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By REBECCA SLOAN



Published: Sun, June 17, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



By REBECCA SLOAN

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

WHAT'S HOT IN LAWN decoration this summer? Just look into a crystal ball -- a reflective garden gazing ball, that is.

First popular in the Victorian era and revived again during the mid-20th century, gazing globes had passed out of fashion until recently.

Now, as Kathie Lutz of Inglis Greenhouse in Boardman attests, these mirrored wonders are back and are the No. 1 pick on just about every gardener's must-have list.

Lutz believes the popularity of gazing globes is due to two factors: Anything Victorian and nostalgic is in demand, and gazing globes have reached the sunny side in the ever-circling cycle of what is fashionable.

"It's like that with any product. Something is always in for a while, then it goes out, and then it comes back again," Lutz said.

Lutz predicts gazing globes will be popular for a while.

"Everybody wants one this year. We have sold hundreds already," she said.

Changing colors: And unlike the gazing globes of yore, which typically came in silver, gold, red or blue, and sat on a pedestals that looked alike, today they come in an astounding array of colors and styles.

"Color is big. We sell every color of the rainbow," Lutz said. "Purples, pinks, multicolored, swirled, greens, turquoise, metallic -- you name it, you got it."

A globe dimpled like a golf ball is a big seller, Lutz said. Many retailers sell the globes and pedestals separately.

The pedestals, like the globes, also come in a variety of styles and colors. There are plain and ornate pedestals made from wrought iron, concrete and resin. There's also a pedestal styled like a shepherd's cane. Stick it into the ground, and hang the globe from its hook.

For the gardener concerned about looks and practicality, there's an extra wide pedestal that features a little door at the bottom where gadgets and tools can be stored.

Prices: An 8-inch globe sells for $25 to $30. A 12- to 14-inch globe costs $75 to $90. The larger the globe and the more ornate the base, the higher the cost.

Lutz said she has heard people comment that the globe's mesmerizing reflection has attracted birds and butterflies.

Besides gazing globes, Lutz listed decorative animals, especially bunnies and frogs, garden fountains and obelisks, or English trellises, as other popular lawn ornaments this season.

"Anything that fits the English garden look is in demand," she said.

An obelisk is a conical shaped trellis made from wrought iron that sits over top a climbing plant. It was introduced in England hundreds of years ago.

Flowing fountains: Lutz said fountains are popular because they produce soothing sounds and are easy to operate -- just fill them with water and plug them in.

"Garden fountains and ornamental animals made of resin are more popular than those made of concrete," Lutz said. This is because objects made of resin withstand hot and cold weather better and can be left outdoors all winter.

"However, many people who are buying resin fountains for their gardens opt to bring the fountains inside during the winter so they can use them as an accent in a foyer or sunroom," Lutz said.




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