I am always surprised when gardeners express reluctance to use glass in the garden. It is after all a natural material-sand, melted. Will it break? All of the windows in my house survive all kinds of weather. My Suburban has glass windows, and mirrors. I have installed mirrors in gardens on occasion. Once you insure that no water will get trapped inside, glass is glorious outside. It is better than glorious outside, in the winter. A few years ago I hung 900 glass drops from the branches of 6 crabapples in the pots in front of the shop. I was a little worried that wind would wreak havoc with these natural chandeliers, but 9″ drops were all I could find. They worked out just fine; all winter long they hung in the trees. Drops reflect every bit of available light. Even on grey days, these glass drops sparkle.
At night, the drops were jewel-like. The noble fir and fresh eucalyptus at the base of these pots provided a home for some strong up lighting at night. We were able to hide the cords in the green nests. Those drops reflected that light source in a very dramatic way. Glass transmits, and magnifies light. Our dark winter days absorb light. This makes glass a natural choice for winter garden decor. Any light you are able to create in the winter landscape amounts to a big dose of sass at that season when we need it the most.
These antique English aluminum traps looked like giant chandeliers-I could not wait to hang glass drops on them. A simple steel plant stand was the perfect thing to hold the trap in an upright position. This display in the shop makes the idea very clear; glass sparkles during the day, and glows at night.
The holiday and winter season features lots of ornament made of glass. Simple spherical glass ornament at the holidays has a long history. Though glass ornament can be found in dozens of shapes now, a glass sphere is still my favorite. Luckily they are available in lots of different sizes. If I use these mini spheres outside, I glue the metal caps on. This protects the ornament from wind, and prevents water from getting inside. Water expands when it freezes. Modern glass ornament is made from very thin glass-they are easy to break.
Glass ornament under a covered porch is easy. Even the smallest glass ornaments on wires, clustered on a wreath, make a holiday expression dressy. There are those gardeners that prefer natural materials only for their holiday decor, but what I admire the most is the person who makes the effort. My neighborhood looks as good in December as it does in June.
Glass icicles enchant me in much the same way as the glass drops. Should you garden in my zone, you know all about those icicles hanging long from the roof come late January. Real ice is a regular and usually unwelcome companion to the winter garden. But the glass icicles make a benignly beautiful reference to the winter garden.
Glass icicles look great when they are wet. They will accumulate frost. Hung from the shop linden trees, they are good looking day and night. Dark bare branches festooned with glass icicles-this is a really good look.
These oak boxes set with branches look swell. Adding the glass to the mix makes for a party.
The morning after-frosted glass.
A garden bench with a necklace of glass lights would warm up any winter garden-not to mention this gardener’s heart.