The flower garden, even that of the tiniest dimensions, does not seem complete without some garden ornament, and in this day of great possibilities in this line, with the material procurable but but little expense, the desire is easy of fulfilment.
The architectural adornments of the garden cover many features: from the humble seat to the magnificent garden house.
The use of garden ornaments will depend greatly on their proper placing. The bird bath or fountain, placed in the center of a garden, on the axis of the paths, is appropriate and satisfying, even though it may be one of very simple design.
The sundial, upon which so many lines have been inscribed, both pleasant and harsh, is a garden ornament of many years' standing. The designs range from the simplest and most severe to the most elaborately ornate.
The sundial is usually treated as a central feature, or placed at the terminus of a walk, and is generally quite conspicuous as one enters the garden. It is, therefore, a pleasant relief at times to find it treated as an isolated feature and placed in some secluded nook where it conveys much more charm by coming upon it unexpectedly. If such a position is chosen care must be exercised in the plantings to avoid high growing plants which would interfere with the sun's rays on the dial.
The expertness with which cement is manipulated today has made it possible to produce substantial sundials at a moderate cost, and they may be had in many unique and diversified designs.
When setting the pedestal care should be taken to see that a substantial foundation is provided; this foundation may be constructed of brick, stone or concrete; if of brick or stone it should be laid in cement mortar.
If the sundial is placed where the turf will run up to the base the foundation should be built the neat width or diameter, as turf burns out readily in shallow soil over stone, brick or concrete.
In choosing a pedestal of artificial stone it is advisable to select one of simple outline and free from ornamentation, as the elements soon work havoc with the cement ornaments.
The sundial should always be elevated at least one foot above the surrounding level and the paved area should be wide enough to allow one to stand comfortably upon it when reading the dial.
The bird bath (Fig. 138) is an attractive feature, worthy of much wider usage. It is not alone charming as an architectural feature, but has the additional merit of attracting the birds to the confines of the garden, enlivening the scene by the touch of life, color and song.
The bird font should be set in a conspicuous position where the little feathered visitors may be watched from some vantage point.
It is important to provide a firm foundation for the font and to furnish water direct through a galvanized wrought iron pipe connected with the general water supply. A good fountain spray may be secured by using an adjustable hose nozzle, which will provide a single column of water or a fine spray, whichever is desired.
The basin should always be placed on a fairly high pedestal as a protection against cats and other animals which prey upon the birds.