Garden sundials are a spectacular addition to any garden, whether they are chosen to simply be placed as an accent or to be used for accurate time keeping. They are available in many styles, mounted on pedestals, laid flat on the ground or to be hung on a wall. These spectacular designs have been used since ancient times and will entice guests to linger and enjoy the garden.
Custom Garden Sundials
Garden sundials come in many styles, including custom created and carved ones. There are places that will carve and create a sundial based upon the latitude and longitude of where it will be placed to create a very accurate sundial clock that can be set for either standard or daylight savings time. These sundials as well as many other styles can be personalized with photos, years, dates or names.
These can be carved from stone or created using brass, copper or other alloys. They can be a combination of a disc sundial placed on a pedestal or carved from a solid piece. They will require careful positioning when placed in the garden if a truly accurate timepiece is desired.
Styles of Garden Sundials
Another style of garden sundial is the armillary sundial which is a very attractive dimensional sundial, based upon a sphere effect. These are often available as simply accent pieces but depending on the one purchased the armillary may also be placed to be fairly accurate with some seasonal variations. They are spherical, although partial spheres are very commonly used, and will have a pointer, often similar to an arrow that is used to mark time. They may be placed on a pedestal or on a table or a flat garden feature.
A disc garden sundial is flat with a round shape with a piece protruding from the top which casts as shadow and tracks time. Many are decorative including rosettes and roman numerals. Many newer ones will include a hobby feature such as a golfer or bird to track the time. They may include flowers, scrolls and astrology signs on the face as well as curly designs on the pointers or be very modern and sleek in appearance. There are many different motifs and designs available.
Where to Place a Garden Sundial
Weighing the options on where best to place a garden sundial includes taking a future look at the garden. Is there a tree or planned feature that in the future will block the sunlight from reaching it? The sundial needs to be placed in full sun if it is to serve as more than a simple accent piece. Even when used as an accent piece the moving shadows are ideal. Flat and level placement is a requirement when hanging or placing a sundial on a wall, pedestal or on the ground. They will draw people to them and serve as an excellent garden focal point so consider what will be placed around the sundial. An excellent feature that is used both in formal gardens and more natural style gardens a choosing one or more garden sundials will prove a fun task.
Garden Sundial Finishes
Garden sundials may be carved from various styles of stone, or a disk or armillary sundial may be placed upon a stone pillar or pedestal. The pedestal may also be made of iron, stacked rocks or any of numerous other building materials. The typical sundial itself is generally created of metal, including copper, brass and steel. It may have a shiny surface, brushed surface or true verdigris as in the case of copper. A false verdigris look may be painted on as well as the possibility of decorating them with other paint options.
Shopping for a Garden Sundial
Shopping for a garden sundial online will present hundreds of choices from custom to quirky. The armillary and disc are the most popular choices although others are available. Accent sundials are available beginning in the 30 dollar range and a custom carved one may be 700 dollars. There are many that can keep fairly accurate time for approximately 50 dollars if that is a concern. The multitude of styles will dazzle however one or two will likely leap out and grab your attention. These are spectacular additions that take a garden from everyday to very special.
A garden sundial once placed will require little care. They are available even as birdbaths which if chosen will require the addition of water. Otherwise they withstand the elements and weather well and will last a lifetime.