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Introduction >
Historical Follies >

Gardens need a focal point, a feature, a story. In recent years the pergola, the summerhouse and the rose arch
have all played their part in fulfilling this role. Perhaps now it is the time for something new, to take a leaf
from the garden design book of yesteryear: a gothic ruin, a temple, a pavilion, a folly!

The Garden Facade

The folly is an eccentric structure taking on many forms, set either in a prominent position or
in a secret are of the garden, that need serve no specific function except to impress, amaze
or delight. Is this romantic scene purely for visual effect or does it screen the more functional
compost heap, disguise a storage shed or simplyserve as a divider - a feature?

The Potting Shed

The myriad of follies that sprung up in the great English gardens of the 18th century included many in the melancholy mediaeval or Gothic mood fostered by the romantic movement. Although the rich men who built them did not need to give reasons, there are few follies without at least on story to justify their existence, rationalisations sometimes arrived at by the local community for its own satisfaction - is this a latter day tiny 'mini-me'?

Follies often take the form of ruins, probably inspired by the eighteeth century landscape painters... few of their pictures are without a ruin to stand as a melancholy reminder of the triumph of Time. These Gothic style castle ruins seem to satisfy a nostalgic yearning for the romance and chivalry of the past, while certainly providing an 'eye-catcher' or focal point. The Ruin Water Colour
 
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