Statues and Lotus Blooms: Growing a Garden of Reverence

Statues and deities can be powerful allies for magnifying intentions, leaving a legacy, or creating a beautiful space that lends itself to reverence, peace and balance. Knowing the spiritual and symbolic meanings associated with a statue can assist in choosing something significant for your life.  What do you want to ‘grow’ or focus on? 

Quan Yin and Ganesha are some of our favorite gods/goddesses to include in the garden for many reasons. Placing these deities can offer unique tools for setting your own intentions.  When placing a Ganesha or a Quan Yin statue, here are a few things to consider. 

Quan Yin: Goddess of Mercy and Compassion

Placing Quan Yin (Kwan Yin, Kuanyin, Guanyin) in the garden or home can welcome and protect all who enter. Her serene presence is said to inspires harmonious marital and family relations.  In Buddhism, she is considered to be the goddess of mercy and compassion and is known to be a protector of children and fishermen.  It is she who will ‘hear the prayers’ of all who call out to her, including those lost at sea.  She is viewed as a soul that reached full enlightenment and no longer needs to reincarnate; however, chooses to do so in order to help others (known as a Bodhisattva).  Having Quan Yin in your life is an excellent reminder of the importance of upholding kindness in human relations.

Quan Yin has a special affinity with the healing powers of water, often depicted with a water dragon, holding a vessel of water or sitting atop a lotus bloom.  The dragon signifies her spiritual powers, and the lotus is a symbol of purity.  The vase that she is holding is often a representation of pure water – the nectar of life.

Quan Yin in a sitting position, suggests that she is at ease – perhaps deep in contemplation or appreciation of her efforts. The sitting Quan Yin shown has her hand in the ‘patience mudra’. Standing Quan Yin is courageously acting as a maternal guardian and enforcer of peace, shown taming the dragon and the sea.

Ganesha: The Remover of Obstacles

Including the elephant-headed Hindu god of beginnings in your garden or home is traditionally done as a way to bless any major new project or undertaking.  Keeping Ganesha happy is said to grant success, prosperity and protection against adversity.  Ganesha is potbellied and generally depicted as holding Indian sweets, of which he is enormously fond of.  In addition to sweets, some of Ganesha’s favorite offerings are red hibiscus, lotus, waterlily, and blue butterfly pea flowers.

Here are some helpful tips for placing Ganesha:

  • Place Ganesha facing north, where his father Shiva is said to reside.
  • Keep only one Ganesha in each area.
  • Do not keep Ganesha in the bedroom or bathroom, or under a staircase.
  • Do not have Ganesha’s back facing the entrance or a room.
  • Left-trunked Ganeshas are ‘cooler’ or ‘easier to please’. Right-trunked Ganeshas are often reserved for temples and are associated with the fiery energies of the sun. Opt for left-trunked Ganeshas.
  • Sitting Ganesha encourages a peaceful environment at home.
  • Standing Ganesha is a better choice for your workplace – bringing energy and enthusiasm to work.
  • Dancing Ganesha is meant to invoke playfulness, whereas reclining Ganesha is said to represent luxury and contentedness.

Both Ganesha and Quan Yin have very different functions, however both are often associated with the lotus bloom – representing purity and a high level of spiritual attainment. Including the lotus plant (nelumbo nucifera) in your garden and can be a beautiful offering or embellishment.  The lotus bloom will draw you in, and the deity will inspire the form and function of the interactions.

Learn How to Grow The Sacred Lotus

Sign up for our annual lotus class with Ken Bernard on Saturday February 18th, 2023 from 10:00 am – 12noon and learn everything you need to know about growing lotus in water container gardens. 

Register online via Eventbrite at

Next Shipment of Statues Arriving Late February

Find your perfect statue at Garden Ponds, where we have the honor of bringing these deities from the hands of our talented Indonesian carvers and artisans to your homes and gardens.  Our next shipment is scheduled to arrive late-February, and we look forward to working with you to find the ideal deity to complement your garden or life.

Garden Ponds is located in Kilauea, next to the Kauai Mini Golf. We are open Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. (Saturdays we are open 10-5).  Give us a call at 808-828-6400.

Some of last year’s lotus blooms at Garden Ponds Nursery in Kilauea

Annual Lotus Class with Ken Bernard at our nursery in Kilauea.  Don’t miss out on this once per year offering.

SItting Ganesha and Quan Yin evoke calm and contentedness. Quan Yin’s hand is in the ‘patience mudra’.