Making a spectacle… glass in the garden

Glass may not be the first medium that pops into your head when you think of garden design, but we at the Open Living Company love it… certainly more than Nick Clegg likes to say sorry…and a lot more than Andrew Mitchell’s chances of being invited to the Downing Street police officers’ Christmas party.

It is such a versatile material and, apart from its own inherent beauty, it reflects, refracts and even magnifies light and so gives constantly varying definition and interest with the changing time of day and seasons. It also provides fantastic winter interest when the rest of the garden is looking duller and sparser.

Blue bubble glass art as a garden design feature

Blue bubble glass art as a garden design feature

We have often laid glass chippings for an unusual effect, as it works well with succulents, architectural planting, palms, bamboos and grasses and we have used pieces of glass art in several gardens – often by local Teddington glass designer Kath Pearce.

We also love some of the glass sculpture at the wonderful Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden, and were particularly struck by Planes of Motion by Richard Jackson & Sally Fawkes, but the potential offered by the spectacular Corning film A Day Made of Glass (and its follow up A Day Made of Glass Unpacked) really set us thinking.

We love the idea that your tablet or phone could truly make your garden into a living room. Imagine being able to sit out on a summer’s evening with family and friends, by your fire pit for warmth if it’s a bit chilly, and watch a film or the i-Player on your garden wall. Or using your garden office desk as an interactive desktop?  

The technology is there now, but it will still take some time to become attainable beyond the very rich – but in the meantime just think how much fun even your children could have with a glass version of a whiteboard fixed to a garden wall…wipeable and washable, they could paint you a new mural every day and then have as much fun washing it off with soap and water.

No need to entertain them, and you could have perhaps the best type of glass in a garden…one filled with a chilled white wine…

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