Garden Ornamentation

While I never think of myself as a procrastinator, or maybe finally sitting down after a glorious summer makes me bittersweet to chat about gardens. Needless to say, this has been in my draft file for too long so here it goes:

In my opinion, the garden is an outdoor room whose components should be handled in the same way as the corresponding decorative elements in an interior space, to create a specific mood or style that is functional and pleasing. As a designer, I am always looking for a variety of ornaments, furniture, urns statuary, and fountains and discover how to utilize them in ways that will define and enhance my client’s gardens and  the extension of the outdoor living experience. Sculpture, an essential element of the classic ideal, consisted of exquisite , lifelike renderings of the human body appear at most perfect in garden setting.




The idea of a “garden as a room” did not just originate with the current design garden planners. Many horticultural enthusiasts throughout time, began planting gardens within walled enclosures surrounding their home. After establishing those enclosures whether using stone, brick, trees or shrubs they established the perimeters of their outdoor space. Now, you can add the flowers for pattern, color and texture.





The addition of the bench at the end of the view easement as well as the circular window inviting the viewer, extends the visual plane. I love the way the stone ball breaks up the garden without taking away the intimacy of the space.


Below is a delightful example of two garden “follies” which can be treated as ” at home”  environs while enjoying the majesty of the surroundings.  This iconic structure built by John Fowler  for his hunting lodge is one of a pair which is nestled amongst the greenery is both functional as well as delightfully whimsical with the moorish style openings mirroring the shape of the roof.



Another classic example of a gazebo who uses lattice work to create a functional structure without detracting from the formality of the boxwood hedges and formal rose beds. The bright whites in the “garden room” as well as the iron bench give the space additional function as well as being decorative.


One final example of a more elaborate folly which pairs the classic elements of brick, slate and traditional trim with the final touch of oval paned windows to establish a focal point in the garden.




The catchwords for most gardens today are restraint, balance, order and symmetry. All pretty valid concepts when considering what we are producing in the visual arts. One cannot go very far from Western Europe or America to find much that has been admired, copied, rejected, then rediscovered and infinitely refined. But even with all these changes, the truly classical garden still retains an unique balance with our senses. When you encounter such a garden, living space, you invariably experience relaxation and contentment.



The very tradition that gives us instant recognition of something familiar, with reassurance of continuity, which is the classical standard. As we step into the fall months, with the bittersweet quality of light, faded blooms and cooler temperatures, these gardens will last eternally until next spring.



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