Saturday, February 25, 2012

Garden folly ...

One of my favorite things in beautifully manicured European gardens is the presence of follies, those fanciful structures placed for aesthetics and amusement.

Image via E and P Photo.

The New York Times described garden follies as "eccentric, eye-catching, frequently functionless structures ... so fascinating and seductive, so decadent by today's standards.''

Image via Linen and Lavender.

Temples and pavilions, towers and urns have held their place in many formal gardens, but follies can really be any structural addition, be it large or small. 

Image via unknown.

Even a simple wooden obelisk can take up residence in a little garden plot to add amusement.

Image of a Alexis Tricoire design via The Secret Gardener.

I would love to add a garden teepee created for climbing vines. It's a natural ornamentation combined with a simply built structure that I think our guests would enjoy as well.

Image via The Fancy.

Skip the gothic arches and windows, I am far more drawn to contemporary follies ... my favorite being the enormous clothespin above. Brilliant execution with a 'pinched' berm. How incredibly clever!

Image of an Auckland park folly.

There is no shortage of creativity when it comes to contemporary follies. Half buried architectural 'ruins' hearken back to early follies that recall actual ruins of monastic houses and ancient Roman villas.

Image via Pinterest.

Visionary art frequently blurs the line between artwork and structural follies. No matter, they amuse with their fantastical size and humorous subjects.

Image via Pinterest.

The definition of a folly certainly lies in the eyes of the beholder. So, does a sculptor's outdoor art qualify as a folly? 

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