Moving Heavy Statuary in the Garden

I bought a large concrete urn for the garden several months ago. My oldest nick-named it the 'Stone Goblet' and to be honest I was a little offended but I've since taken to using the same name. It's remained homeless and generally in the way until today when we decided it should sit above and behind a stone wall. The problem is this giant "Stone Goblet" is heavy and a little fragile so moving it vertically 3 or 4 feet seemed risky. But actually with a little thought, and collaboration with my very practical wife, it was a snap.

Large concrete urn in garden
Concrete urn that's journeyed down some steps

Unlike the large and heavy pieces of rock in these pictures - I wasn't comfortable muscling the urn into place. Instead we moved it onto a small platform of left-over 2"x6" joists I'd cut into pieces.

Urn has been elevated one layer of wood at a time

The urn was too heavy and fragile to hoist up on to the rock wall all at once but not so heavy that it couldn't be tilted back while a piece of wood was inserted underneath. Next it was tilted the opposite direction so that wood could be inserted on the other side. The process was repeated with each layer of wood until eventually the urn sat at the same height as the adjacent rock. There's a similar technique used construction called wood cribbing

Also notice the smashed corner which is what made me nervous about man handing the urn.

Strong man moving heavy garden urn
Elevated to the next level

I think I'm going to start a GoFundMe campaign for a new hat. Doesn't appear to be much protection from the sun happening in this shot. By the way - this felt precarious. What a disaster a 30ft tumble down the hill into the road would be!

Elevating a heavy urn in the garden
Almost there...
Ready to be moved to it's final resting spot

We used a variety of wood to get just the right height before walking the goblet to it's new home. The plywood shown above was especially useful to avoid catching a soft concrete edge on the much harder stone.

Concrete urn in garden

This shot looks like the urn is perched on the wall but it's actually sitting safely behind and a few inches below the top of the wall.

Urn from above and behind

Urn at the end of the garden path

All that work and the darn thing is barely visible! Hopefully the 'goblet' will pop out once I add planting behind it over the coming months.

Happy Gardening!


  1. Well done! The urn looks good, as does your ever evolving terraced slope. Luckily for me, my husband is good at contriving solutions of this kind. He's a firm believer in mind over matter. I just get tagged as the available (if not actually able) assistant.

    1. Thanks Kris! I definitely am getting to point where I'd rather find a smart solution before I default to muscle power (as in days past)

  2. For that effort, you surely have "urned" a new garden hat. ;^) Your stone work looks fabulous, and is filled with a great selection of plants.


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