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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Place to Hang Your Hat

This chilling wind and a flattening cold got me thinking about the importance of my wooly winter caps. Hats don’t flatter me but I continue to pick out some corkers from the jester fleece cap to a stylish cashmere fedora. I’m constantly seeking purpose versus personality; much like fences in a landscape.

Think about it? How often have we seen a fence or a hat that makes us think - it either works or it doesn’t. We all embellish the image of a white picket fence and what it symbolizes but why on earth do we install fences? There are functional and aesthetical reasons. Fences may establish barriers, delineate boundaries, enclose a space, create privacy, protect and secure or simply reduce sound or wind exposure. Sometimes a fence is merely an aesthetical folly; it supports a choice flowering vine or it embellishes an entrance or gateway.

There is a certain language in fences that speak of character, personality and intent ranging from utilitarian to a statement of status and style. So what to do when selecting a fence? Choosing a fence for your property should be done as carefully as picking out your choice of hats. It can have a strong imposing presence. Ask yourself, what I am trying to say with a fence. Welcome. Keep out. This is mine. Dig me. Function or fashion or the right balance of both.

Understand what a fence is made out of and its durability to the conditions, specifically if it is meant to be one of function. Bringing in a fence specialist is a good idea but don’t let anyone sell you on the wrong look. Do your homework because sometimes the best fence is no fence at all. You may use screen plantings, stone walls – the list is endless.

If you goal is functionality, much like a winter hat on a cold day, you may want a fashionable look but you don’t want to forgo its purpose, much like a good, durable fence. If it is mainly for aesthetics, ask yourself if your property wears it well. Most people don’t wear hats well so this same rule may apply for white picket fences. In the meantime, post your favorite hat or fence photo. Here’s my pick.
You have to look close to see what’s on her hat!
Let’s end with an inspirational hat quote by William Jerome. “Any old place I can hang my hat is home sweet home to me.”
Image of Hat from the Internet

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)