Our gardening expert writes:
I've been brought up to believe that statuary can bring a touch of class to any garden. Classical nudes are usually the best (providing they have all the right bits in the right places) and can be handy for hanging your jerkin on if things get hot while busying yourself in the undergrowth. I've got Aphrodite round the back, clutching a conch shell (which is where I keep the Slug Death). Artemis, in another corner, has a prominent right nipple on to which Mrs Dibstick hangs her bag of clothes pegs.
They're a funny lot, Greek gods and goddesses. If you're thinking of having one in to your garden, it may be worth spending just a few moments looking up details and background to see what you are getting, before you install in the shrubbery. Dionysus (or Bacchus to the Romans) was god of wine, parties, chaos, drunkenness, drugs and ecstasy, which makes him an ever popular choice for the patio. But he was also the god of wild vegetation, meaning that may not be such a wise addition to the Cotswold flagstones after all. Apollo, with his long hair and ideal physique, was, among other things, god of manly beauty. On the head of our Apollo, out the front, is where I often place my gardening cap and, I have to say, the resemblance is remarkable. But he was also god of plague.
Not everyone is interested in what happened long ago, of course, regarding it all as old hat. If that kind of person is you, then take another look at some of the latest things now available from the catalogues of garden ornaments. Statues that move! It's marvellous what they get up to these days thanks to solar power: winking cherubs, Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, flexing her come-hither finger, young Ganymede getting rather excited. It's a lovely way to transform a quiet corner and to set the neighbours talking.
Next month: easy ways to keep your garden lit to daylight levels throughout the hours of darkness, such as every responsible homeowner would wish to do.