[An early-19th-century print of a helter-skelter in a Paris park from Garden Mania.]
I must have purchased Garden Mania: the Ardent Gardener's Compendium of Design & Decoration a few years ago during a phase when I had big plans to explore the history of gardening. Or maybe at the time I was simply interested in the illustrations of garden chairs. Whatever the case, I'm having fun revisiting it now.
[18th-century swinging seat under chinoiserie tent from Garden Mania.]
Of course, the section on furnishing the garden is right up the alley of any design enthusiast (think follies, organic looking tables, urns and tents) but another really interesting chapter in the 400-page compendium deals with entertainment.
[Wood frame ferris wheel with wicker-work seats circa 1800 from Garden Mania.]
This wooden ferris wheel is from Jane Austen's era. I can't decide if the wicker seats give it a kind of charm or if it's just a little scary. (The guys responsible for all the pulling that causes the passengers to go round certainly don't look happy.) It's the images of swings that really captivate.
[French fashion plate of 1920s from Garden Mania.]
Maybe it's because I'm so anxious to see a certain new summer movie, or maybe I'm in the mood for a crisp alternative to the famous frothy Fragonard painting, but this French fashion illustration from the book caught my eye. I thought it might inspire some of you event planners to do a riff on the park-themed party or wedding reception complete with classic iron benches. (BTW, The World of Interiors, June 2011, offers a terrific roundup of garden seats; below is my own Jayson find.)
[Image via Jayson Home and Garden.]
[Click to enlarge. Photograph of bubble in garden by Devil's Advocate. Flowers by Todd Fiscus and Raegan McKinney.]
More inspiration pulled from a past post: Southern Accents' wedding feature with flower balls suggestive of children's beach balls. (These remind me of the ever-popular summer pastime, blowing bubbles, too.) Another great flashback is Matthew Robbins doing amazingly wild, trailing bouquets at Wave Hill for Martha Stewart Weddings.
[Screengrab from Sheryl Crow's Summer Day video.]
Related past posts: A Pleasant Thing, Free Association and Orlando Part II.