|The sundial is an ancient device used to
tell time based on the position of the sun
in the sky. As the sun moves across the sky,
it shines on a pointer (gnomon) that creates
a shadow on the sundial surface to indicate
the time. Today we use clocks to tell time
but sundials are still a popular and admired
addition to any garden or backyard. Coming
in a wide variety of designs, materials,
and prices, you can select a sundial that
fits your interest and budget, whether you
make it yourself, buy it pre-made or have
it custom made.
Before you buy a sundial, here are a few
things to consider:
- The three most popular styles of sundials
- horizontal - a flat plate resting on the
ground or a pedestal
- armillary - an open globe with a arrow as
a pointer usually placed on a pedestal
- vertical - where a sundial is installed on
a south-facing wall.
- If you want the sundial raised, you will
need to purchase one that comes with a pedestal,
purchase a pedestal that matches/coordinates
with the sundial, or place it on a post,
railing, tree stump, etc.
- To tell time, the sundial must be level and
the pointer directed toward ttrue north.
For accuracy, the sundial must be designed
and constructed for your home’s latitude.
- Some wall sundials are combined with flower
planters and some horizontal sundials with
birdbaths for more versatile use.
- For a more personal touch, look for a sundial
with an engraved saying or get one that lets
you select an engraving. A custom engraving
is a great gift to commemorate a birthday,
anniversary, or other special occasion.
If you are looking for an unusual decor item,
the armillary (globe) sundial can be used
indoors as a sculpture or art piece, but
without sunlight, it will no longer be able
to determine time.