The New Jersey town I grew up in was carved out of farmland in the 60s. There weren't a lot of older houses, and what older houses there were, were generally simple Victorian farmhouses. So, the one stylish 20s brick Tudor near a major crossroads was unusual. Even more unusual was its garden, with topiary yews and high hedges, and all kinds of other things never seen in New Jersey suburban gardens: rooms, paths, geometry, painted gnomes, and blue gazing globes. From the road, the whole thing looked like a super-sharp miniature golf
course. It was clearly the garden of a childish old person. It was…magical.
I have wanted a blue gazing globe ever since. But I never buy one because A. my husband thinks they are the tackiest of all possible garden ornaments, and B. this makes me feel that if I do buy one, it had better be super-nice.
Unfortunately, I can never find the right stand for a gazing globe. Once, in a magazine ad, I saw a white painted cedar stand with trellising on its sloped sides. It was very crisp and Nantucket-y, a very Protestant stand to silence all critics of the flagrantly showy gazing globe. "The gazing globe," this stand announced, "is a classic."
But I failed to track down that stand, and have never seen another. Yesterday, wandering in a local nursery in a post-deadline daze, I was very tempted, again, by a blue gazing globe. My choices of stands were, again, unfortunate: either the ugly ceramic bottoms of bird baths, or too spindly and industrial-looking iron.
I suddenly thought, well, maybe the iron would be okay, if it were hidden behind some stocky perennial. But I couldn't make up my mind, and so I march on into middle age, still, oddly enough, without that gazing globe I have wanted since childhood.