History of Gazing Globes
In today’s modern garden, you will often notice beautiful
orbs of shiny iridescent glass, often set on top of a pedestal of some sort
standing among the flowers and plants. Since the 13th century, gazing globes
have been a very important part of gardens, both spiritually and aesthetically.
The first records of gazing globes show that they were hand made by Italian
artisans who crafted them out of mouth-blown glass. They were also known
as the garden ball or garden globe. Even many kings in Europe chose to have
these beautiful orbs in their gardens, and believed that they held magical,
mystical powers. Many felt that the globe could ward off bad things like
disease, evil spirits, attackers, and even ghosts. It was also known in
some legends to keep the witches away from one’s home. If the gazing
globe was placed near the door of the house, the witch would supposedly
see her own refection and be scared away, giving the home owners a sense
of protection. Others believed that by staring into it long enough, you
may become one with the universe because you could easily get lost in the
point of light that appears within its center.
As time progressed, the glazing globes served other purposes
besides just decoration and ornamentation. Many people gave them the nickname
“butler ball”, because the servants would use the globes as
a mirror in order to see important guests approaching. This mirror like
glass ball was also used to see whether or not the guests needed help without
having to stare at them directly while they ate their meals. In other legends,
people believed that gazing globes would attract fairies and various other
mystical, magical spirits. These beautiful globes became a standard fixture
in Victorian gardens, and are still popular today. They add beauty and an
almost mystical wonder to outdoor garden areas. Gazing globes can come in
a variety of colors, sizes, and styles. They can be found in most hardware
or nurseries (garden stores). Some can be custom purchased and made to order
for your personal style and liking. While most are coated with a mirror-like
coating, some are simply clear, and others are hand painted with various
patterns and designs. Gazing globes are versatile and weatherproof to provide
long lasting beauty and enjoyment.
It has been said that many kings from the regions of France
to the Netherlands demanded gazing globes in their palace gardens. They
were thought to have brought prosperity and good luck to any who owned one.
Some kings placed several of them throughout their gardens for even more
luck. Eventually, the gazing globe trend had found its way to America around
the early 20th century. Soon everyone had at least one of these lovely ornaments
in their gardens, with colors ranging from luscious greens to bright blues.
They became a status symbol in American, signifying wealth and success.
Today, these beautiful orbs are a common sight in gardens all over the world.
They may not have as much of a deep meaning as they once held in times past,
but gazing globes are still a beautiful piece of art that adds life and
personality to any garden. They come in all different forms and looks, and
are mounted on various platforms of your choosing. They can also be purchased
without the platform and simply placed on a table or even on the ground.
No matter what kind of gazing globe you choose for your garden, it will
certainly become an important and lovely fixture to enjoy for many wonderful
years to come.