By: admin | Posted on: Mar/23/2017
History, architecture and a blend of many cultures influences American outdoor décor. The creative artistry in cast stone planters, statuary and fountains varies widely. Those who have training in these classic sculpting skills are always looking for fresh ideas and historical influences.
The distinctive style of American gardens in the 18th century celebrated form over ornamentation. What it leaves you with is an aesthetic that feels decidedly contemporary, even though it’s roots lie deep in our own history.
This is the first in a multi-part series exploring American outdoor décor and the Williamsburg Collection created by Campania International.
The 18th-century capital city of Williamsburg, Virginia is a town where the past comes alive. The history of the United States in the years before and during the American Revolution is visible everywhere in Williamsburg. Called the Revolutionary City, in its prime it was the capital of Britain’s largest and wealthiest colony in the New World. Williamsburg hosted patriots of the day, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and was a center of thought and culture.
The city was designed with formal streets thoughtfully laid out to accommodate its public halls, residential homes and trade areas. Another key point of the city’s layout was the importance of its gardens. What you come to understand is that gardening was more than a hobby – it was an art form. The town’s renowned gardens, both casual or formal in style, still bloom around the historical buildings of Colonial Williamsburg.
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation maintains the city today. Franklin D. Roosevelt called its main avenue “the most beautiful mile in American history”. For decades homeowners have embraced this uniquely American style, building Colonial Williamsburg homes throughout the country.
American outdoor décor
Colonial Williamsburg contains truly hundreds of treasures. The Foundation has faithfully preserved or recreated the gardens, structures and artifacts seen throughout the area. When the artists of Campania International agreed to create inspired Williamsburg pieces, they found ideas everywhere.
For example, this white salt-glazed stoneware container, or cachepot, is reminiscent of those often seen in an 18th century greenhouse. The stately Williamsburg Orangery Urn Planter is created by removing the lion heads to simplify the design. This particular planter is a best-seller and customer favorite.
Another popular and inspired planter is the Tayloe House Urn. The architectural detailing of the Williamsburg Tayloe House Urn captures the uptown sophistication of the attractive town house owned by Williamsburg resident Colonel John Tayloe, one of the wealthiest men in colonial Virginia.
More to come…
We’ll be sharing more information and history that inspired these Williamsburg creations in the coming weeks and months. The process of how an artist interprets historical items and then sculpts to create something completely new is exciting!
Look for more information on these Williamsburg Collection benches, fountains statues and so much more. We’ve got some fascinating historical information for you. Plus, we even have a sneak peek at some new and upcoming items later this year!
Posted by Jean Widner of the Garden-Fountains.com team.
By: admin | Posted on: Mar/14/2017
Landscaping a yard and garden area that meets the needs of both you and your dog takes some special planning. You don’t need to give up having a beautiful and pleasant garden and yard just because you own a dog, or two. Careful planning along with some mutual acceptance of the needs of your animal can create a dog friendly garden for both you and your family.
Work with their instincts
Most all dogs need a space to run and play in. Think about your particular breed and their needs as well as their size. Canines by nature are defenders of their territory. That means most breeds will patrol the fence barriers. So create a dog run or pathway near one or more of your fences or other barriers. You can use grass or mulch or other soft hardscape for the ground. Leave about 3 feet of width, and then give that area a natural border using ornamental grasses, sturdy shrubs or wood along the border.
If your dog is prone to digging or jumping over your fence, you’ll need to protect that barrier. If they like to jump, make sure it is high enough or place larger plants in front of lower fence areas to prevent their access. Conversely if you have a digger, you may need to dig down a bit on your own to extend your fence into the ground. Remember that whatever barrier you use is still safe and won’t harm their paws.
Designated relief spots
You can train your dog to relieve herself in a certain spot in your yard that is away from human areas. Pick a corner away from your patio or other high-traffic zone. Usually your dog can be trained to use a certain spot within a month or so. If you have a puppy, begin training them to that spot right from the beginning.
Protect both your plants and your dog
There are lots of ways to still have a great variety of plants in your yard. While it’s true that most dogs like to run in and through your garden, how you arrange things can make a big difference. Put more delicate flowers in the center of your plant areas and use raised beds. Or use your vertical space and create hanging areas from the wall or baskets to enjoy them. You can also try planters of all types and styles. Your dog will naturally run past or around containers just like any other barrier, ignoring what’s in it.
Be sure you don’t have any poisonous plants in your yard. Your local garden center should be able to provide you a list. Likewise, making a dedicated effort to grow organic without the use of pesticides is the best decision. Even the smallest amounts of some chemicals can harm your pet. Lastly, avoid spikey or thorny plants as they could injure your pet.
Water and shade
Lastly, be sure your pets have access to safe water sources. Fill a non-toxic outdoor water bowl regularly. If you have water features, be sure your pets can safely get in and out of them on their own. Also be sure that any fountains or birdbaths are protected. You don’t want something your dog can knock over. So place them in protected areas with other vegetation around them.
Just like us, sometimes our dogs like to just lay in the sun when the temperatures are mild. But be sure they have plenty of shady spots to hang out in too, for when the summer gets hot. Also remember to check your surfaces for heat, as you don’t want hot concert or brick that can get so warm it will harm their paws in summer.
With these tips we’re sure you’ll be able to create a dog-friendly situation that everyone can enjoy. Posted by Jean Widner of the Garden-Fountains.com team.
By: admin | Posted on: Mar/07/2017
If you’re looking to purchase a fountain, but feel uneasy about setting one up, then this post is for you. Installing a fountain is easy, with a bit of prep work and if you follow the included directions carefully.
Before you begin
Every manufacturer of the fountains we sell at Garden-Fountains.com will come with their own detailed instruction sheet. Most will have schematic drawings, and include all the parts you’ll need. Please take the time to review everything carefully, before you begin.
One of the most well known manufactures of garden fountains and decor is Campania International. They have created several “how to” instructional videos for you, showing several different common styles. We know it may seem overwhelming when you first take a glance at the assembly instructions from a manufacturer. But with a YouTube video anyone can do it!
Instructional videos by fountain type
Two-tier fountains, such as the Williamsburg Pineapple 2 Tier Fountain. This video gives you the general steps that apply to most any multi-tier fountain.
Seated cast stone wall fountains are a some of our best sellers. Here is a video showing The Moderne fountain, a customer favorite.
Another extremely popular style are in-gound fountains. Most often they have glazed or ceramic jar styles and a light-weight basin that you bury underground. Here’s a video showing how one of these fountains is installed.
Maybe you are looking at a completely different type of water feature. But if you watch these videos you’ll gain some understanding of what’s involved and confidence that really, anyone can install most basic fountains.
Now that you’ve seen just how easy it can be to assemble a fountain you can shop here and pick the perfect Campania Fountain for your outdoor space. Published by Jean Widner of the Garden-Fountains.com team.
By: admin | Posted on: Feb/09/2017
All the rain and snow this winter has created some dramatic scenery. Among of the most striking are the waterfalls in Yosemite National Park that have been gushing at record levels.
Waterfalls are amazing natural features, creating beautiful and picturesque settings that remind us of nature’s power, yet can be peaceful at the same time. Similarly, a fountain can be an enjoyable experience. The addition of a waterfall fountain to your home or garden can take an average space and make feel more vibrant.
Indoor Waterfall Fountains
There are many different types of waterfall fountains. From those you can place indoors to ones that can also be placed outdoors. An indoor waterfall is typically mounted on a wall or a large standing fountain. These indoor waterfalls often have slate or mirrored glass upon which water will flow into a basin and recirculate through the fountain. Typically you think of such items in hotel lobbies or large office buildings. But now you can find indoor waterfall fountains suitable for residential homes.
Instead of choosing artwork for your foyer, or the empty wall in your sitting room, consider a wall mounted waterfall. When brought indoors, these features can add a soothing and calming element to any space. Since they are available in many unique sizes, shapes, and colors there is something to suit any style.
Your Own Outdoor Waterfall
When it comes to choosing the right waterfall fountain for your outdoor setting there are many factors to consider. For instance, the size of the waterfall should be proportional to your setting. Think about the water movement as well. If the fountain splashes, or if the water can be carried by the wind, make sure sitting areas are not too close by. You do not want to get sprayed with water while sitting and entertaining guests! Water splashing can also look sloppy or even make a surface slippery. So make sure the fountain and its splash zone is set far enough away from traffic areas.
One of the most popular backyard waterfalls is one that looks most similar to something you would find in nature. Whether it is created out of cast stone or a lighter weight fiberglass material, natural looking rock water elements are a great way to extend the outdoors along with nature.
Water Helps Set a Mood
Adding rushing water to your garden setting is a source of joy, relaxation, and entertainment. It allows guests to relax in your setting, as well as feel at home. The water creates a positive atmosphere for everyone. Often water is used in feng shui, a way to keep your garden in balance creating harmony. Water is also stimulating, creating energy as you work in it, or peacefulness for meditation.
Waterfall fountains bring a natural wonder of the world, right into your very own home or garden. It can be a soothing and relaxing accent, or a lively and energetic source of entertainment! Enjoy the beauty and delight the addition of this type of garden fountain will bring into your setting! Posted by Jean Widner of the Garden-Fountains.com team.
By: admin | Posted on: Jan/24/2017
Your garden’s outdoor décor should reflect your own personal interests and style. When you add personal items along with artistic pieces, then your outdoor seating and garden areas become a reflection of who you are. Most of us put thought into how we look when we’re out in the world. The style of dress, accessories and makeup or hairstyles we wear say a lot about our personality. Our home and garden is no exception. Here are some ideas to help you create an artistic garden that reflects your own personal style.
Garden décor can reflect things you love. Be it golf, your cats or dogs, your children, or patriotic flags during certain holidays – wear what you love, proudly. Your yard can too. Think of scenery that relaxes or inspires you: English gardens, the seaside, the desert or Asian themes are all popular. Write a few items down on a list, and then search for pictures in magazines or online.
Sometimes, less is more
Outdoor décor sometimes can become too cluttered. Choosing one or two pieces that can become focal points make the strongest statement. If you’re doing a collection of themed items, say a garden gnome village, keep the items to a single color pallet. Choose items from the same manufacturer so their colors match.
Chose flowers, grasses and plants that have a variety of textures and heights. Cluster plants together the way they form in nature, rather than in rows. Move from lower plant heights in the front of your beds and borders to taller plantings in the back. Think of your primary colors of red, blue and yellow, and then space them with your neutrals of greens or varying grasses. Also if you have 4 distinct seasons, plan for how your yard area will look in the winter months too. Plant evergreens to create year-round interest and height. Then, space in artistic statues or planters around your plantings – and let them stand out in their own right.
Remember that art doesn’t always need to take itself so seriously. Using a touch of humor such as this meditating gnome statue, will make you smile and remember your initial inspiration every time you pass by it. If you have young children or grandkids, get them involved with a DIY project. Animals or other statues that give you a chuckle keep your home and garden relaxing and fun to enjoy.
Even if you don’t feel like you’re a naturally creative person, anyone really can make your yard feel like an expression of your personality and give you a great artistic garden your neighbors will envy and you’ll enjoy for years. Posted by Jean Widner of the Garden-Fountains.com Team.