Fountains, statues, garden gnomes, bird baths… most of us have some kind of ornament or feature in our garden to add that finishing touch. But while you are admiring the fruits of your labours, have you considered whether they are safe?
The last thing you want is for your statues to fall over or your gnomes to trip people up. Here’s a handy guide to statue and ornament safety in the garden.
Securing Statues Safely
Statues, especially larger ones, should not be free standing. Statues can be made from concrete, cast iron, marble, which are all heavy materials, and would seriously hurt someone if they were to fall.
Invest in a sturdy plinth to set your statue on and fix them firmly together. There are a wide range of adhesives to suit the material of your statue. Ask a professional for his advice and buy a plinth that matches your statue to make the job easier.
If you have a particularly heavy sculpture or the wind is more blustery where you live, you could make your own concrete foundations. To keep your statue looking attractive it’s a good idea to build the foundations partly below the surface of your garden. Then you can drill your holes, use mounting bolts to anchor the statue to its foundations, and it would all remain unseen.
Safely Installing Water features
Fountains are the most critical garden accessory as far as safety is concerned. You have a potentially dangerous combination of electricity and water and it is essential to make sure you have the proper electrical outlets. It’s best to call in a qualified electrician for peace of mind.
Some fountain designs can topple when they are knocked or blown about by strong winds so ensure your fountain has a solid base. If you have small children a decorative fence should be erected to stop them falling in.
Wall fountains need to be firmly fixed to your wall to prevent any risk of them coming away and possibly hurting somebody. Never leave them free standing as they are designed to be attached to a wall.
Consider Bird Bath Safety Too
As with fountains, bird baths need a secure base. If you decide to have running water get an electrician in to connect it up. Plant flowers round the base to make it stand out. A bird bath does not need to have easy access, after all, you’ll be watching the birds from a distance.
Solar Power is Safer
An alternative source of power for any feature with running water is solar power. Some products have an integrated solar panel, some connect to a panel via a cable.
Although this is safer than running a mains cable out into the garden and the voltage levels are lower, you still need to take precautions. Ensure any cable is well buried and that the solar panel cannot be bumped into and you will save money and make your garden safer.
Gnomes and Other Small Ornaments
Draw attention to smaller garden ornaments such as garden gnomes. It’s easy for people who don’t know the layout of your garden to trip over unseen objects. Plant flowers around ornaments to make them more of a feature or elevate them so they can be seen.
Install spotlights to light them up at night, which will make them easy to see as well as adding ambience to your garden. There are all sorts of different lights on the market and they can become a feature in themselves.
Planning Leads to Safety
Think before you decide on your feature as to where it could go and how you can make it as safe as possible. Consider children and visitors to your garden and do everything in your power to protect them.