Shine On: Tropical Container in a Hamptons Garden
What makes a garden shine?
As the climate is changing right before our very eyes, and stymieing our senses with its brutality and extremes, the bloom time is fleeting and lacks its good old stamina.
Here one minute and gone the next: so how to make our garden shine without the dependability of our wildest garden schemes…or even our most well-thought-out ones?
Introducing elements that are not dependent on Mother Nature seems to be the way to go.
Gazing balls are OK but perhaps too much a conceit for me.
That old deception of Garden Mirrors can be effective and one seems always so surprised and pleased to come upon it (especially when it is reflecting back your own unexpected image) ; but it is – after all – a trick, and though it is great at lighting up a dead-end situation — it doesn’t really shine.
The reflection from a pond or a pool and the sparkle of a birdbath are other ways to bring shine to the garden too; but I have just added something totally unexpected — A Shapely and Large Copper Urn.
I’ve plunked it down right in the middle of the Mysterious Tree Bed where the tulips were, the allium remain (though dried and lifeless), the lilies have come and gone, and boy — does it look great.
There’s something about the copper being the just-right metal to pick up the wonderful mélange of color created by the surrounding trees.
It reflects the greeny-whites of the Aralia elata above and the variegated Heptacodium below…the red tinges of Landcraft’s superb Hibiscus tilaceus ‘Tricolor’, as well as the surrounding glow of several Japanese maples: lion’s-headed, palmated (full moon, that is) and variegated.
Other metals that don’t rust or tarnish are either too precious (even Gold Plate would be out of the question) or are, and should be, reserved for garden tools: two of the Ten Garden Greats at DianneBBest.com are the essential stainless steel trowel and the high-gauge stainless monogrammed hand-made shovel.
Copper has such a significant presence in art and architecture because it is so compelling and variable —its beautiful red-brown sheen eventually oxidizing into a like-no-other-color turquoise/blue/green patina — makes it doubly perfect for the changing nature of the garden.
East Hampton, New York
14 August 2010
Watch a new video of this copper urn.