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?
I love yard work! Not only do I find it therapeutic, but I also get a lot of head-writing done while pushing the mower.
I appreciate that the neighbors on each side of us work hard to keep weeds at bay. Last week there was a knock at the door. When I opened it, one of our neighbors said, “Please keep Willa and Lexi in for a while because I’ve sprayed for weeds on both sides of the chain link fence.”
Thanking her for her thoughtfulness, I stepped outside to see the weeds she was referring to. Wouldn’t you know it—they were the little purple flowers that I actually encourage to grow. I think they’re beautiful! I’m glad they’re still plentiful on the other side of the yard where they grow in profusion the full length of the privacy fence.
It’s been said that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” meaning that “beauty” depends on who’s doing the looking—the “beholder.”