For thousands of years, people from various parts of the world have used statuary to add focal points to gardens. In fact, many of today’s garden statues mimic designs first used by Romans and Greeks, in addition to those inspired by contemporary artists. Nature provides another popular theme for these outdoor accents.
Add birdbaths and fountains to the range of possibilities, and the choices can become a little overwhelming. This guide to the best concrete garden statues looks at both the aesthetic and physical aspects of these striking items. Read on to learn how to make an informed decision about the concrete statues that will best suit the outdoor spaces around your home, then explore some of the top-rated options on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: Fleur De Lis Living Renville Cast Stone Urn Planter
- BEST BUDGET: Campania International Cardinal Statue
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Birch Lane Erdmann Concrete Fountain
- BEST FOR ZEN SPACES: Bloomsbury Market Ilse Meditating Buddha Zen Statue
- BEST FOR MODERN GARDENS: Ivy Bronx Pitre Dorset Cement Sphere Fountain
- BEST TRADITIONAL GARDEN: Fleur de Lis Living Quan Angelo De Ezio Statue
- BEST FOR CLASSICAL GARDENS: Astoria Grand Mcduffy Obelisk Statue
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Concrete Garden Statues
There are hundreds—perhaps thousands—of different concrete garden statues available on the market today. While style is a very personal choice, several key elements are still worth considering that will help to clarify your needs and focus on choosing the best concrete garden statue for your outdoor space. This section looks at these features in more detail to help guide your decision.
The best concrete garden statues bring a host of benefits to your garden. They are a quick and easy way to add visual interest and create a theme for a particular outdoor area. Depending on the type, a concrete garden statue can add sound and movement and also be useful.
Concrete fountains are a practical and stylish way to introduce moving water to your garden. As well as providing a soothing, cooling medium, fountains are generally much easier to install than a backyard pond. Birdbaths are not only an attractive addition to an outdoor space, they’re also a valuable resource for our feathered friends, helping to draw them into your garden. Planters allow you to add flowers or shrubs in areas where ordinary borders are impractical.
Overall, it’s worth spending some time thinking about both the visual appeal of each element and the practical functionality it can offer.
Size and Material
Size and material are important considerations when choosing the best concrete garden statues. A large part of those considerations is the visual impact of the piece. A big statue makes a bold statement, whereas a smaller option might be an interesting but more subtle accent. Size will usually have an impact on cost as well.
“Concrete” is a general term that actually equates to many different compositions. You’ll want to know a little more about the various materials used to construct these statues to understand which is most appropriate for your needs.
- The concrete used to create many garden statues is dense and heavy, and these statues will require a firm base. You can’t just place them on a lawn because they will sink into the soil and topple over. Care needs to be taken with these models to limit this danger.
- Lightweight concrete is another option for garden statues. However, while it may be described as “lightweight,” you may still need to check the weight. These statues are easier to move, but the stability of tall statues will still be limited. Consider a way to anchor this type of statue, particularly if there are children and pets running around the yard.
- Reinforced concrete—a combination of concrete and fiberglass—is a popular option. It provides increased durability because the fiberglass is virtually unaffected by cold or wet environments.
- Fiberstone, sometimes described simply as “stone” by statue manufacturers, is a mixture of powdered stone and fiberglass. Again, this option is more durable than concrete and when well made, it can feature the look of an expensive stone carving.
Note: Regardless of the type of concrete, always drain fountains before the cold winter months. Freezing water can crack all types of concrete.
If your choice of concrete garden statue includes a fountain, then it will require power. Batteries aren’t practical, leaving either solar power or a direct electrical connection as a solution.
While the quality of solar panels is improving all the time, the amount of power available for the fountain’s pump is usually directly related to the size of the panel. In a contemporary setting, a panel might not be a problem, but it’s likely to be incongruous next to a statue of Venus, for example. Thought then has to go into siting the panel, which needs maximum sunlight for adequate performance.
The alternative is to run a cable from the home. Exposed cable is not recommended, so it needs to go in trunking underground. This is not a particularly difficult task, but for those who don’t have the necessary skill set, consider calling a qualified electrician. A GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) should always be fitted with outdoor electrical connections. In the event of a fault or accident, it can prevent electrocution.
Style and Theme
The sheer variety of concrete garden statues means there’s likely a style or theme for all tastes. You might already have a general idea of the style of statue you’d like to place in your garden, but the following descriptions may help:
- Obelisks, Romanesque statues, and angels are striking figures that draw the eye. They make good focal points, either as a centerpiece to a border or at the end of green corridors.
- Urns, planters, and birdbaths are often best in traffic areas where visitors to a garden can enjoy plants or watch visiting birds.
- Lions and dragons are classic entryway pieces, essentially sentries guarding the home.
- Animals and birds can help create a more natural, rural feel, especially when placed in random positions in a garden.
You’ll also want to think about how concrete garden statues will fit with your home decor:
- Cherubs offer classical grandeur with a touch of playfulness.
- Greek and Roman gods generally accompany a more formal garden, perhaps with topiary.
- Globes, Chinese lanterns, and buddhas often suit minimalist or contemporary surroundings.
Color and Finish
Style and theme will also have an impact on the color and finish you choose in a concrete garden statue. If you want to maintain crisp, clean lines, then it’s a good idea to treat the concrete garden statue with a protective coating. These are easy to apply with a brush or spray and limit the effects of weather elements and mildew. On the other hand, pre-aged concrete is also a popular finish, as this type of statue looks like it has been in the garden for years even when brand new.
Of course, concrete doesn’t have to be gray. The range of available colors can be extensive and mimic different types of stone. Some also include finishes that give the appearance of aged bronze or copper (verdigris).
Our Top Picks
Learning about the key features of the best concrete garden statues certainly provides useful insight prior to shopping online. However, it’s no substitute for looking at the actual designs. These top picks represent some of the top-rated options on the market, providing examples of several styles and materials, all arranged in individual categories to help make the best possible choice for any garden.
This French-styled urn planter from Fleur De Lis Living features an appealing Greco-Roman design that looks much like ornamental stoneware from classic gardens like Versailles. It is made in the USA using real crushed stone with fiberglass reinforcement. This planter is lighter than an equivalent concrete model, yet also more durable. It is also highly resistant to cracking or fading.
The finished item is hand-painted and stained to give the appearance of age. It can be supplied with or without a drainage hole. The planter has a total height of 18 inches, with a useful planting depth of 11 inches. Despite the realistic stone appearance, it weighs just 8 pounds. While this planter is safe to clean with warm water and a cloth or sponge, it should not be scrubbed.
The Campania International cardinal statue is an attractive representation of an American garden favorite at a budget-friendly price. It is made in the USA from cast stone, which is a refined, high-quality concrete that produces a realistic copy of the natural material. The statue is available in a dozen weather-resistant patinas and colors. Each one is hand-finished by the company’s artisans.
This affordable statue stands 6 inches tall and weighs just 2 pounds, making it a delicate and delightful addition to any informal garden area. It is easy to clean with a soft cloth and dish detergent. However, don’t use abrasive cleaning chemicals and bleach as they will damage the finish.
The sculptural concrete fountain from Birch Lane provides a quiet, soothing flow of water over its tiered surface. While described as a “tabletop” model by the manufacturer, it weighs a hefty 62 pounds, so consideration will need to be given to the strength of any support. Nine different finishes allow shoppers to choose an appearance that suits contemporary or classic locations.
The fountain has a finished height of 18.5 inches. It comes in two pieces, and 6 feet of included cable connects the pump. Some assembly and patience are required to outfit a garden with this large piece. Nevertheless, it offers great value given the size and functionality.
Buddha statues have long been used to bring a sense of quiet serenity to garden spaces. This highly detailed piece from Bloomsbury Market is a great example. The statue is made from fiberclay—a combination of high-grade lightweight concrete and fiberglass—which gives it the traditional appearance of a fine sculpture. This material also provides excellent weather resistance.
At 25.6 inches tall, this Buddha statue is quite an impressive piece, yet thanks to the composite construction, it weighs just 21.8 pounds. Place this versatile item on the ground or position it on a suitable plinth. It is easy to maintain the pristine finish with warm water, dish detergent, and a soft cloth or sponge.
The Pitre Dorset cement sphere fountain from Ivy Bronx brings a sophisticated design to the modern garden. The structure creates an eye-catching focal point, while the gently trickling water helps add a sense of tranquility. The hard-wearing concrete construction is finished with a patina that provides a naturally aged appearance.
The finished sculpture is 34.7 inches tall and weighs 42.9 pounds. The included pump recycles the water, so no plumbing is required, and 11.5 feet of cable is included for wiring to a 120-volt supply. It’s important that the piece is level to achieve an even flow of water over the surface of the globe. Some assembly is required.
This stylish Fleur De Lis angel statue is made from fine concrete with magnesium oxide added in during manufacturing. This material ensures added resistance to mold and mildew and helps prevent cracking in cold temperatures. The statue is a handcrafted original created with exceptional detail. The authentic stone features an overlay of a carefully distressed finish. While well-protected from the worst effects of weathering, this statue will develop its own patina over time.
At 45 inches tall and with a wingspan of 33 inches, the angel makes an impressive centerpiece to a border or a focal point at the end of a garden avenue. Despite the large size, it weighs a very reasonable 37.49 pounds. In line with the timeless appearance, cleaning is not usually recommended.
There’s no aesthetic more classical than pillars and obelisks; they’ve been used to delineate seating areas, paths, and green corridors for centuries. This obelisk from American manufacturer Astoria Grand is made from cast-stone powder and reinforced with fiberglass, which makes it lighter than ordinary concrete—and tougher, too. Rest assured this statue can stand up to whatever the weather throws at it.
The obelisk is 36 inches tall and weighs just 18 pounds. It has been carefully stained and finished by hand to give an authentic, aged appearance. While cleaning is possible, only mild soaps should be used and care must be taken not to damage the weathered effect.
FAQs About Concrete Garden Statues
The previous sections have provided lots of valuable information on what to look for when choosing the best concrete garden statues. However, you may still have a few questions that have not been answered. The following section should address most lingering queries.
Q. How can I clean a concrete garden statue?
Simply remove dust and dry dirt with a soft nylon-bristled brush. A toothbrush will get into the smallest nooks and crannies. Remove mildew by hand with a solution of bleach, dish detergent, and TSP (trisodium phosphate). However, be aware that bleach and similar products can inadvertently remove carefully applied aged finishes that are perhaps best left alone. Avoid pressure washers that could cause serious damage.
Q. How do I preserve a concrete garden statue?
Clear concrete sealer is an effective preservative that you can brush on or apply with a spray bottle. Treatment is usually recommended twice a year.
Q. How do I age a concrete statue?
Consider a commercial treatment that you can mix and paint on the statue to achieve an aged finish. Traditional methods involve either painting vinegar or lemon juice on the statue, which eats into the surface, or covering the statue in yogurt. Microbes and mold then take hold and quickly give the statue a naturally aged look.