Mystical Creatures

Gnomes have been protecting gardens throughout European history. Gargoyles, sometimes scary looking, sometimes cute - either way they ward off evil. Fairies make lovely statues, and, if you include a fairy house in your garden and shiny objects and chimes, the kind of fairies you cannot see will visit your garden and bring you blessings.

Black Contemporary Resin Gargoyle Statue
Colorful Contemporary Resin Sleeping Gnomes Statue
Gray Classic Plastic Gargoyle Garden Statue
White Classic Resin Baby Fairy Statue
Brown Stylish Resin Gnomes Bigfoot Statue
Elegant Resin Peony Fairy Solar Statue

Sculptures

There are too many different types of sculptures to describe here. They tend to be abstract or geometric or both. Whimsical sculptures tend to turn one thing into another, such as a wooden fence carved at the top to symbolize a row of people!

Gray Classic Stone Millstone Garden Statue
Brown Simple Fiberstone Sphere Statue
Red Modern Metal Parenthesis Garden Statue
Brown Modern Metal Abstract Art Statue
Gray Classic Resin Island Head Statue
Modern Glass American Flag Globe Statue

What Materials Work Well For Outdoors Statues and Sculptures? 

Natural Stone

Natural stone, such as marble and granite, is ideal for outdoors. It is non-porous and more durable than concrete and cast stone as well as many other materials.

Cast Stone

Cast stone is a refined precast concrete. It can be made to look like any natural stone. When glass or plastic fibers are added to the mix, it is almost as strong as natural stone and less susceptible to weather conditions than concrete. It also ages beautifully.

Concrete

Most garden statues are mass produced from concrete. Concrete is very heavy, so keep the statue small. It is porous - water can seep into the crevices then freeze, thaw and crack if you have cold winters.

Metal

Bronze, brass, copper, lead, aluminum and stainless steel look fantastic and are durable, but some metals are more susceptible to corrosion.

  • Bronze is the crème de la crème of outdoor ornament materials. Original bronze statuary is labor intensive and very expensive, though it may very well appreciate in value. It will last for centuries and ages to a lovely green hue.
  • Lead is a heavy but relatively soft material. It may bend or break if not well supported. It keeps its pretty soft gray color for years and can be molded into delicate details.
  • Aluminum is ideal for contemporary outdoor sculptures. It is lightweight, strong as steel and brighter than polished silver. Coat it and it will stay that way for 20-30 years.

Wood

Wood must be treated to be used outdoors. If not, it will rot over time. Wood sculptures are subtle additions to the garden. They provide an earthy note and become part of the ecosystem of the garden as years go by. They are for the person who likes guests to "spy" the sculptures rather than be confronted by them.

Resins and Fiberglass

These are relatively new materials for outdoor statues and sculptures, but very attractive choices. They are lightweight, durable and less expensive than some other materials. You can find original art re-created in resins or fiberglass to "gussy up" your garden.

Blue Nautical Cobblestone LED Lighthouse Statue
Gray Modern Concrete Dragonfly Garden Statue
Brown Classic Bronze Quail Statue
Colorful Contemporary Iron Peacock Statue
Brown Elegant Copper Heron In Reed Statue
Brown Classic Wooden Tiki Totem Statue
Green Classic Glass Turtle Garden Statue

Is There a "Best Place" in the Garden for a Particular Statue or Sculpture? 

The very best place is where you enjoy it. But we have some ideas to get you started.  

  • A large statue or sculpture is usually the focal point. This could be at the end of a long path or at the entrance to the garden or by a water feature. If you have a tall hedge, large statues set at intervals along it break up the "blank" space and add interest.
  • A large-scale abstract sculpture should be placed where it can be viewed from various angles.
  • In a formal garden, a set of four statues can be used at the corners.
  • If you already have a favorite statue that is not all that large, place it among dwarf plants or plants with small foliage to give it attention.
  • Place a statue or sculpture where it can be seen from your window. If you want to draw the eye across the garden, place it at a diagonal to the window.
  • Tuck away your quirkier pieces at random to give guests the delight of discovering them.
  • If you have room, create a tranquil nook with a bench and small Asian-inspired statues.

Ideas for Using Statues and Sculptures to Reflect Your Style