‘Global warming’

Gazing globes grace gardens in unusual ways

By L.A. Jackson

‘Global warming’

Gazing globes have been an ornamental staple in southern gardens for years because the allure of these orbs is just too great for gardeners to resist! But typically these shiny spheres have been found perched on top of concrete bases (most of the time, the remains of a broken bird bath). Used — or perhaps more correctly, overused — in this manner has often caused gazing globes to be lumped into the less-than-flattering category of "yard art."

However, there are other ways to display gazing globes — creative ways that can help restore the fun and charm to an old garden favorite, and give a new meaning to the term "global warming." For starters, find a tree. Not just any tree, but an old guardian in the garden that has three or more trunks. In the cavity at the base, simply nestle a few gazing globes of different sizes and colors to pleasantly surprise passersby.

Of course, not every garden is graced with large, stately trees, but there is another trick that can provide a treat in almost any landscape. Take a round wire tomato cage, turn it upside down and bend the wire prongs out so they can securely support a gazing globe from its bottom. Next, slip the cage underneath a flowing, flowering shrub such as forsythia, potentilla, spirea, weigela or kerria. Place the gazing globe on the prongs and position it so the sphere is slightly nuzzled into the flowers and foliage from above. This creates a "floater"—a magical bit of mischief that makes gardening fun!

Speaking of floating, think beyond the flower border and consider placing a few globes in the water garden where their constant colors will add visual zing during times when aquatic plants are not in bloom.

Since most gazing globes are made of glass, it is not a bad idea to bring them inside by the end of autumn. This not only prevents the fragile spheres from becoming victims of falling branches in the winter, but it also provides the opportunity to clean them so their captivating glow will be restored and ready for yet another growing season in the garden.

About the Author

L.A. Jackson is the former editor of Carolina Gardener Magazine. If you would like to ask him a question about your garden, contact L.A. at: lajackson1@gmail.com

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