A garden is a place for the gardener to express him or herself through the arrangement of different flowers and other plants, integrating the landscape and the garden together to create something new and wonderful.
Using garden decor items only enhances the vision of the gardener, allowing him or her to suggest different themes, such as various gnomes all over the garden, for example.One area that occasionally gets a little controversial is the use of religious themed garden decor items. Is it OK to use such pieces in your garden?
The answer is, in the humble opinion of this garden decorator and writer, of course it’s okay to use religious themed garden decor! Is not the whole point of garden decor to express oneself? And if this expression comes in the form of religious decor, why would that not be okay?
It would be a different story now if religious decor pieces were somehow offensive or just not tasteful. But this is not the case. Any garden decor items with a religious bent to them are, broadly speaking, nicely done, and only respectfully represent the religious ideas surrounding their imagery.
For instance, garden statues are incredibly popular. One of the most popular types of statues is that of baby angels. These are so popular that they actually bear little reminder of religion in the minds of most people who see them. The same is not true though of statues with specific religios import, such as a statue of the Buddha in meditation posture or a statue of the Virgin Mary in prayer.
These types of religious garden decor can play a role in transforming the garden into a serene experience. They suggest taking a deeper look into the garden, taking a deeper look into the experience of the garden itself, when visiting. Some religious or spiritual traditions hold gardening as sacred in and of itself, such as Zen Buddhism, where the care and procurement of different plants is integrated into Zen metaphors and lessons on the meaning of Zen and the meaning of life.
The garden is not a place to start controversy or debate. But religious garden decor need not do any of those things. Religious statues and plaques are a wonderful reminder to stop and smell the roses, quite literally. While made only of earth and stone, they often suggest that the garden can be a spiritual place in and of itself if we only stop and pay attention.