How to Perfectly Pair Planters and Pedestals

By: admin | Posted on: Jun/14/2017

Planters and pedestals look elegant together, as though you’ve worked with a personal designer. If you’re investing in a particularly artistic planter or urn, having that item stand out by placing it on a pedestal can make all the difference. But for those who feel they need a bit of assistance in making the right choice, we thought we’d create this tutorial for you.

 

There are five different considerations to keep in mind. Here are some tips for each of them along with some photos to help you see what works and what doesn’t.

 

Style: Traditional or Modern

 

Traditional pairings of urns on top of formal pedestals is what most people think of when you mention planters and pedestals. It conjures images of formal European gardens or “Great Gatsby” style estates. There are plenty of formal styles to choose from, for certain. But as more modern and contemporary planter styles have come into the market, so have come pedestals to go with them.

 

So your first, most important consideration when choosing to add a pedestal to a planter or urn, is is to match those two styles together. Classical designs have details that will complement between the two items. If instead you have a modern urn, look for simple and clean lines in the pedestal as well.

 

Planters and Pedestals

Traditional | Modern

Overall Height: Low or High

 

This is the second most critical decision. You don’t want your plantings up so high that they can’t be appreciated. Likewise you don’t want them so low to the ground that the beauty of the combination is missed. Take a look at the area you’re placing them. Make note of what the ideal height of both items together would be. Keep that in mind while shopping.

 

Remember to also consider what you want planted in them. If it is going to be a taller plant then you don’t need a high pedestal. Conversely, if you are looking to plant some sort of drooping vine or flower, then this looks lovely cascading down the front of a wide urn placed on a taller pedestal.

 

Overall Shape: Balance and Dimension

 

Next, consider the overall balance. If the urn or planter you’ve chosen is large, you’ll need a wide base to match with it and a substantial pedestal size. When you’re shopping at Garden-Fountains.com you can usually see the dimensions of the base of the particular urn or planter. This way you can choose an appropriate pedestal. (But if you’re having any trouble you can always contact our Customer Service team for expert advice!)

 

Planters and Pedestals

Top: Smooth Bottom: Rustic

Texture: Rustic or Smooth

 

Now, if you take a look at a close up image of the various cast stone items, you can see that some are smooth and others are textured. Once you notice this detail, it’s important that you naturally match those items up with each other.

 

Shape: Round or Square

 

Lastly, is the final consideration is the shape of the pedestal and planter base, if it is round or square. This is really like the classic ‘round peg in a square hole’ sort of question. It’s OK to put a round base planter on a square pedestal, as long as they fit. But you definitely don’t wish to have the corners of a square planter or urn hanging over a round pedestal! Just remember it’s OK to mix as long as they fit and the above considerations are in line.

 

Planters and Pedestals

Lg. Leaf Urn w/Pedestal

 

Occasionally you’ll see items that are clearly ‘themed’ and are definitely made to go together. Whenever you have the opportunity to purchase a particular set such as this Large Leaf Urn w/Shell Pedestal,  left, taking advantage of the coordinating pedestal is best.

 

Now you have a guide to help you choose for yourself, and look as though you had professional help! Garden design with planters and pedestals is a great way to bring artistic flare and focus to your garden areas. You can use them around patios, entryways and pathways in the garden. If you want to see some more styles, we’ve got a few of them pre-selected for you by our expert team at Garden-Fountains.com. You can check them out here.

 

Posted by Jean Widner of the Garden-Fountains.com Team.

How Antique Reproductions are Made – The Williamsburg Collection

By: admin | Posted on: Jun/06/2017

Antiques for the home and garden are a great way to show respect for previous generations. Antiques add character, but also show a glimpse of what people in that time valued or found useful or beautiful. But there are only so many actual antiques available. However, antique reproductions of interesting artifacts can be a more realistic and less expensive option.

 

History, architecture and a blend of many cultures influences American outdoor décor. This is the third in a multi-part series exploring the partnership between Campania International and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

 

This living museum located in historical Williamsburg, Virginia has faithfully preserved gardens, structures and artifacts. The garden décor in the Williamsburg Collection has both antique reproductions as well as ‘inspired by’ pieces. Today, you’ll see how they create one of these antique reproductions.

 

Unique to Williamsburg

 

There are a number of special urns and other items of garden décor around Williamsburg. One of the most notable however was at the actual Govener’s Palace which was this classical frieze urn. Inspired by Ancient Greece, this formal urn would have been considered very European and sophisticated. It’s placement at the Govener’s Palace makes it extremely special.

 

Which also makes it a perfect sort of piece around which to create an actual antique reproduction of.

 

 

The Antique Reproduction Process

 

As shown below, the first part of the process begins by brushing on layers of silicone coating. The flexible silicone is safe for the artifact and won’t harm it at all. The strength and flexibility of that silicone helps it to fully capture all of the urn’s original details and textures. Then these coated layers need time to dry.

 

Once the silicone is dry, then artisans hand apply a layer of plaster. The plaster is what ultimately holds the rubbery silicone solidly in place to form a mold that will hold the mold. Typically with a symmetrical piece such as this urn, they only need to do half of the item, and can from there create a mirrored half back in the artisans’ studio.

 

 

The Finished Urn

 

Once the mold is fully finished, then the process of actually producing the replicated product can begin. At Campania International, the wet liquid cast stone is poured into the mold. After it hardens, they remove the item and hand sand it. Lastly the item is given a natural stain to highlight the beauty and intricate details on the urn. This authentic and specially produced antique reproduction can now complement any modern home entryway or outdoor area.

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed this special behind-the-scenes glimpse into the actual creation of cast stone décor. We’ll have several more parts to this review of the Williamsburg Collection, including more fascinating histories and mysteries about some of those products. Stay tuned!

Written and posted by Jean Widner of the Garden-Fountains.com Team.

 

Historical Influences and the Williamsburg Bird Baths

By: admin | Posted on: May/05/2017

The distinctive style of American gardens and outdoor décor in the 18th century celebrated form over ornamentation. The result is an aesthetic that feels decidedly contemporary; even though it’s roots lie deep in our own history. This is the second article in our series on The Williamsburg Collection, created by Campania International. Today we’re going to dive into the historical influences of the Williamsburg Bird Baths: The Tea Table and Candlestand Bird Baths.

 

The 18th-century capital city of Williamsburg, Virginia was the capital of Britain’s largest and wealthiest colony in the New World. The history of the United States in the years before and during the American Revolution is visible everywhere in Williamsburg. In looking at these two birdbaths we glimpse subtle differences in the way people lived. Both birdbaths are based upon a common item in most households: a simple tea table.

 

The finished pieces, however, feature much different styling. This is quite simply – a tale of two bird baths.

 

Urban vs. Rural

 

Williamsburg

Tea Table

This original Round Tea Table, made in Norfolk, Virginia between 1750-70 is the inspiration for the Tea Table Bird Bath. It’s similar to multi-purpose British tea tables, common at the time. They were large enough to write or work upon, and then their tabletops would swivel up on hinges. This makes them easy to put away when not in use, because it flattens their width. Their design also reflects the creative engineering to meet the needs of those in more cramped city homes.

 

The Candlestand Bird Bath is based upon this Candlestand made in rural 1830, Southampton County, Virginia. Candlestands are structurally and stylistically akin to tea tables, but differ in their smaller size. As the name suggests, their purpose is to bring light closer to a desired area. They were not meant for writing or other uses, as the tabletop was too small. A candlestand table reflects that a home may be more spread out, with less formal seating arrangements. Lightweight and portable, candlestands were ideal to move light where needed in the home, without the constraints of limited space.

 

Williamsburg Bird Bath

Original Tea Table and Bird Bath

 

Structural Style and Influences

 

The Round Tea Table has an elegant fluted urn shape at the base of the column. British tea tables, globe stands and bedposts also commonly have this same feature. Similar pillars also appeared in American cabinet-makers in both the north and south. The complexity of the turning between the fluted urn and column, as well as the delicate moldings at its base, show a refined style.

 

Conversely, the Candlestand table when appraised has a different heritage. The original piece was made of black walnut, a more common wood in a rural setting. The appraisers also noted a “conscious avoidance of urban design principles”. Most notable, is its lovely baluster curve shape, similar to traditional curved baluster staircase columns. Lastly artisans note the unusually deep cove molding at the bottom of the baluster column. These details set it apart and display a distinctly early-American, classically simple styling.

 

Williamsburg Bird Bath

Original Candlestand and Bird Bath

 

The Finished Bird Baths

 

Both of these items are customer favorites at Garden-Fountains.com. Both the Williamsburg Tea Table Bird Bath and the Williamsburg Candlestand Bird Bath epitomize the simple, unadorned forms beloved in colonial America.

 

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, is a not-for-profit organization which maintains the historic city of Williamsburg, Virginia, today.

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed this installment on the Williamsburg Collection by Campania International. We’ve explained some of the details of historical items and how they specifically influence the creation of new outdoor décor. Next time, see how artisans make a historically inspired creation We’ll take you behind the scenes!

Posted by Jean Widner of the Garden-Fountains.com team.

The FAQ’s on Bird Baths

By: admin | Posted on: Apr/26/2017

Here at Garden-fountains.com we have discussed the value of adding a birdbath to your garden setting. Birdbaths are not only decorative but they are practical as well. There are lots of different styles to choose from so we pulled together the answers to some of your FAQ’s on bird baths.

 

Before you buy

Portwenn Fountain

 

What type of material should they be made of?

 

Birdbaths can be made of cast stone, fiberglass, ceramic or any other material that will hold water. Consider your climate and surroundings. Also consider any requirements for movability, access and safety from animals or children.

 

How do the birds actually use a birdbath?

 

Birds use a birdbath for both drinking as well as bathing and preening their feathers. Also birds sometimes just like to frolic in them. That can be one benefit of getting a fountain or ‘recycling birdbath’ as they are sometimes called. One example of that is this Portwenn Fountain shown here.

 

How deep should a birdbath be?

 

The National Audubon Society recommends an average depth of 1-3 inches deep. A 2-inch bath is suited to Northern Cardinals, Blue Jays and other larger species. Smaller songbirds prefer only about a 1-inch depth. If your bath is deeper, place small stones in it to provide some variance to the depth.

 

Where should I put the birdbath?

 

Choose a level area that is safe from other traffic around the yard. Let it be a focal point to attract attention to it. Place other plantings around it to both shelter it from unintended collisions and also let the foliage give the birds other places to rest. But also be sure you have easy access to refill it quickly and keep it clean.

 

After you set up

 

What if the birds don’t use it?

 

Keep an eye out for the birds you have already in your area. Watch if they are using it for drinking or bathing and how large they are. If it is deeper and you don’t see them using it, then add some stones to it. If the bath is in full sun, consider moving it to a shady area, such as under a tree. Be sure you keep fresh water in it.

 

How do I keep it clean?

 

The goal is to help you keep the birdbath beautiful for a very long time. If you clean it regularly, then there won’t be much need for scrubbing or heavy work. Do not add harsh chemicals such as bleach to the bath to kill the algae. This will also harm the birds. There are water clarifiers available in most pet stores and pet departments. However, frequent water changes and bath cleanings as a way to prevent algae growth. If your bath does become heavily soiled then use a small amount of mild detergent and bleach with a sponge or brush. Then be sure to rinse it thoroughly to get rid of all chemical residue and refill it with fresh water.

 

What about during the winter?

 

Birds need water for everyday survival, drinking, bathing, cooling off. They do these activities year round, so there are some solutions to keeping your birdbath out all year long, even in cold wintery climates. There are products like deicers that will rest in the birdbath and prevent the water from freezing and damaging it. De-icers are safe for concrete, plastic, and pottery birdbaths. You may also want to consider a solar powered birdbath; it relies on the power of the sun to keep it heated.

 

Bringing a birdbath into your setting is a wonderful way to bring nature into your setting, while adding a beautiful accent. It also encourages your favorite feathery friends to come back to visit time and time again!

 

 

Posted by Jean Widner of the Garden-Fountains.com Team.

The Different Textures in Outdoor Décor

By: admin | Posted on: Apr/21/2017

The most noted aspect in choosing outdoor décor elements are color and style. However the texture of an item not only reflects the style it also influences the way items are seen and felt. Texture gives colors a greater depth and has the ability to make an item reflect a certain mood.

 

The artisans who work with cast stone use a number of different processes when creating their outdoor décor to achieve unique textures. We’ll take a look at some of the ways they do this at Campania International, one of our most popular vendors.

 

In creating most all cast stone planters, they all go through a similar creation process. First, the item is sculpted out with all of its details, and then a cast is created. Once the mold is poured or filled with the cement mixture, it dries. Lastly there is a hand finishing and sanding process that smoothes out the seams and gives the cast stone creation its final finish. Now, let’s look at three of these different types of textures they create.

 

Textures in Outdoor Décor

Smooth Texture

 

This is the most basic texture that most cast stone or cement décor items come in. One example is this Williamsburg Strapwork Leaf Urn.

 

Once the individual cast stone urn is completed, then there is an extensive hand-finishing process. First, the finished piece is hand sanded to smooth out any seams or cracks. Next, a smooth plaster is applied to the entire outer product in multiple layers. Each item may have this process done a dozen times. This finishes the piece in a perfectly smooth texture.

 

This smooth texture is best used for very classical or traditional items. It allows the finest level of details to show on the outer surface and creates an elegant finish. Also note how the stain used shows off the delicate leaf pattern around this featured urn.

 

Textures in Outdoor Décor

 

Rustic Sandblast Texture

 

In this style of finishing texture, the artisan is looking to create a rustic, aged or even rural craftsman-style feeling. You’ll see, this pockmarked texture grabs colors and stains more deeply into the finished stone piece. How these items are created? The artisan makes the item just as above, and then literally sandblast the original sculpted item. Then the mold is created complete with the pockmarks embedded in it by the blasting process. You can see an example of this style here in the Rustic Greenwich Urn.

 

 

Chunky Rustic Texture

 

Textures in Outdoor DécorProbably the most innovative process that has been created to give a unique textured finish is what they call a ‘chunky rustic’ texture. These Saguaro Planters show an example of this. To get this look in the cast stone, they take the original sculpted planter and use peat moss inside the actual plaster cast! This has the effect of creating both these unusual striated patterns as well as a sort of ‘worn away’ texture to the stone.

 

The final effect is a highly unusual aged finish that can be applied to a rustic old-world style, or as with these Saguaro Planters a very contemporary look.

 

Whatever your personal style in outdoor décor, the final textures that are used add a lot to the design aesthetic. The mold making and finishing process of each of the hand-finished items from Campania International is part of what makes this vendor’s creations so special.

Posted by Jean Widner of the Garden-Fountains.com team.

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