This week Ailsa led us up the garden path.
The Parc de Wesserling in Alsace, France, holds a garden festival each year. It’s situated in an old industrial complex that used to be a fabric mill. Its displays therefore are linked to fabric in some way. There are always a couple of “follies” (**) hidden away:
The whole complex of La Scarzuola could be described as one large folly. See more of my pictures of this extraordinary place here.
Inspired by the idea of having a retreat of my own, In a corner of our garden I maintained an area that I called the wild patch and in it I constructed my ‘folly’, complete with an old iron grate in which I planted geraniums. Unfortunately our next door neighbours cut down some of the trees forming the boundary between our two properties thereby removing much of my privacy.
(*) A gazebo is a pavilion structure, sometimes octagonal or turret-shaped, often built in a park, garden or spacious public area.
Gazebos are freestanding or attached to a garden wall, roofed, and open on all sides; they provide shade, shelter, ornamental features in a landscape, and a place to rest. Some gazebos in public parks are large enough to serve as bandstands or rain shelters.
Gazebos include pavilions, kiosks, alhambras, belvederes, follies, pergolas, and rotundas. Such structures are popular in warm and sunny climates. They are in the literature of China, Persia, and many other classical civilizations, going back to several millennia. Examples of such structures are the garden houses at Montacute House in Somerset, England.
(**) In architecture, a folly is a building constructed primarily for decoration, but either suggesting by its appearance some other purpose, or merely so extravagant that it transcends the normal range of garden ornaments or other class of building to which it belongs. In the original use of the word, these buildings had no other use, but from the 19th to 20th centuries the term was also applied to highly decorative buildings which had secondary practical functions such as housing, sheltering or business use.
18th century English gardens and French landscape gardening often featured Roman temples, which symbolized classical virtues or ideals. Other 18th-century garden follies represented Chinese temples, Egyptian pyramids, ruined abbeys, or Tatar tents, to represent different continents or historical eras. Sometimes they represented rustic villages, mills and cottages, to symbolize rural virtues. Many follies, particularly during famine, such as the Irish potato famine, were built as a form of poor relief, to provide employment for peasants and unemployed artisans. (Wikipedia).
I make no apologies for borrowing Ailsa’s wonderful garden quotes:
Won’t you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you. – Richard Brinsley Sheridan
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. – Marcus Tullius Cicero