Stone or metal sundials are attractive and interesting additions to your garden. The sundial pictured here is made of bronze, is about 16 inches wide, and sold for $510 at a recent Kamelot auction in Philadelphia.
It is complicated to set a garden sundial, but the summer solstice on June 21st is the best day to do it. The summer solstice marks the point that the sun will be highest in the Northern Hemisphere sky—the day with the longest period of daylight.
Sundials have been used for centuries to tell time during the day. As the sun appears to move across the sky, it casts a shadow across the sundial's pointer, called a gnomon, onto the sundial surface, which is marked with lines indicating the hours of the day. A sundial can be fairly accurate if the angle of the gnomon and the position of the hourlines are properly aligned.