What are Different Types of Garden Sculptures?

Sherry Holetzky

Adding garden sculptures is a beautiful way to enhance your landscaping. There are some very elegant options available, and they come in many different materials, from metal, wood, or stone to poly-resin. It is important that garden sculptures can stand up to the elements, so choose a material that will provide long lasting beauty. Wood sculptures are attractive, but if you choose wood, make sure it is treated regularly with a good sealer.

Alabaster is commonly used to create sculptures.
Alabaster is commonly used to create sculptures.

Garden sculptures run the range from functional to ornamental, and some are dual purpose, such as faux rocks that contain lights. Other options include birdbaths, fountains, statues, and even sculpted school mascots to be displayed in gardens or courtyards. Garden sculptures can also be custom made or homemade. Have one designed especially for your garden and incorporate your own designs, a favorite object, or a monogram.

Metal garden sculptures require less maintenance than ones made from other materials.
Metal garden sculptures require less maintenance than ones made from other materials.

Some people fashion “junk” into garden sculptures, which proves that one man’s trash can easily become another man’s, or woman’s, treasure. Artists use all sorts of objects, from copper tubing and other metals to wood, glass, and mosaic tiles.

So, what kinds of garden sculptures are commonly chosen? Angels or cherubs tend to be high in popularity. Some prefer lifelike sculptures of people, often children, while others like realistic looking garden sculptures that represent animals. It is an issue of personal taste, which is why you can also find fine art reproductions, such as Rodin’s The Thinker.

Garden sculptures add another dimension to your already beautiful garden, whether they do so by adding something more whimsical or by lending an air of formality and elegance. Many people also enjoy the sound of water and use sculpted fountains in the garden to incorporate the soothing effect of trickling water. A garden should be a calming space that allows people to relax and enjoy nature. Adding garden sculptures is often just the finishing touch when creating the perfect, soothing garden.

Garden sculptures are available in specialty shops, nurseries, and even online. Take a look and see if you can find something to add another dimension to your garden.

Garden sculptures run the range from functional to ornamental.
Garden sculptures run the range from functional to ornamental.

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Discussion Comments


If your garden is Asian-themed or maybe Greek-themed, materials like jade and marble are also great for your garden sculptures and statues. I myself am partial to placing Buddha statues throughout my garden, even though it's not an Asian one. I think it would be awesome if somebody made a mini Stonehenge statue for their garden out of granite or cement.


Is it possible to make your own outdoor garden sculptures? The garden statues that I see at the local nursery and in other stores look like they're made out of cement. I know how to work with that well enough.

If I put a lot of effort into making my ideal garden sculpture I want it to hold up to the weather so I don't have to worry about it when I leave it out in the garden, so my question is, do you have to do anything special to weatherproof cement and stone statues, or just the wooden ones?


Call me Gothic or dark if you want, but my personal favorite stone garden sculptures are gargoyles. You can sit them on top of rocks, on top of fence posts, next to the pond (if, like mine, your garden has one), and they're like little guardians for the garden.

It's harder to find gargoyles than more normal garden art like birdbaths and cute stuff, but I find them more personable. Garden sculptures that fit your personal style and tastes are the best kind, remember that. A friend of mine decorates her garden only with garden gnomes; I don' care for them at all, but hey, she's the one who's going to spend the most time in her garden, so she should pick what sculptures make her happy.

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