Got a hankering to learn about garden statues? What good gardener doesn't?

For as long as men and women have been putting hoe to soil and planting seeds and admiring what springs up, they've been giving statues a special home, too. No matter where you're from or what time period we're talking about, an affection for garden statuary seems to be embedded in our DNA.

Maybe one of the most popular garden statues is a the scarecrow – but if you're serious about adding a bit of statuary to your garden, you don't have to worry that it's going to look as ragged as most scarecrows. In fact, garden statues can be both tasteful and elegant, and even practical.

Technically speaking, a garden statue is anything human beings made and set in a garden in order to enhance nature's beauty. Think of the time-honored Greek statue – a blushing marble diva or musclebound Apollo staring fixedly off at the hydrangea bush.

But statues aren't always simple replicas of human beings. A gazing ball – basically a colored mirror ball on a pedestal – is a garden statue. Bird houses are garden statues, as are bird baths. And quite frankly, you could limit yourself to those three items alone and have more than enough options to choose from.

The truth is, choosing the best garden statue for your garden can be overwhelming with a capital O. Fortunately, there's a simple solution. Don't start your search for the perfect garden statue at your local purveyor of garden supplies. Rather, start it in the comfort and beauty of your garden.

That's right. Grab a lawn chair, a cup of tea or lemonade, and plop yourself down right in from of your very own garden. Let your eyes just take it all in. Enjoy it – after all, you built this. What's not to enjoy?

Remember. If you're going to add a garden statue, it's got to be done with a careful touch. It's all too easy for the wrong piece of garden art to throw off the natural ambiance. You want to focus your attention on what you think is going to fit and what's an obvious mismatch.

Ask yourself a few questions as you study your garden. Do you see a chubby Cupid fountain over there near the middle? A ceramic bee hive perhaps right about where the black eyed susans are swaying in the breeze? One statue or many? Are you going for practicality – cultivating those bees isn't a bad idea – or aesthetic? Is there a theme here?

This can seem like a lazy indulgence, but in truth you won't do yourself a bigger favor in your pursuit of the right garden statue. Don't skimp here – you owe it to your garden!