Invite statues, figurines and assemblages inspired by the animal kingdom into your garden and enliven your yard with unique creatures and frolicking fauna.


Counterweight butterfly

Birds, bees, and butterflies bring animation to a garden. Indeed all you have to do is look around outside for any given amount of time—even in the most urban garden—to see critters and creatures abound. It’s their season to frisk, flit, frolic, and flutter.


Painted Bird in planter

The backyard is also a natural place for decorating with animal and insect sculptures, whether bought, found or made. They add an instant layer of interest and whimsy, along with a permanent decorative element, to a patio, flowerbed, border or lawn. And they look completely at home among the flora.


Turtle assemblage with flowers

To make your own creatures, look at found objects and materials in new ways: old flatware knives could resemble dragonfly wings, a twisted log may suggest a sinuous snake, broken shears bring to mind a bird’s beak, a tractor disk is similar to a turtle’s shell. The possibilities are as limitless as your imagination.


Shore bird statuette

When assembling your critter, epoxy is ideal for outdoor use. Use clamps when possible to ensure a good bond. Allow epoxy to cure for at least 24 hours before placing your piece in the garden. Find ready-made beasties at craft fairs, flea markets, gift shops and garden centers. Have fun placing them to create sculptural focal points in your garden, the kinds that don’t hop or fly off, or scuttle and slip away, the kind of creatures you can count on each time you step outside.


Assembled heron from a shovel

Bristling with attitude, a heron made of rakes, shovels, and rebar stalks the garden beds.


stone Frog by waterfall

Place your animal sculpture with an eye to the environment. Stand a deer amid a wooded area, set a dog on a grassy lawn, tuck a bug among flowers, nestle a frog by a water feature and put a bird near a birdbath.


Frog planter with grass growing out of the head and a goofy look

Employ a sense of humor when adding creatures to your garden. This whimsical frog planter will guarantee giggles and lift your mood.


Counterweight bird

In a field of zinnias, a simple sculpture, like this counter-weighted flitting bird, stands out and breaks up the uniformity.


Chicken statue in the field

At a glance, this chicken statuette nestled among the foliage and flowers is a pretty convincing stand-in for the real thing.


Tool creature

A rusty crustacean made from welded wrenches and old tools crawls over rocks and shells through a bed of ‘Lucia Dark Blue’ lobelia.


Metal snail

Loops of barrel hoops curled in concentric rings transform into a springy snail.


Flatware dragonfly

Don’t toss that mismatched flatware. Reimagine the forms of old dinner knives as a beautiful dragonfly.


Purple bulb bee

Fashioned from a C9 Christmas light bulb, baling wire, and washers, a busy bug such as this cheeky little bee can be staked into a container or border.


Yellow bulb bee

Have fun playing with colorful options. Stripe a yellow bulb with black for a non-stinging bee. Here’s how to create your own fun flying insect sculpture.

What You’ll Need

  • Old hanger wire (straightened) and baling wire
  • Two metal washers
  • A burned-out light bulb
  • Epoxy


Christmas bulb bee

Twist the baling wire with pliers into a profuse contortion of wings and wrap around neck of bulb. Glue washers side-by-side with epoxy and then to the neck of the bulb. Twist the end of the hanger wire around the neck and push the other end into the ground or into potting soil.

And there you go, a new garden critter statue. Not bad huh?


© Caruth Studio

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