Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Gazing Balls in the Garden

Gazing Balls

The history of the gazing ball is full of lore and legend.  For some it is thought to ward off witches, for others it is said to bring happiness and prosperity to those who owned one, and others say that gazing balls bring abundant growth to plants and flowers in their gardens.

Gazing balls began in Venice in the thirteenth century and by the Victorian era they were wide spread throughout Europe and the United States.  Francis Bacon even remarked that a “proper garden would have gazing balls for the sun to play upon”.  Today there is a resurgence in the use of these decorative balls as focal points in the modern garden.

Here are two inexpensive and easy-to-make modern interpretations of “Gazing Balls” for your garden.

1. Take an old bowling ball (found at a thrift store, better yet unused in your closet or that of a friend, or as is the case here - free after being discarded from an area bowling alley).

2. Using an all-weather glue:  attach interesting objects such as;  pennies, beach glass, stones, plastic gems, etc.

3. When totally dried:  drive a small rod, pipe, or piece of rebar, (12 inches long) into the ground.  Mount the “gazing bowling ball” on the post using one of the finger holes.

Beach Glass
from the shores of Lake Michigan

from the Piggy Bank

attractive – interesting - a conversation piece - a focal point

Reference Note:  For a complete list of the ten (10) Principles of Design used here and throughout Gardens at Waters East, check out the archive postings for November 14 – 24, 2010.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Jack! So glad you stopped by and told me about your gazing balls! A really REALLY cool thing about blogging is we find out we are not alone and oftentimes things we are thinking another person also is thinking those things and walah! The power of the Internet and blogging-we connect! I find it too cool you posted on these as well. I SO want a penny ball for my garden. Another blog I read (Robin's Nest found here http://lifewithrobin.blogspot.com/) also made a gazing ball or two-specifically the penny balls and I adore them. Haven't tackled one yet but will one of these days. I do adore your sea glass ball. Being from Maine and on the coast I love sea glass. We don't find so much in Maine anymore or down here in Tennessee. You are lucky to have so much there and to be able to make a beautiful ball! They are both great!

    P.S. I had no idea the history of gazing balls but just know I love them in my garden. Glad you do too and Victorians liked them as well!