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 o A Gazing Ball?

Posted by
Cora Lea
(bellsrus@dwx.com) on
Sunday, September 01, 1996 at 01:41

Can someone fill me in? I have been gardening for over 25 years and have never heard of a "gazing ball", yet am seeing it referred to on the 'forum'. I am guessing that they are the mirrored spheres which I have seen in gardens from time to time and wondered why someone would put a big "marble-looking" object (no offense intended, please) in their gardens. What is the purpose for them? Why do most people use them? And, are they of any benefit to the plants - or just intended for the enjoyment of people. Do they attract birds or scare animals? I am guessing from what I read that they are to reflect what is around them, but is it to enhance the garden's appearance alone, or for other reasons? (I need some educating, huh?) Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

Hi Cora;
I hope you get an answer,i`m with you ,i never heard of the "thing".If it doesn`t need Water,fertilizer,grow weeds or die,there`s times I sure would enjoy one.I`m afraid it might scare the hell out of me,thinking i`d have twice as many Bonsai to take care of. good luck----Don


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

My grandmother had one in her garden and told me that the idea dates back to victorian times, people would sit in their garden and look at their garden through the reflection of gazing ball, you could see the sky and tops of trees while at the same time seeing a wide angle view of the garden, all by looking in one spot. I believe at the time there were only the "silver" colors as to view naturally. If she was correct in her information, I imagine this was considered pretty high tech stuff back then!


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

The very old 'gazing balls' often contained mercury. I believe this made for the silver color. In the area where I grew up, they were called garden globes. When a neighbor's globe fell off its pedestal, all of the local children had a great deal of fun poking the little beads of mercury with sticks. Can you imagine what parents would have to say about mercury on the ground today? Not to mention the EPA!


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

  • Posted by: Sandra (srmc@ppp.com) on Monday, September 09, 1996 at 03:30

Gazing balls actually go back to grecian times (recall all the wonderful things they were doing with glass?) and were placed in the center of the gardens to reflect all the beautiful colors, adding to the serenity. It was thought to help relax body and soul for deeper contemplation of all those philosophical discussions they were always having. And of course, the greeks loved beauty and were always coming up with more ways to express and extend it. Now gazing balls come in many different colors but my advise is stick with the silver. It reflects just like glass. I wouldn't have a flower garden without one. Sandra


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

Hi Cora;
Now that we know the use of the Ball,what are you going to do?Unless i get rid of a whole bunch of Bonsai,i won`t have time to sit and look at the reflections of my yard.I rather enjoy my present M O . Get my work done,pour a highball & water my trees.If i get bored,i might put one on Santas list.
good luck ,if you get one----Don


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

A friend has several gazing balls in his back yard. One is a bright purple, two are white, and one is silver. After we had consumed about three bottles of Zinfandel I kind of grew attached to those &%@#*$!& balls sitting there reflecting everything with a sort of macabre, distorted, reflection. There we sat, blissful, with wide cheekbones, pointy chins, bulging ellipsoidal eyes, flattened noses, and enormously wide shoulders. We decided that a purple gazing ball with a pink flamingo perched nearby would be stunning. The next time I'm going to take along some Cabernet Sauvignon and see what happens.


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

I imagine that three bottles of Zinfandel would make even an ugly neglected garden look pretty good ha-ha! Keep us posted on any updates, this is getting interesting!


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

After three bottles of Zin does the color even matter anymore? Fran's right, this is getting interesting. My question, though, is... what does Cora Lea think of all this? Now that you have some answers, Cora, are you intrigued enough to try one out? And i'm dying to know what you're garden looks like with 25 years experience in it. Sandra


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

What does Cora Lea think? She agrees with Fran - it is getting interesting, and I am loving every bit of it!! I certainly have learned - we have moved from the informative, to the nostalgic, to having fun with an idea. As for me, I don't know that I will get one right away - I tried to pick one up at a garden center the other day and it was so light that I nearly knocked it off the pedestal - in my mind I could just picture the little sign often seen in China shops - "If you break it - you buy it!" I am wondering if the balls are constructed with some way to put a weight to the bottom to hold them in place. A good wind would have blown this one off and to the ground. To Sandra - I only wish that my 25 years experience had been in the garden which I currently have. I am about 6 or 7 years into this one. I do love gardening, and the other day actually took the time to list all of the plants that I have - mostly perennial. I surprised myself. By now, it should be perfectly planned and everything in its proper place, however, it seems that every year I decide to move half of the garden around - it takes most of the year to accomplish the goals that I set out in the fall for the next year. I am sure the neighbors are wondering if I will EVER get it right!! ME, TOO!!!! I guess it is better to be a gardenaholic than some of the other options in life, huh? Who knows - maybe my garden will have a gazing ball someday. Where do you live Sandra? I could probably use some advice on where to put a few new things.


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

Why don't we have a forum on GAZING BALLS?................


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

Watch out all this talk of mirrors and balls ...today is Friday the 13th.....:):):)


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

I have a sort of gazing ball. Not quite the Victorian kind. At the local grocery store they had a sale on those large swirly balls for children. I got a purple one and put it in my Garden. I just kinda floats from place to place. Sometimes it sits in the birdbath. It's true, you can't gaze into it--it's more for gazing at (Here a few bottles of zinfandel would be very helpful). But it makes an interesting contrast to the leafy greeness of the garden. And it was only 79 cents! And, visiting children can play with it! Sometimes my husband and I throw it around for fun. If you have children, you probably have many of this type of garden ornament.


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

A youthful nephew of mine received one of those 3-D books for his birthday, the kind that you stare into and sort of squint a little and all of a sudden this picture in three dimension appears. Would it be possible to put these 3-D images on the surface of the gazing balls? Of course, you would have to sit up close (but not so close that you leave a greasy nose print on the surface of the ball) in order to fully experience the thrill of popping that 3-D image into view. The larger balls could be imprinted with four different images, one image in each quadrant. Thus, four people could sit around the ball, each searching for their respective images. This sounds like great fun. First though, we need a business plan, don't you think?


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

To Cora Lea, alas, they are very easy to break. I know from experience. The latest ones I've seen are round (of course) with a kind of tail on the bottom that you put through a guide in the pedestal. This is supposed to keep it more stable. When spring arrives & I go buy another one (my goat knocked the last one over), I plan on taking it to my local glass shop to have them drill a hole in the bottom & fill it with sand. Unfortunately, I'm always starting & stopping in my gardens, too. Just moved to a beautiful old Victorian last month in Portland, OR. It has a great base - lots of trees, box hedges, rhoddies, etc - so I can't wait to dig in! I want to put in lots of old fashion types since the house is 92 years old. Don't know how much help I can be, but have studied a little, thinking of starting master gardener classes next year. So ask away, be glad to help if I can.

To all other gazing ball junkies out there - seems we survived the 13th ok, or did we? Anyone know if this is where the gazing balls of gypsy's & mystics came from? I seem to recall theirs were just glass & not mirrored. And can we possibly keep ourselves busy with this until time to plant next year? Just a few questions to ponder over the dreary winter months ahead.


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

Skip,
Why don't we get together to have 10' gazing balls made which can be craned on to a 15 foot Roman pedestal.
They could be for front yard garden displays. That way all your neighbors 12 houses down could enjoy your yard from their own front porch. Hell, in electrical storms it could convert over to a giant plasma ball. That would be beautiful!


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

I was very tired when I sat down to make my way over the messages to see what I could find. Well I found it. Thank all of you, I am laughing and feeling much better. I just kind of wonder if some of you instead of filling up on Zinfandel have been grazing on the more interesting plants in your gardens.


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

  • Posted by: Cora Lea (Iowa-Z5) (bellsrus@dwx.com) on Saturday, September 21, 1996 at 14:17

Alas, this posting has turned out to be simply delightful! Skip and Robert, I think you may just have something here. Not only could you see your neighbor's yards, but you could return us to the time when everyone knew everyone else's business - you know - Small Town, Anywhere. Think of how easy it would be to keep track of your children and what they are doing - now you won't have to explain by saying you have "eyes in the back of your head" when you learn of one of their "escapades". Let me know when you get THIS "Gazing Ball" up and working! I, for one, don't want to miss it!!!!!


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

Thank you all for the laughs. I usually just go to the herb forum, but now I believe that I'll visit the other forums as well. You are a bunch of fun people here.


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

Victorian ladies wore high collars with whale bones in them, and they probably couldn't turn their necks far enough to see the garden unless they could peer straight ahead into the reflecting ball. With all that Zinfandel around, maybe Don and the boys could use a little boning in their collars! As to the oversize balls, one headstone (headball? football?) in the cemetery in Memphis, Mich, has a marble ball about 5 feet in diameter. The marble was all finished except for the side in the saucer which was rough, probably to keep the ball from turning. The idea was good, but it didn't work, because the saucer would fill with water and freeze, and every spring we kids had to go to the cemetery to see if the rough spot had worked its way to the top yet. Maybe that gives you some idea of the excitement in Small Town, USA, and why we have the patience to wait for a seed to germinate. Barb


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

Been awhile since I visited here. I, too, want to see the MEGA BALL, once in place. Good idea for a city park, don't you think? Now if we could just get them to serve wine like they do in salons....


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

One question, where can you get gazing balls. I haven't seen any in the local garden centers? I'm in the Dallas area. TIA mary-etc


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

  • Posted by: Clare B (MO zone 6) (jangert@stlnet.com) on Wednesday, October 02, 1996 at 11:41

Are gazing balls ever called "weather balls", or is that something else? As a kid in the sixties I used to see lots of gazing balls in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi rural yards. Usually these same yards seemed to also contain flower boxes made out of tractor tires slit into zigzag patterns at their tops (and bottoms? Memory fails.) As a 6 year old I thought the white painted tires were tacky and the gazing balls tacky but magical. My opinion hasn't changed. Back then I never heard the term "gazing ball" but I think I recall reference to weather balls.


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

Mary - check out specialty garden shops in your area.

Clare - they are not weather balls, that's something else. I agree that planting things in tires (painted or otherwise) is very tacky. The gazing balls, though, when properly placed, can be quite enchanting.


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

Skip and any one else that might help;
When I was fishing for one of several balls my warbird put in the water,I had the thought of the possibility of using gazing balls,instead of Top-Flites? Beings you people,east of the Rockies know all about the Ball,I wonder if they make or would make a small order,not much larger than 2"[gota get it in the hole] Their reflection might make it easier to find and would speed up the game,so I could get home and finish my vacuming be fore I have to water my Bonsai.Get on it Skip,more people west of the Rockies are getting On Line and might beat us to the chance.--Z--


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

Well, Don, you know that those gazing balls are extremely fragile but they might just work out as a replacement for your Top-Flites golf balls. I'm told that you seldom hit them anyway so the danger of breakage would be minimal. My informant also tells me that you spend much of your time on interesting field trips in the rough, sort of like orienteering but with a more urgent need to find that little sphere that went hooking or slicing off into uncharted territory. I was also told that you shot a 39. Not bad. How did you do on the second hole?


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

Did you all know that gazing balls came from the GEEKS???? A very nice person in the next posting (about gazing balls) announced that; I guess we all missed it!!

I, for one, think that this finally puts to rest ANY furthur controversies regarding these garden ornaments. (I sure hope you-know-who reads that about the geeks!)


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

Indeed, they are made in a factory in Geeksylvania where the spherical secrets are kept. When they first started making the gazing balls the shiny side was inside the ball. Sales were really flat. Then, they brought in a consultant who re-invented the company in order to cross over the bridge into the 21st century and the balls have been rolling off the production line at a record pace. Once they figured out how to keep them on the production line, profitability began to be reflected on the bottom line. A subsidiary company will begin production of a Gaze-bo kit with a gazing ball installed at the peak of the roof which should drive some of the local birds nuts.


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

Yeah, O.K. but how will they stay shiny with all those pesky bird droppings??
(A gazing ball with the shiny part on the inside.....I think I like it!)


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

OK, I knew what a gazing ball is, but does anyone know what a 'witches ball' is?? No, this is not an obscene joke - there really is such a thing - I remember reading about them in a book on antiques. I remember they were along the gazing ball idea, but not quite. I am going crazy trying to find the info on the witches balls. Let me know if anyone has the dope on them!!
As an aside, I see in the trendy garden decor mags that these gazing ball type bubbles are really de riguer - often they are put on spikes of various heights interspersed through the garden. I thought they were rather intriguiging - they reminded me of childrens soap bubbles floating above the flora!
Another aside - I'm looking for cast off bowling balls to gild and tuck in the garden every here & there. Kind of a heavy-weight gazing ball idea. I have tried every garage sale I could get to and no one seems to be getting rid of these white elephants!!! Keep an eye out for some for me!!!


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

  • Posted by: Joanne WI z5 (dickwis@ibm.net) on Saturday, October 12, 1996 at 15:32

Ruth Anne: Murphy (the guy with the "laws") just popped up again. I got rid of 2 bowling balls within the last month...sigh. What a great idea. I'm always looking for some unusual item to plop in my garden. By the way, check with your local bowling alley - they may have a few old, beat up bowling balls that they'd be happy to donate to your garden. That's where I took mine....wonder if they'd be willing to give them back:) I WILL try to track down one for myself, but I'm not giving up on a gazing ball. It's on the top of my wish list. Time to run and help the neighbors decorate for halloween. Lots of corn bundles, pumpkins, hay bales and gourds to use, not to mention buckets of gorgeous leaves. Sure is beautiful today.......joanne


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

Just spotted an alternative gazing ball - check out the Christmas David kay catalog: they have 4-5" brass spheres that are silvered, though not mirrored like gazing balls, and I think they might make a neat alternative to gazing balls if spotted here & there on the garden ground. Kind of like big bubbles. I think I'll stick my dummy hand in the ground by one. Still looking for bowling balls to gild.


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

Do you have the address for that catalog?


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

Sure - David Kay 1-800-535-9917. Call and they'll send you a catalog! By the way, tell them you were referred to them through this site - a future sponsor, maybe??!!


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

  • Posted by: Cora Lea (Iowa Z5) (bellsrus@dwx.com) on Monday, November 04, 1996 at 11:13

I just checked out the "Perennial" forum and came across Tamara's posting on "Fairy Gardens". The idea of a fairy garden holds images of things mystical for me. You know, I think we may actually have an idea for her here! Not yet convinced that the gazing ball would fit the "style" of MY garden, I sure do think that miniature ones in a fairy garden would be absolutely delightful. Just think of all the possibilities! She could have them everywhere her little heart desired - with just a collection of attractive marbles, glued to the tops of golf tees sprayed gold, or whatever she wanted. She could even use the stump of a very tiny tree for the base. Now, THIS would be fun, and delightful to see. What do YOU think?


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

I've seen an effective use for a gazing ball that no one here has mentioned yet....
I was going through one of my MANY gardening and house magazines (so don't ask me which one) and saw a small pond that had been set in the shady end of a yard. It was very quite water with a small waterlily and a silver gazing ball floating on the surface like a humongous bubble.
Very Serene!
It could probably also work with some of those Japanese glass fishnet float-thingies you can sometimes find in maritime shops.


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

I think what you saw was a dead blowfish. Also known as a puffer.


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

Cora Lee, a perfect idea! I really love it!


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

  • Posted by: Grace (PA/Zone 6) (kfmartin@epix.net) on Thursday, November 07, 1996 at 22:18

All this talk about gazing balls and pansies still blooming and fairy gardens...I read a book when I was in junior high (don't ask how long ago) set in the Victorian era and basically the gazing ball was EVIL! Some bad little girl's spirit was inside of it, her favorite flower was pansy, another little girl was tormented by her, etc. My backyard neighbor has a green gazing ball and everytime I look at it I'm reminded of this book!


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

Robert: WE'VE GOT ONE!!! Went up to Door County for vacation this past summer & tracked down a gift complex that I'd been to as a child with my parents (X-years ago) and had purchased a much loved petrified puffer. Couldn't believe, there it was... another puffer!!! Had to have it! My daughter carried that lethal weapon on her lap on our 2 hour flight home. Now I know what I can do with it at last!!!


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

  • Posted by: Barbara Mc Z8/E-Tx (terrymc@e-tex.com) on Friday, November 08, 1996 at 23:41

Cora Lea, wouldn't a mini gazing ball be called a Christmas ornament? I have some old red Christmas balls, maybe I'll stick one on a dowel and put it in the holly bush.


 o Where to see a Gazing Ball

If your town has a Victorian mansion, it will probably have a gazing ball. Winnipeg does have some, including in the English Garden. I have seen them in stylized French gardens in Europe as well. I would not want one unless it is made of metal and unbreakable.


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

  • Posted by: Cora Lea (IA-zn5) (bellsrus@dwx.com) on Friday, January 10, 1997 at 12:44

See, Ruth Anne and Janet - this posting isn't gone, YET!!!

For you "Newbies" (can't we think of a better name)-you won't be new long - this posting is really good for a laugh, huh?

Just wondering how many out there have gazing balls and how you use them. We have several "new friends" since this posting first occurred, and am wondering how you all feel about the infamous gazing ball? My biggest concern is spending so much money on something which appears so fragile.

Would also be interested in knowing where you live? Is the gazing ball in the garden a "regional" kind of thing, or is its use based simply on like or dislike?


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

Also for newbies: if you have enjoyed this craziness, come to the Garden Party Forum - gazing balls get bounced around there a good bit, too. And pink flamingoes run rampant! jo


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

  • Posted by: Cora Lea (IA-zn5) (bellsrus@dwx.com) on Saturday, January 11, 1997 at 13:02

Barb Mc - Am wondering if you took your own advice seriously and put the red Christmas ornaments in your holly bush? I would love to know if you got any comments. That would be fun! Wow, look at the size of THAT holly berry! J.K.!!


 o RE: A Gazing Ball?

bringing this back up to the top. Someone is looking for it!


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

  • Posted by
    Linda Mazar (MN z 4a)
    (lmazar@mgi.com) on
    Saturday, March 15, 1997 at 23:56

Gazing Balls are cool. They sell them at Bachman's Nusery here in the Mpls area, but they are expensive. Did drilling a hole and filling it with sand work? Let us know. I don't want to spend the $ without a way to keep it secured. I noticed this past summer that someone about 10 blocks from me had painted a sphere with dull gold paint and put it on a pedestal in their garden. I think they may have missed the point, but maybe not. Maybe a little wine would make all the difference. You never know what someone is thinking or what makes them happy. Is everyone going to let this subject die? It's been entertaining reading for me, but I just found it. I guess I'm several months late.


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

At the Philadelphia Flower Show, I saw an exhibitor using gazing balls in a different and (to me) attractive way. They put the balls on the ground instead of on a pedestal. One was in front of a twin-trunked tree, one was among some high-arching ferns, and another was in some groundcover. I thought this much less artificial looking than the mushroom effect one can get on some pedestals. For some reason, it reminded me of a fairy garden.


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

Re-reading this post I am laughing and laughing - but mostly at myself. As a result of Garden Web I've become a gazing ball fan and just ordered one from Milaeger's this weekend. Blue, of course. I can't wait for it to come!


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

Would you believe it...I have read this post many times wondering what on earth a gazing ball is.....the other day I sat flipping a garden mag from January, and all of a sudden I stopped at a page which I had passed several times in the past......and then the penny dropped!!! They had it!! Can't tell you how thrilled I was!


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

Linda - you're not missing anything. I see the 'trendy' trend is towards these gold, silver or bronzed leafed finishes, kinda crusty and old looking,with lots of character. Then they are referred, in an upscale kinda way, as 'spheres'. Ingrid: Congrats! But you just got it NOW??!!
And I like them better on the ground, too. Just don't go painting smiley faces on them, or dressing them up like those concrete geese.


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

I must add to the topic that back in Philadelphia I was told that the people of Italian descent place the gazing balls in their yards to reflect "the overlooks" (evil thoughts, etc.) back onto the person who originated them! I laugh every time I see one sitting in the middle of a manicured lawn full of meatball-shaped azaleas!


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

Ruth Anne, I guess I just wasn't gazing ball conscious before! If there is such an affliction that is ;-)


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Oh this thread! It keeps me laughing. My gazing ball arrived in the mail about a week ago. It's still in the box because the weather is too #$&^$!!*# awful to put is out in the garden. I'd like a few sunny days, before I have to start cleaning the thing.

What I want to know, am I the only one who bought one because of this forum? If there's a bunch of us, maybe Spike should start collecting royalties on the sales.


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

Oh, I'm glad this thread is still here. After Ruth Anne mentioning her gazing ball on her mantle, and not really "wanting" it there, and then all the talk about her new Pergola being built.....I can just see it now. Early evening, just as the sun is beginning to sit, the neighbors will turn, only to see, Ruth Anne, sitting at a table in the center of her pergola, with her gazing ball in the center. Her hands will gracefully sweep around the surface, and she will look deep, as if searching for meaning....see, these gazing balls are good for decorating the garden, but they are even better for making the neighbors take a second look.


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

I have noticed "gazing balls" in many a garden while traveling from upstate NY to Pa., and I have never seen one that has looked good. I suppose I could picture one looking good near a fancy Victorian house, because the architecture has a lot of fantasy. But the effect in front of trailers and more humble abodes calls to mind the Twilight Zone. Of course, if you enjoy them, don't worry about how much you will make me suffer, :-D LOL. Looking into one IS interesting, a psychedelic experience without the drugs (or wine). By the way, about that goat vs. the gazing ball-did it also have a grazing ball?


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

I am a newby & I have really enjoyed this forum. It made me laugh. I don't think one of those balls would work here. We get 50 - 60 mile an hour winds on a regular basis. I am also not sure I would want to see what my neighbors are doing in that ball. If that isn't enough, I have a family who likes to play baseball. Alas, no gazing ball for me.


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

My husband just ordered me a mother-of-pearl gazing ball :). I'm going to set it beside my 'Bow Bells' rose, campanula, and silvermound--no scary tripody thing. It'll look like a giant soap bubble! But for this forum, I would never have considered it.

Alia


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

  • : Cora Lea (My Page) Sun, Sep 27, 98 at 18:31

Alia, a mother of pearl gazing ball sounds lovely! I am assuming it is also made of glass?

I would love to know EXACTLY where in Maine they make these things - gazing balls, that is. We recently returned from vacationing there, and yards all around the area of Skowhegan had them - whether a garden was involved or not. In fact, in one driveway, I bet we saw a dozen of them. That's quite different from here where you see them "occasionally", but certainly not in the numbers they were found there. I figure they have to have a manufacturer nearby. Does anyone know for sure?


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back in the thread a weather ball was mentioned.. its the only one i would have in my yard. it is a good thing to have and it is very accurate if it is wet its raining if it is moving its windy if its covered with white fluff its snowing if it is hard to see its night feelit if it is cold its winter warm summer

but a gazing ball is right up there with plastic gnomes which is only in the yard because a good marrige is based on compromise this one of them. if it is not wood metal or rock it is not for my yard.
bryan


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i now have a weather ball which i will hang on saturday.


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

I absolutely love mine. I placed mine in my son's memorial garden where I can sit and think and gaze or whatever. His garden is orange(his favorite color),yellow and purple. My purple gazing globe really adds a good splash of color in that corner. I love it when it 'talks' to me.Whenever it rains, the area where the glass neck fits into the cement base becomes filled up with water. When I work in that area it always talks, or burps at me as air is released from the ball. It really does talk to me - with AND without a glass of wine!


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

I visited a garden artist's personal garden in Berkeley, where she is famous for her use of oddball objects in the garden. I especially enjoyed the bowling ball of swirled mauve placed next to the rare Helleborus sternii, where it set off the pink stems and glaucous blue foliage of the plant to perfection. I'm still undecided obout the "silver garden" of table utensils bristling out of the ground inbetween silver-leafed plants.


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

I had fun making my own sphere (I can't call it a gazing ball because it does not reflect) out of an old bowling ball that I covered with pennies and grouted. I think the copper color will blend in good with my plants and it will stay put in strong winds!


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A gazing ball and a witches ball are the same. One came to favor in victorian time, the other was to scare off the witches when the seen their reflection back in medival times. They were hung from trees or stuck on tall poles.
I have 5. Ea. of a different color. I have them on pedestals and leftover sm. tree trunks. They look nice in a mixed flowerborder with different heights.
Used to think they were tacky. But I think they grow on you.Monika


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

Alas, over the length of this posting (was it REALLY Sept 1 of 96 that I asked the question, "What IS a gazing ball?"), I am happy to report that I now know what a gazing ball is, and have been tempted from time to time to purchase one. Recently, they were on sale at a local discount place, but when I returned to check them out one final time before purchasing, they were all gone!

I have seen them used in many ways, some quite delightful. I simply have to share one way I observed them being used this past December.

We were in Cancun and visited an eco-park. Being close to Christmas, there were many nativities set up every place we went. In one corner, in a mass of pathways at a place called X-Caret, there was an absolutely gorgeous, white marble, life-size nativity - set up below a huge banyon tree. Attached to the banyon tree were MANY large silver gazing balls, held in red "fishing net" slings, which were brought together at the top, and tied to the tree branches so they could hang down like ornaments. Accenting them were large, perfectly tied, velvet-appearing red bows. I had to take a picture. We've talked about the "fairy gardens" here. Well, I think this one was a "fairy garden" for the giants! It was absolutely breath-takingly beautiful! Has anyone else seen this done before?


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

Does anyone know the meaning of the various colors of the gazing balls? I read sometime ago that the colors were signifcant of something, ie: health, prosperity etc.


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

If this link is still active, you may wish to know that one company is now producing unbreakable stainless steel (mirror)gazing balls in various colors, and sizes ranging from 3 inches to 22 inches. I have a 16 inch silver one in the yard now and it is very attractive. Another company imports 12 inch copper metal balls which also are quite nice, but pricey. None of these have the "bump" that the glass ones have that require the use of certain pedestals.If any interest is POSTED here, I can tell you more. No e-mails, please!


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

Oh, gosh! I wanted to share a picture of my first gazing ball and what it looked like at the end of the season, and I see this post is nearing the end of road, and my good computer which is hooked up to the scanner is in the shop getting some major surgery. I hope no one cares if I post without the pictures for now and scan them when the computer is back. I thought I had a good seal on the ball, but it lost most of the metallic coating inside with just one season. I can't say I hate it without all the silver, but it sure looks different...sort of like a big bubble landed from blowing soap bubbles...but without the reflection.

I hear this is not a terribly unusual situation. What can be done to add "life" to the ball? Any suggestions or tips anyone can share?

And, I would think the stainless balls would get water-spotted like a kitchen sink...do they? Sure would beat having to bring them in when hail or gusty winds are in the forecast.

Pictures coming ASAP...I promise.


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

Rolfe
I am interested in sourcing stainless steel gazing globes direct from the manufacturer. Do you know of a company that produces the product?


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

Whew! what a long thread. Walmart has gazing ball's,k-mart, Lowes... how can you not run across one of these somewhere?
Searched high and low for a large gold one though, now I'm afraid to put it outside.
The English used them to ward off witches.

Cindy


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

Cindy, you are SO right! Gazing balls are EVERYWHERE now. BUT, when I asked this question in September of 1996 (note the date of the original post!), they were NOT popular at all - at least not in our area! I honestly wasn't 100% positive what they were, though I had a pretty good guess.

I'm not worried about witches in my gardens. I have plenty of cute little fairies to take care of them! LOL

I promised to post a picture of this first gazing ball a LONG time ago, but then wasn't able to do so. In looking through pictures today, I found it! Its about as plain as you can get - but it was VERY special because it was the first one, and I had waited so long to get it! This is the one that today has lost much of its metallic, reflective paint, but its still interesting in the garden. I think I've also developed a little more creativity in using the gazing balls now than I did at first. There are so many fun ways to use them.

The linked picture, is quite a contrast to what we have outside today - a pretty heavy accumulation of snow! Interesting enough, however, I am sending you to see more "SNOW". My first gazing ball is surrounded by tulips called "Snowstar". Enjoy!

: My very first gazing ball!


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

Hi Cora Lea, I love your tulips, wish we could grow tulips here! I like the way you used your ball, too.


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RE: A Gazing Ball?

I haven't seen this response on here, but I think the most useful purpose it has is to reflect light, especially in shady part of the garden. This hit me when I was was joking with a friend and discussed placing a mirror to reflect light to a dark corner in my yard and she quickly pointed out that this might start a fire. As a gazing ball is speherical, it diffuses light in all directions and would not concentrate the sun's rays into any particular angle to create a fire. I have used one in an area in my yard that borders a strand of trees which made growing roses there difficult. After I put a gazing ball there, the additional light which emanated from the ball perked the roses right up.


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