Monday, July 18, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Garden urns on pedestals help vary the plant height in Bunny Williams's greenhouse, making it look lush, green and positively magical by candlelight. Courtesy of An Affair with a House.
We're in the thick of summer now. Thanks to a decent amount of rain, things are still looking lush and green here in New York--and that's so much more pleasant than the seared grass, dead leaf look, don't you think? I spent part of the weekend helping a friend landscape his patio. The transformation reminded me how even one plant can have a big impact, especially if it's in a great planter.  Auctions are a great way to uncover affordable vintage garden pieces. The biggest sales of this sort are in the spring (and I will review those next year, my dearlings, I promise you). But even now, you can unearth some real gems...and use them immediately! Of course, such items, particularly the cast iron, tend to be heavy, so the key here is to think local (or ask the auction house for a cheap but economical trucker). I looked around the country for great finds, and, without further ado, bring you a sampling of the best of them. Stay cool!

The Classic Garden

All the classic elements, a la  Mary McDonald: Interiors: The Allure of Style.

A pair of monumental classical urns. Simply stunning. In Pasadena on July 19th, estimate $3,000-5,000.
A similar pair of classical cast iron urns, at auction in Cincinnati on July 23rd, estimate $500-700.

A planter on a stand adds color and drama, from An Affair with a House.
Gorgeous concrete Corinthian pedestal, at auction July 30th in South Carolina, estimate $50-100.

An armillary on a pedestal transforms a courtyard. From Timeless Elegance: The Houses of David Easton.
A lovely (but dirty!) pair of neoclassical garden urns. At Doyle, New York, on July 21st. Estimate $600-800.
Impressive cast iron planters, at Doyle, New York on July 21st, estimate $500-700.

Blue and white on the porch, Bunny Williams style. From Point of View: Three Decades of Decorating Elegant and Comfortable Houses.

Chinese hexagon shaped porcelain planter, at auction in FL on July 30th, estimate $150-250.

John Dransfield and Geoffrey Ross's New Jersey porch. Photo: Simon Upton, courtesy of Elle Decor.
Chinese ceramic stools work everywhere. Now, they seem to be sold everywhere but many of the ones in catalogs aren't very well made. Try a vintage one for  better quality and a more unique look .

Pair of white glazed garden seats. In New Orleans on July 30th, estimate $200-400.

Chinese garden seat, at auction in New Orleans on July 30th, estimate $200-400.
Blue and white Chinese garden seat, in MA on August 4th, estimate $300-500.
Ceramic garden seat, at auction in Chicago on July 28th, estimate $200-400.

The Whimsical Garden

Of course we must start with Tony Duquette. The majolica urns on stands and ceramic garden seat are all classic auction finds--and great for showing off plants. From TONY DUQUETTE.
Dragon jardiniere and matching pedestal, at a PA auction on  July 23rd, estimate $200-300.

Green jardiniere on stand, at auction in Hatfield, PA on July 28th, $300-500.

Pair of Moorish plant stands, in Tallahassee on July 30th, estimate $75-150.

The Rustic Garden

Miles Redd does rustic right with these great painted signs and a vintage trunk.
photo: William Abranowicz. The fantastic porch of  Mari Ann and Michael Maher courtesy of Elle Decor.

Pair of cast iron jardinieres, at Doyle, New York on July 21st, estimate $400-600.

Copper jardiniere, at auction in New York on July 30th, estimate $300-400.
Driftwood pedestal. At auction in New Orleans on July 31st, estimate $250-400.
Adirondack plant stand, at auction in MA on September 10, estimate $100-200.

I am going to close with one more shot of Mari Ann and Michael Maher's fabulous porch--since that's where I'd love to be on this hot and sticky day!

photo: William Abranowicz for Elle Decor.

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