Sundials are an ancient form of measuring time by relying on the position of the sun and the shadow that it casts. In many gardens, sundials are also used as decorative pieces. A sundial brings an element of cultured antiquity to your garden
, and contradictorily enough, it's something of a timeless addition. The first known sundials date back to ancient Egypt and Babylonia in the form of obelisks and shadow clocks and were used for astronomy. There are references to them in the Old Testament and in the writings of Roman scholars. Over the years designers of sundials have been over to create mottoes as part of their design. These mottoes often make reference to the inevitable passage of time, whereas some are more whimsical. Probably the most common way to display a sundial top is on a plinth or column. These can add real charm to either a traditional formal garden or cottage garden
These days good quality reconstituted stone plinths with solid brass tops can be bought relatively cheaply and will soon look as though they have always been a part of your garden. The original armilllary sphere was designed by the famous astronomer Ptolemy over two thousand years ago with the design now being very much a part of the essence of an English garden
. Whether its to celebrate and remember an important occasion or just to add some elegance to your garden sundials are truly beautiful ornaments that will enhance your garden whatever its size.
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