Monday, March 22, 2010

Here a Statue, There a Statue

I have been thinking of getting a statue for my garden.  One made of concrete or cast stone that will year after year weather, streak and become less defined: it will become perfect.  Granted, I had my coffee this morning perched on top of a couple of bags of mulch, so I could be thinking of more useful garden accessories, but eh.   Garden chairs are boring.

I love statues in gardens.   No not the kind commemorating some big battle victory with a general on a horse, on a plinth 20 feet high, but the kind with soft worn mossy faces halfway hiding behind a fern.  Somehow they add peace to a garden in my eyes, the same way running water might.    There is no doubt they can add a major focal point, which, unless I want my focal point to be the palm tree, is something I desperately need.

The Savannah Bird Girl Statue, probably the most famous statue ever to come from this area, thanks to Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil (which, if you have any interest at all in the south, or plan to visit, is a must read) is the right style for me and my spot, I think.  It stood virtually unnoticed from 1936 until the book was publish in 1994 before it had to be moved from its cemetery plot for safekeeping.     I love this statue, but given its fame and proximity and number of replicas in this area alone, it is probably not the one for me.

Charleston itself is replete with statues of course.  Its just that kind of place.   You see them peeking out of driveways, tucked under camellias and many a Charlestonian has their entire teensy garden planned out around a favorite piece of cement.   Many are cherubs, Greek gods, angels, various Madonnas and fair maidens.   Some are part of fountains.  I saw a gargoyle guarding someone's trashbin area the other day too.  Its an interesting concept on how to keep the evil (i.e. raccoons) at bay, I'll give them that.

Surfing around as it pours outside, resigning myself that I am not going to get anything done today - at all - I revisited the offerings available on the internet.   To be honest, I am in love with a collection in my local nursery of marble "4 Seasons" maidens, but seeing as I only have room for one season, and I cannot afford any seasons, I have to expand my level of acceptable stone countenances.

Here are some of the ones I like, and I'm leaning towards choice #1.  If only she were a little taller on a shorter pedestal.   The combined height is near perfect (56").  So maybe the search goes on.   Well, like I said, I could invest in something to sit on out there instead...

Oh, and one final picture and note: if I could find this, this is what I'd get in a heartbeat.  I took this from someones blog a while back and I have no idea whence it came, so I apologize for not putting a credit.  But I love your statue/planter.


  1. I love the Bird Girl statue. We went to Savannah a couple of years ago. It is so pretty there! Definitely the right setting for statues.
    I like your first choice! I don't think my garden would work with a statue. I have been searching for some garden art...contemporary something. I haven't found it yet.

  2. I have a Buddha (Sukothai style) that sits by my shed, but that's it. I figure once you have one, then multiples quickly become somewhat gimmicky. I think you need one, partially eroded and slightly hidden.

  3. First choice is my favourite too! :D It's different than what I usually see in gardens :D I love garden statues...I'd like to get one myself, but I'd have to do something very understated. I don't like when there's a MASSIVE statue or fountain in a yard (General on a Horse-style) with a tiny house...looks like someone's trying to compensate for something LOL :D

  4. Oh, I would love to have some of those in my garden as well. One of my favorite areas in the Huntington Botanical Garden in California is a long path that is flanked with statues like these. My favorite picture of yours is the girl holding the bowls.

  5. When you said "famous statue of Savannah," I immediately thought of The Waving Girl who stands at the harbor -- but then, I was in love with Savannah long before Mr. Berendt's novel appeared on the scene.

    If we get a vote, I'd go with the Wood Numph, of your three choices -- although I suspect the Satyr will age in a more interesting way, and like you, I love it when the statues show their age. It's so elegant somehow.

  6. Hi Jess, I like the well-patina-ed child in the photo below David. I hope you find just the right piece at an affordable price. To encourage you in your pursuit, I found a very cool 3 and a half foot tall cement birdbath and pedestal at an estate sale for $10.00 a few years ago. Stranger things have happened. :)

  7. Lawn ornamentation is important. I like stuff made of metal. pat likes rabbits. I found Pat a 100 pound rabbit. A lot of people in the area seem to like fake deer. Have you thought of gargoyles, big giant gargoyles? jim

  8. For some reason I am now stuck with an image of you with a gigantic marble general on a horse in your front garden Jess!
    I think I like the wood nymph the best, but all three are lovely and I'm looking forward to seeing your final choice!

  9. I do like garden statues, I also like the faded aged look they get over time.

  10. Amy - yeah, bird girl really is a neat statue. And +1 vote for choice #1.
    IG - I agree, depending on the size of your space, restraint is the best policy. I have seen gardens that do a good job of mixing and matching, but I just don't have that skill.
    Kyna - +2 for choice #1. I think it is actually an art to find a statue which matches the garden, the landscape and the architecture. I've got a double story house with columns and such so I'm hoping its easier for me...but I have the same struggle.
    Noelle - I've seen places like that, with the row of statues... if done right it can be majestic. +1 for choice 3 :)
    Meredith - ha, I read it without even noticing that...its amazing what your brain does when it 'knows' what should be there. +2 for choice 3!

  11. Grace - oh how great would that be? Not only cheap but already old. I think one of my stumbling points is that new statues just don't look quite right!
    Jim - I'm not sure my architecture really matches gargoyles, but the idea of a really really giant gargoyle gave me a chuckle.
    Heidi - oh, if you could only see how tiny my front 'yard' is. The image is hilarious. Someone would definitely think I stole it from one of the parks!
    StoneArt - yeah, I wish I could get a nice old one pre aged. It makes a huge difference. I might throw some moss starter on mine once I get it.

    Thanks everyone as always for your lovely comments!