Religious Garden Art
Lots of garden art is just for fun — bunnies, monsters, and butterflies. But sometimes it can be more serious, or at least acknowledging something spiritual. And despite the handwringing, in practice Christian symbols are displayed all over without controversy or condemnation.
Probaly the closest to low stakes fun would be angels. I doubt more than a few percent of Christians really know who angels really are in the formal doctrine of their religion.
Some are barely more than fairies, like this figure (who maybe even is a fairy).
While here is an angel in a classic form, accompanied by a rabbit, which is one of the clearest examples of the capture of earlier non-Christian symbols.
The classical presentation on a column and the dress are a reflection of how the iconography of angels also predate Christianity and pulls in elements from Greek and Roman themes, such as the Goddess Nike.
This art display is a take on the famous Sistine Madonna by Raphael, with the angelic cherubs moved to the top, instead of at the feet of Mary as in the original painting. The form of the cherub is taken directly from the earlier putto, which dates back at least to Roman times as a companion to the goddess Venus.
People sitting on the porch can put their faces into the holes in the main panel and have their photos taken. Note also the statue of the Buddha below.
This statue of Mary is in an untended patch of grass. You can see the value of traditional iconography that makes her still recognizable despite the peeling paint and lack of a label — her cloak and downward glance tells you right away who she is.
Likewise the pale blue on her cloak is an immediate identifier, as obvious as St. Peter and his keys or St. Christopher carrying the tiny Jesus on his shoulders.
She shows up in displays that are clearly a hodge podge…
… and also straightforwardly devotional.