Gazing balls originated in Venice, Italy, in the 13th century, where the famous Italian glass blowers would blow glass of all sizes and colors. Most of these gazing balls were created for the affluent homes of kings and queens.
Because gazing balls were thought to attract fairies and magical beings, King Ludwig II of Bavaria insisted that gazing balls be hung from trees, floated on the surrounding ponds, and placed on stands in the garden. Considered wildly eccentric, he longed to rule over a fairytale kingdom and built fairytale castles that today rate among Germany’s leading tourist attractions..
Gazing balls were also used to spy on couples as they walked around the garden (you could watch them unseen). They were also used in dining rooms of wealthy homes, so the maids and butlers could watch unobserved to see who needed their tea refilled.
Do you have a gazing ball in your home, yard, or garden?
During our road trip last week, I made a list of the people, places, things, events, and opportunities in my life that aren’t positive, uplifting, constructive, or healing—that don’t support the best version of me.
I’m currently in the process of weeding them out of my internal and external landscape—of making room in my personal garden for vibrant new growth.
It’s hard to shop for a minimalist. After all, we don’t want anything. So for my milestone birthday (I turn 60 on Sept 28), I received the coolest gift from my sister—1,500 live ladybugs!
Following the instructions to the letter, we waited until dusk, used a mister to spray the leaves with water, lightly dusted the accompanying ladybug food on the damp leaves, and then ever so carefully, released the ladybugs—a few here, a few there, until they were all free from the shavings in the mesh bag they’d arrived in.
GARDEN FRIENDLY “Gardeners greatly appreciate ladybugs as they eat aphids (each ladybug eats up to 5,000 aphids during its six-week life-cycle), mealybugs, mites, and scale bugs. These are all insects that destroy the habitat of the garden. Ladybug adults and larvae feed on pests they will eat the harmful bugs so your flowering plants can flourish.”
SYMBOLISM “A ladybug is the perfect symbol for lady luck. The ladybug brings luck and abundance wherever she goes. When you see a ladybug, make a wish, and when you see her fly away, you’ll know she’s off to grant it.”
Have you fallen in love with yourself yet? I don’t mean like Narcissus in Greek mythology. Rather, love in the sense of full acceptance and appreciation of who you are.
It’s my perspective that the most important relationship we’ll ever have is the one with ourself. By loving and caring for ourself, we’re able to give our best to others. That’s why I carefully tend my inner-landscape; why I nurture my inner-ecology.
Gardening from the inside out — a few of my tips:
Focus on my strengths
Don’t compare myself to others
Cultivate an attitude of gratitude
Treat myself with respect — body, mind, and spirit
My friend Sandi is a Master Gardener. Not strange then, that last week we were talking about gardening. But not your typical gardening. We were talking about woe-is-me gardening; the type that some people cultivate in their inner landscape that yields a bumper crop of weeds including self-pity, short-sightedness, fear, lack, low self-esteem and complacency.
That same week I shared with Terrill of Creative Potager, a quote by Frank Lloyd Wright, the father of organic architecture. He said,
“The reality of a building is the space within. And what you put into that space will affect how you live in it and what you become. Don’t clutter the place with stuff that does not ennoble it.”
His point is that it’s the details that express the whole. I believe this is equally true of our inner landscape; our inner garden. If we want to live a life that’s positive, uplifting, constructive and healing, it’s here that we need to cultivate a bumper crop of emotions, feelings and values such as peace of mind, compassion, joy, courage, gratitude and humor.