Garden designer, writer, and TV personality P. Allen Smith suggests adding a bit of whimsy to your garden to make it more personal and interesting. When I saw some ceramic fish installed among perennials at one of the landscaped displays at the 2013 Philadelphia Flower Show, I knew these aquatic creatures would be a fun addition to my garden. I sought out the booth that was selling these fish and found quite an assortment from which to choose.
Fish in The Garden produces fish in metal, wood and ceramic. Some were more suited for outdoors like the ceramic fish I chose. These can easily stay outside in the rain (they said they can remain outside during winter, but I think it would be best to store them inside during freezing temperatures). They offer several lifelike fish species produced in ceramic: trout, koi, and salmon. I chose koi with a blue crystalline glaze. This finish is produced by firing a zinc glaze at 2000 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 hours. The result is a crystalline coating that looks like fish scales.
Fish in the Garden supplies stands but they were too short for my needs. I constructed a similar stand with small block of wood supported by two rods inserted into the bottom. Metal dowels were too expensive so I took the orange driveway markers you find at the hardware store, painted them black and inserted them into the blocks. An open cavity in the bottom of these ceramic fish allow the sculptures to be easily placed on the supporting stands.
I had divided and transferred some ostrich ferns to a hillside bed earlier in spring. These ferns make a wonderful setting for my school of blue koi, resembling underwater plants. I had once thought this hillside garden bed would be a great place for a small waterfall. I guess you could say I got my "water" feature after all, but for a lot less work and money.