Tag Archives: dragon decor

Dragons, Gargoyles, and Fairies

Creatures of myth and legend represent the fruits of the imagination, and hearken back to ancient tales told at hearths that kept the wild, unknown fears of the night at bay. Some of those creatures were good, but most were dangerous and best avoided at all costs. They took the form of fierce, scaled beasts, devilish creatures, and other concoctions of frightened minds. Most seem to have been inspired by actual fears of snakes, big cats, and other potentially dangerous animals but a few of the most famous creatures seem to have little relation with known wildlife.

One such creature is the dragon. While serpents do come to mind when speaking of dragons, most depictions of these magical creatures look more like dinosaurs or massive, winged lizards. However, they are much bigger than any lizard, some look rather like a combination of a lizard and a snake, and, in more than a few legends, dragons are highly intelligent, conniving creatures with magical powers. Most are also equipped with their own, personal flamethrower, and, like an evil tyrant, demand tribute from the lands over which they rule.

However, despite tales of dragons and dragon-like beasts in cultures across the globe, those same tales spoke of dragons in the past tense. They were said to be creatures that used to exist but haven’t been seen in a long time. No one knew if they still occurred but they were suspected to persist in remote, wild mountains, vast deserts, and the “wastelands” where few people dared to roam. As such places were explored, no one ever came across a single dragon, and none have ever been found outside the realm of fantasy. That said, the allure of these magical, powerful beasts lingers to this day and we see them in novels, films, and as mesmerizing garden decor like Sword, the Arthurian Dragon Statue.

The gargoyle is another intriguing, magical creature. Like the dragon, this beast is equipped with an array of personal weapons. It has long, sharp claws, a set of fangs, and a fierce, muscled appearance meant to intimidate any who oppose it. Also like the dragon, no one has ever laid eyes on an actual gargoyle other than the ones made of stone that line the ramparts of Gothic cathedrals. Compared to dragons, fewer tales of gargoyles exist, and most would agree that the modern depiction of these strange beasts were invented during the Middle Ages to guard churches against evil spirits while also trying to remind church-goers of the perils that can come from giving way to sin.

Similar to the dragon, nowadays, we see gargoyles in a lot more places than old, French cathedrals. Wickedly fun statues like the Boden Gargoyle Sentinel Statue can be seen accompanying sculptures of angels and other garden statuary in many a backyard, and some gargoyle sculptures also work well as interior Gothic decor. They can also be seen sharing garden space with what might be the most perilous of fantasy-themed creatures, fairies.

Garden fairies like the beautiful Fiona, the Flower Fairy Sculpture are representative of the modern, commonly held, elegant view of these magical creatures. However, before the Victorian era, fairies were never regarded as graceful, cheerful creatures. The old tales that speak of the fairy folk invariably refer to them as either mischievous, easily crossed creatures that should be avoided at all costs, or absolutely dangerous, evil beings that want to harm people. Since far more people swear to have seen and had negative experiences with gnomes and fairies than with dragons or gargoyles, fairies might actually be the most frightening of these three famous legendary creatures.

Discover a wide selection of fantastic, high quality garden statuary and unique decor at Design Toscano.

Beautiful Garden Decor for Rainy Days

Summer is often synonymous with sunny days but we can’t have clear skies every day of the week.  A reality check usually comes in the form of occasional showers and thunderstorms during the summer months, but the rain doesn’t have to ruin our day. We need that water to help the garden grow, replenish reservoirs, and give us a cool respite from the hot weather. Rain can also fill our garden fountains and backyard koi ponds, and the sound of falling rain on the roof can be soothing and make for a romantic evening.

It also gives the backyard a fresh new look, especially if we live in an area that has been experiencing a drought. The rain can also work with certain types of decor by lending more personality to the backyard. Although any garden statue designed for outdoor use will be alright when subjected to rain, these suggestions will help decorate the garden with sculptures that work especially well in wet, rainy weather:

Colorful garden statues: Those beautiful angel statues will still look fine in the rain but sculptures painted in bright colors really stand out during overcast, rainy weather. Anyone who has worked with a camera eventually realizes that bright, sunny days aren’t all that conducive to taking photos that highlight bright colors. The higher levels of light often over-expose images, sometimes to the point of showing white instead of yellow or green. Although our eyes work better than cameras, most bright colors can still look lighter than they really are on a bright, sunny day. Compare that to an overcast or rainy day, and it can be surprising how much more vibrant the colors look whether we use a camera or our own vision. Whether the backyard features classic statuary or just a few animal garden statues, this is why it’s worth it to put a few bright and beautiful sculptures in the garden. Garden gnomes are a great choice, as are colorful garden welcome signs.

Garden fairies: These little beauties work well in rainy weather because they are associated with nature and all of her elements. Their leafy garments and delicate features lend an enchanting, natural touch to any garden, especially during wet weather. They just seem to fit in with the scene, especially colorful sprites like the Red and Green Fairy of Acorn Hollow Statues, and exquisite decor like the Twinkle Toes Fairy Statue that seems to take delight in the falling rain.

Aquatic decor: Marine and aquatic-themed decor are always in their element during rainy weather. Many such sculptures are painted in bright colors, and look right at home when the rain comes down. Such decor includes mermaid statues and sculptural mermaid tables, wall decor that takes the form of crabs and other creatures of the deep, and fun sculptures of beautifully painted frogs like the Tropical Blue Frog Statue.

Unique rain gutters: Although any quality sculpture will look nice in the rain, some decor is indeed designed to work with a downpour. In the case of rain gutters, their main function is to channel rain off of the roof and to the ground. There’s no reason why we can’t also leverage those functional home accessories to act as interesting decor, and they can be associated with more than one theme. Folks that like medieval or Gothic decor, or would just love to add a unique touch to the home, might enjoy Roland the Gargoyle Rain Gutter and Ranier, the Sculptural Dragon Rainspout. If we would rather go with a fun, easy-going look, rainspouts that show animals or gnomes are another good bet.

Find the best selection of unique garden statuary and high quality decor for every season at Design Toscano.

Do Dragons Have a Place in Modern Times?

Dragons! These mythical beasts captivate us with tales of their power, intelligence, cunning capability, and frightening reptilian appearance. Although no one has ever seen a live, fire-breathing dragon, what is it about these mythical creatures that we find so intriguing? No matter how much time we spend searching for dragons, we are never going to find one, nor even evidence that they existed.

Nevertheless, millions of people from a variety of cultures continue to be enthralled by tales of huge, scaled beasts with natural flame-throwing ability and a penchant for magic. Throw greed into the mix and we have a frightening beast that makes regular appearances in fantasy novels, video games, and films.

The idea of dragons has been around so long, we aren’t really sure when they made their first appearance. Some say that dragons made their debut on the walls of the ancient Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Among the motifs shown on those old ruins are images of creatures that do indeed resemble a dragon or some sort of small dinosaur. It’s difficult to find a match for any known animal so we can only assume that the artist was revealing the fruits of his or her imagination. The alternative hypothesis is that dragons did indeed exist during the days of Babylon, or that they at least lived on in the consciousness of the Babylonians.

The most likely explanation for depictions of dragons in Babylon, ancient China, medieval Europe, and so many other places throughout history does not involve kidnapped princesses and valiant knights. It is related to the finding of fossils and lack of a proper, science-based explanation. Before the 19th century, when dinosaur bones (or any other fossils) were discovered, any explanation was possible and usually took the form of religious beliefs associated with a global deluge, or, that they were remains of ancient dragons.

In a sense, many of those bones were the remains of dragons, albeit, ones that we refer to as dinosaurs. As far as we know, they didn’t breathe fire nor perform magic, but some of them did come pretty close to descriptions of dragons. Perhaps it comes as no surprise then that China, the country with some of the most prevalent myths about dragons, is the one with the highest number of dinosaur fossils. The deserts of China are a treasure trove of fossils, especially dinosaurs, many of the bones being some of the best preserved dinosaur fossils on the planet.

Many fossils of dinosaurs are discovered in China to this day although we have ceased to believe that they are the remains of dragons. Contrast this to ancient times when people had no concept of the true age of the Earth nor past eras, and it’s easy to see how dragons fit into the equation. All it took was knowledge of common, actual animals like lizards and other reptiles, some imagination (perhaps stoked by various fears), and dragons were born.

However, that brings us to the continued existence of dragons and the modern era. Unlike past ages, we now know that the scaled, winged fire-breathing monsters never existed, and have  good explanations for the appearance of giant, weathered bones. That said, judging by the number of times dragons appear in popular culture (including the popularity of exquisite dragon statues and decor), there’s no question that the mythical, fire-breathing monsters are probably more popular today than they have ever been.

Find the best selection of beautiful dragon decor for the garden and home interior at Design Toscano.