Roosters and new beginnings

According to legend, when roosters crow at the crack of dawn, ghosts, spirits, and all manner of things that go bump in the night vanish. It’s a great story, but what about garden art roosters? Despite the fact that they don’t crow, folks nevertheless seem smitten by the figures, tucking them in flower beds, elevating them on stone pillars, and even stationing them on rooftops.

A showy rooster poses beside showy flowers. All images by Diane Morey Sitton.

So what is it about these cocky, self-assured birds that compel gardeners to put their likenesses in their yards?

It’s rise and shine for this colorful bird.

Perhaps it’s roosters’ long-standing association with new beginnings. After all, there’s not a morning that goes by without their boisterous crowing. “Rise and shine,” they seem to announce in a voice as piercing as a ray of sunshine. “A new day and new possibilities are waiting.”

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Roadside nurseries are a good source for rooster art.

Besides inspiring hope and the promise of new beginnings, roosters radiate confidence. It only takes one glance at their flamboyant plumage, fiery spirit, and pompous strutting to know that roosters rule the roost. Roosters’ high-energy personalities add to their appeal by connecting them to vigilance and courage. Hence, the attention-grabbing birds are often depicted as guards on weathervanes, spires, and poles. According to feng shui, roosters bring good luck and prosperity.

This patriotic red, white, and blue rooster proudly flaunts stars and stripes.

But these days it isn’t the dusty-old symbolism surrounding these feisty birds that attracts gardeners to rooster art; more likely, it’s the vibrant colors, whimsical shapes, and large selection of materials that set gardeners’ decorator instincts aflutter.

This lucky rooster has something to crow about: he is perfectly placed in a beautiful garden.

Start with color. Yellow, pink, blue purple, red: no matter where the color wheel stops, there’s rooster art waiting to decorate a garden. Often, multiple colors adorn the same bird. But that’s not all; rooster caricatures abound. There are rebar legs that tower like stilts, combs the size of Texas, and beaks so large they could snatch all the bugs at a summer picnic…in one bite.

Despite having a super-sized beak, this quirky rooster seems at a loss for words.

Typically, the most whimsical roosters are crafted from metal; ceramic roosters number among the most colorful. Concrete roosters tend to be the most proportionately accurate; they compliment traditional gardens. There, they perch atop brick walls and pose beside clipped hedges.

Harvest themed roosters are common.

Crowing at the crack of dawn…that’s a job for barnyard birds. No matter that garden art roosters are as silent as fog on a misty morning. They signal new beginnings, by using their colors, shapes, and association with history to invigorate and renew garden spaces.

Posted by Diane Morey Sitton
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