Guest Author - Sheri Ann Richerson
Every garden needs a main attraction, something that draws the eye and defines the atmosphere of the garden. One option is statuary. For example, placing a statue of a cherub in a garden creates a romantic atmosphere.
When it comes to choosing the statuary that will inhabit your water garden, it is wise to first decide what atmosphere you wish to convey. Is your water garden dedicated to attracting wildlife, raising fish or a place where you can relax and enjoy the flowing water without outside distractions?
Once this is defined, choose a statue that best resembles the intent of the space that your water garden inhabits. If you are intent on attracting wildlife, a large fountain that depicts birds and other wild creatures might be the perfect addition. If you are raising fish, choose a fish sculpture.
The next step is to decide where to place your statuary so that preservation and maintenance do not become issues later on. Once a statue’s features are blunted from years of weather or the statue becomes discolored it may be too late to save your statuary.
It is best to place your statuary on some type of raised pad such as crushed stone, concrete blocks such as stepping stones or wood chips so that excess moisture is not trapped between the ground and the statue. This will help somewhat with the damage that occurs because of the freeze and thaw cycles. Additionally you may wish to place some small rubber pads on the bottom of the statue before sitting it in its permanent position.
It is not wise to place your statuary in the water unless it is specifically designed to be put in water.
The next step in the care of your statuary is washing it. Do not use a power washer regardless of the size of your statue because that could remove the finish. The best way to clean your statue is to use a mild soap, a soft toothbrush and water from a standard garden hose. You may hose your statue down with plain water from time to time to remove dirt as it builds up.
Finally, don’t forget to reseal your statue every three years. This will help protect the paint as well as the material your statue is made out of. Check with the manufacturer of your statue to see what they recommend that you use. For most concrete statues, a good quality exterior concrete sealer will work fine. For a bronze statue, a good wax should be all that is needed.
Following these simple instructions should insure that your statue lasts for many years and remains a majestic attraction in your water garden.