Thursday, April 19, 2007

Landscaping: the art of containment

I came across an old photo book recently, Around the House (Quick Fox: 1979).  It refers to landscaping as the art of containment, and the photos include patios, gates, fences, and gazebos.  Outdoor rooms weren't the trend then, but there's a lovely photo of one with heavy, white curtains and solid masonry or draped benches as partial walls.  It's inviting, and one of the coziest outdoor rooms I've seen.
The gazebos include one with brown trellis walls at the corners and a table and chairs, and it sits right next to a tennis court.  Nothing better for watching a game or relaxing afterwards.  A patio with wicker chairs has a bird bath next to a chair as a table.  Now there's a nifty idea...  Another outdoor room has a brick bar with a brick ledge on the floor instead of a foot rail.
A decorative idea is a large brick circle--too small for a patio--with mosaic sun rays coming out from it in a random pattern--no sharp angles.  Beautiful and fun.
A recent Winterthur catalog has a grazing sheep--just about life size--made from a resin/stone composite.  The wooly texture is very life-like.  I also liked the cat perched on a wooden post; actually the whole sculpture is hand-painted polyresin.  They also have mushrooms (stoneware/resin).  I'd like one or two of those also.  And they have resin/stone millstones.  I love millstones; I have a small real one that someone gave me for my birthday.  Hey, if I get more of them, I'd have a fantastic garden path!  They have outdoor rugs too--in a mosaic style.  For the first time, I'm tempted to get an outdoor rug.
Oh, if you actually want some plants in your landscaping, there are butterfly gardens, white gardens, and antique roses, which need large spaces.  I like the old roses because they require less maintenance; but I really love roses without thorns, such as Lady Banks (white or yellow).  We have Little Gem magnolias, alyssum, white Cape Plumbago, African iris, and yellow daylilies in our two white gardens.  (The yellow daylilies were supposed to be white!  Their name is Sunday Gloves.)   

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