Characteristics of garden statues
Gardens, and in particular the so-called "Italian gardens", have always been characterized by the presence of decorative statues to embellish paths and flowerbeds. Copies of famous statues made of concrete embellish the gardens of yesterday and today, since only very few people could afford original statues, and it would be inappropriate to place marble statues outdoors. The gardens of our times can be seen a bit like the legacy of past eras, since the custom of decorating them with elegant statues has not been abandoned at all. These statues come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and once placed they become the focal point that draws the eye to a particular section of the garden. Furthermore, a statue is able to recreate a particular atmosphere and encourage guests to stop and relax. The first factor to take into consideration when choosing a garden statue is its size. This artefact must be well proportioned to the size of the place in which it will be housed: if too small, the statue will not be sufficiently noticeable and will be "dispersed" in the surrounding background. If, on the contrary, the statue is excessively large, it will be an obstacle to passage, disproportionate and with the risk of even being defined as "tacky". Depending on the budget available, it is possible to choose between different types of statues: the cheapest are undoubtedly those made of concrete, which among other things is a material that also lends itself to the most complex artistic creations. There are also statues made of marble dust or stone, but especially in the latter case they are decidedly expensive objects and certainly not within the reach of all budgets. The subjects depicted in garden statues are generally gods of antiquity, characters from mythology or simply little angels or other decorative figures. For the more extravagant customers, there are also statues depicting famous people from the world of music and entertainment. The choice of one or the other subject obviously varies based on personal tastes.
Install a garden statue
After choosing where to place the statue, it is a good idea to prepare an adequate base that allows the ground to support its weight without giving way. As regards small statues, generally there are no stability problems, while the situation changes a lot when dealing with larger statues which can weigh up to several tens of kilograms. The ground must be well pressed to support the weight of the statue, and it is advisable to pour concrete at ground level on which to place the artefact. Many companies that market statues also make available to their customers special bases, always in concrete, on which to place them in a raised position. Flowerbeds with flowers or ground cover plants can be placed all around the statue, in such a way as to create a colored covering capable of hiding the base of the structure and the technical solutions used for fixing from view. If space permits, it is possible to set up one or more benches in the garden near the statue, which encourage people to stop for some time to relax or chat.
Cleaning and repairing garden statues
The statues, always being outdoors, tend to get dirty and accumulate biological encrustations (mosses, algae…). To bring them back to their original splendor, it is a good idea to carry out periodic cleaning operations. The first 'detergent' to try is undoubtedly water, which is often already capable of removing much of the dirt if combined with scrubbing with a brush. In case of more stubborn dirt, we recommend using a special neutral pH detergent solution to clean concrete or stone surfaces, always gently scraping and rinsing with plenty of water. Unfortunately, in the garden it can happen that a falling branch damages a statue, or cracks form in the concrete due to the intense winter frost. Garden statues, even if made of concrete, are sometimes small works of art that it would be a shame to have to replace due to such damage. In these cases, no problem: it is possible to limit the damage by intervening with repair operations on the statue. The statue must first be wetted with the water hose, and then carefully rubbed with a non-abrasive sponge in order to remove dirt that could interfere with the repair. Once cleaning is complete, the statue should be left to dry well for 24 hours. Then the damaged part is covered with a layer of epoxy adhesive product, possibly with the help of a blade. The broken part must be reinserted onto the statue, holding it tightly for a few minutes. Let everything rest for at least a quarter of an hour, and then scrape away the visible residues of adhesive paste. The statue must be covered with a cloth to protect it from the weather, and after a day or two it can be uncovered again.
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