How to Choose Sundials

Last Updated on March 1, 2023 by Ellen Christian

Have you ever thought about useful garden decorations? Learn how to choose sundials for your garden or accent area on your property.

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I love my gardens. They’re peaceful and relaxing, and I love walking through them in the summer and enjoying the birds and flowers and the scents of my herbs.  Last fall, I was feeling like something was missing from my gardens but I couldn’t figure out what it was. 

How to Choose Sundials as Useful Garden Decorations

How to Choose Sundials

After looking through gardening magazines and talking to my husband, I finally figured out what was missing. I really wanted some type of garden decoration in with the plants.  I didn’t really want to add plastic dwarfs or colored gazing balls.  They’re really popular, but what I wanted was something decorative and useful at the same time.

It finally struck me, I really want a sundial right smack dab in the middle of my garden!   I don’t want just any sundial.  I want one that will last for years and continue to be both functional and attractive.

How to Choose Sundials as Useful Garden Decorations

Sundials are the oldest known time telling device (the shadow stick).  You don’t need batteries or electricity to tell what time it is with a sundial.  As the sun moves through the sky, the sundial tracks the time based on the length of the shadow of the shadow stick.


Consider the material your sundial is made of. Stainless steel is weatherproof and lasts a long time. You won’t need to worry about it fading or cracking like other materials. You may want to choose a stone base but opt for stainless steel movable parts. Cast iron is another popular choice for sundials.


I would have loved to add a huge sundial to my garden, but realistically, I just did not have the space for that. Sundials come in a variety of different sizes that will fit any space. Be sure to measure the area you have available taking into account how the sun will shine on your dial. Be certain there are no trees or buildings blocking the light.

If you’re interested in a DIY project for yourself and/or the kids, check out the low price of this wooden sundial kit.


Do you want a sundial that will sit directly on the ground in your garden? Or, do you prefer a sundial that will be raised up on a pedestal? Carefully consider the height of the plants in your garden to determine whether or not they will obstruct the light to your sundial.

What other factors do you consider when choosing a sundial?

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