Hello, and thank you for taking the time to read and answer my question.
I am writing a book on gardening, and in the section covering Asian style gardening techniques and plants, I would like to address the issue of using Buddha statues in the garden. My initial reaction is that non-Buddhists should not put Buddha statues in their gardens. But then I thought that perhaps I am projecting my own cultural and religious opinions where they don't belong, and I should "go to the source" so to speak. I plan on speaking with a Colorado-based Buddhist monk who is also a renowned landscape designer next week about this topic. I am hoping that you all can help educate me on the issues regarding using Buddha statues in the garden, so that I can ask informed questions when I speak with him.
To succinctly state my questions:
1) Is it appropriate for non-Buddhists to use Buddhist statuary in their gardens?
2) If there are circumstances in which such people could respectfully use Buddhist statuary in their gardens, are there guidelines for use, placement, care of the statuary, etc?
Thank you very much!