Garden Sundials

Written by Sierra Rein
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Ever since humans learned how to tell time using the sun's rays, garden sundials have been in existence. The first known sundials were in the "backyards" of the Egyptians, who in 3500 B.C. built huge obelisks to help them find the noon hour of the day. Once the day was divided up into smaller parts, sundials became more defined and small notches were made to delineate one period of time from the other.

Garden sundials became the only means necessary for people to know what time it was. Farmers as well as noblemen kept sundials in their front or back yard to tell the time. However, once the invention of the clock began to allow people to tell time regardless of the weather, the sundial became more of a quaint reminder of yesterday.

Today, garden sundials can function as beautiful accent pieces to enhance a backyard or patio design. The most popular looks have been in the style of Roman pillar and decorative Victorian copper. Many copper garden sundials are pre-aged with a verdigris (green) finish to add a more authentic touch.

Proper Installation of Garden Sundials

You will want to make sure that the sundial is oriented in the right direction, with the large "N" pointed towards the north. Use a compass to accurately do this, or you may be half an hour to a few hours off. Make sure it is firmly staked into the ground and that it will not be covered by the shadows of any surrounding trees, shrubs or buildings throughout the day.


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