Garden Glories
By Karen Parr-Moody

Flowers, with their puffs of color swaying on leggy stalks, are now in full bloom. So the time is ripe for accenting one's gardens with thematic accoutrements, just like the Victorians who were as lavish with their gardens as they were in their homes. They adorned their landscapes with bird baths, statuary, obelisks, gazing globes, sundials, urns, bistro tables, and of course, fanciful follies (because what estate is complete without a ruined Greek temple?).

I recently joined the Master Gardener Association in my community. It seems that my hoard of garden items has grown along with my volunteer hours. So when I saw this spade and trowel hook (photo right), I thought it would be the perfect item for keeping a porch or potting shed a tiny bit tidier ($12; Booth B-430). I can envision a his-and-hers pair of gardening gloves hung on these hooks, or even some other lightweight gardening tools. GasLamp usually has a variety of decorative hooks among its booths; I could also see some

pretty toleware flower hooks performing a similar function.  


When you plan on puttering around in the garden, weather is, obviously, a concern. What could be more charming than having a weather house, like the one at left, to perform the weather forecast ($36.50; Clock Booth)? This is a folk art device from Germany that follows a typical design: There are two side-by-side doors with a female figure on the left and a male figure on the right. When the skies are sunny and dry, the female comes out of the house; when rain is indicated, the male comes out. This type of barometer is not only popular in Germany, but in Switzerland, and has the look of a cuckoo clock. There is a small thermometer on this one; some may even contain, rather incongruously, a piggy bank. But I guess that with the amount of gardening materials gardeners purchase, that might actually be a good idea.

It takes a quaint cottage to pull off the garden gnome as statuary. The same could be said for concrete or limestone lions, their seriousness demanding a grand house. But this duo of mourning doves in the photo, right, possesses a broad appeal as a symbol of longed-for peace and would look great in any yard (photo, right; $26.50; Booth B-512).  In between the trees and shrubs, or in among a mass of flowers, a sculpture such as this dove duo, brings elegance to a garden or patio. And well-done concrete examples come at a a fraction of the cost of natural stone.

It's doubtful that any avid gardeners want their children sitting on the sidelines. Rather, they want to foster in them a love of the great outdoors early on. What better way to do that than by adding a child's chair and table to the setting? This one in the photo, left, has a shabby chic appeal that is truly adorable ($190; Booth B-2010). While only two chairs are pictured, it comes with four, so it can accommodate a child and his or her pint-sized friends, as well. Situate this table in a shady spot, with trees overhead, and it will be the perfect setting for the next tea party. All it will need is a floral print tablecloth — yet another item that is easily found at GasLamp.

This moss mannequin is such an uncommon and gorgeous piece (photo, left, $195; Booth B-174, which is having a 20% off sale). It is not technically a topiary, but it still has the look of a shrub carefully trimmed into an imaginative shape and would bring some high style to a covered area. Such ornamental gardening, in general, derives from the ancient societies of Rome and Asia, and still holds major charm today. I personally used to love visiting the grand topiaries at New York City's Tavern on the Green restaurant, which closed in 2009. There were two 7-foot-tall swans, one 13-foot-tall stag, and a King Kong topiary that dwarfed them all. Now how is that for whimsy?

Whether you have an herb, vegetable or flower garden, it takes some hunting to find garden items that strike the right aesthetic. But since 
 GasLamp features a dizzying array of gorgeous items, that hunt is simplified. A garden will only grow more charming when strewn with ornaments and items that impart a welcoming feel. Choosing pieces that are useful or beautiful, or both, will create a neat, colorful and organized landscape. Then all you will have to do is add water and enjoy the fruits of your labors.   



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