Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lee's Folly

For several summers my husband and I have taken on a series of landscaping projects that include fencing and a large backyard patio. We also wanted a structure that would provide shade and create an outdoor living space, but we didn’t want a traditional round gazebo or a pergola that doesn’t have a solid roof. After scouring dozens of gardening and landscaping magazines, we found a photograph of a structure called a folly. It was exactly what we had in mind.

Wickipedia describes a folly as “a building constructed strictly as a decoration, having none of the usual purposes of housing or sheltering associated with a conventional structure. They originated as decorative accents in parks and estates. ‘Folly’ is used in the sense of fun or light-heartedness, not in the sense of something ill-advised.”

The magazine article didn’t include instructions for building the folly but luckily my husband, who is very creative, not to mention handy, was able to design and build one that suits us perfectly. We took these pictures during the construction.





To provide more shade from the afternoon sun, we’ll plant a row of columnar cedars against the back wall. And we still have to add a few finishing touches, like the ceiling fixture and a gutter to collect rainwater, but the folly is finally ready to use.



We’ll put in more plants and I’m looking forward to having some hanging flower baskets as well.



For now it’s the perfect place for me to spend an afternoon with my laptop and a cup of tea.



I’m sure you’ll agree that this folly is definitely not ill-advised! All we need now is some great summer weather!

Lee

28 comments:

Ellen said...

It looks like a wonderful place to spend a quiet afternoon. Lucky you that your husband was able to modify and build it.

Anonymous said...

It's gorgeous! Makes me wish I had a backyard big enough (and sunny enough) to house a folly.
Once my summer weather gets going, I love to move a little patio table onto the small deck off my kitchen, drape one of my great-aunt Mary's old tablecloths over it (my favourite is that old heavy cotton you can't get any more, printed with red clover now faded to pink) and set up my laptop or my stack of blank foolscap.
There's just something about being outside in the fresh air that stimulates a whole new range of senses.

Enjoy, Lee!

Rachel

Lee McKenzie said...

You're right, Ellen. It's just about perfect!

Lee McKenzie said...

Rachel, you're absolutely right about a change of scene stimulating the senses.

Your great aunt's tablecloth sounds charming. I have an old cotton tablecloth with matching napkins that belonged to my grandmother. I hardly ever use it, though, because it always needs to be ironed. Who has time?

Anonymous said...

Wow! It looks stellar!

I love the wicker and the tea set.

What a wonderful place to write.

Jodie

MaryF said...

How gorgeous! I'm jealous!

Anonymous said...

Lee, your folly is the perfect summer writing place. Enjoy!

I have several of my grandma's tablecloths, including one she embroidered for me with puppies on each corner. I used it on my table when I had tea parties as a child. I also have several table scarves and doilies.

Sheryll

Lee McKenzie said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jodie!

The tea set is actually part of a large set of china I've been collecting for years. And wicker is one of my favorite things. Right now I'm on the lookout for a white wicker chaise lounge.

Lee McKenzie said...

Thanks, Mary! My husband has really outdone himself with this project.

Lee McKenzie said...

Oooo, Sheryll. I see a trip to the thrift store in my future. A couple of heirloom linens for the folly would be a nice touch.

We've thought about installing curtains for some added drama, but that might be a bit over the top!

Diane Gaston said...

Lee, what a lovely place to write. And I'm so impressed that your husband designed and built it.

My Regency ladies and gentlemen would very well know what a Folly is, only in those times they were not as airy and bright. They resembled castle ruins and stone towers and things like that.

Trish Milburn said...

Lee, that's beautiful! I wish I had one. Do you rent your husband out for construction projects? :)

Lee McKenzie said...

Diane, before we built the folly we did a little research, including a Google image search. We discovered that follies come in all shapes and sizes, and the ones built to resemble old ruins are especially intriguing.

Lee McKenzie said...

LOL, Trish! My husband manages to keep himself busy around here :)
There's a never-ending list of things that need to be done.

Christa said...

Lee that's beautiful you have a very talented husband

Esri Rose said...

What a lovely place to spend the afternoon!

Lee, if you're looking for a white wicker chaise, try Home Decorators Catalog. They're online. They also have outdoor rugs that could be really pretty, although of course it's more maintenance to hose them off occasionally. But bugs really don't like to fight their way across the surface, if ants are ever an issue.

I like the whole "bringing the indoors outside" concept. As long as there's shade.

Lee McKenzie said...

Thanks, Christa! I couldn't agree more!

Lee McKenzie said...

Esri, thanks for the catalogue suggestion - I'll check it out.

I, too, love "oudoor rooms" but shade is definitely for a factor for me. The folly has a solid roof for that reason.

heatheraynnebrooks said...

That is beautiful! It looks like it would be a wonderful place to spend the afternoon.

Lee McKenzie said...

Hi, Heather! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, the folly is the perfect afternoon hideout.

Anita Birt said...

Hi Lee, I love your folly. May I come by with my laptop and write with you? I need a kick right now to get back to the historical romance I'm writing. Enjoy your new space especially with the lovely weather we are enjoying on the island.

Lee McKenzie said...

Anita! For you, my door is always open. Good luck with your latest project. And yes, fingers crossed that summer is here at last :)

Cindy Procter-King said...

Wow, it's beautiful, Lee. I'm very jealous.

Lee McKenzie said...

I have to agree with you, Cindy :)

This landscaping project has been underway for several years and we've slowly been doing the work ourselves. It's great to have it almost finished!

Marianne Arkins said...

Oh my gosh... that's GORGEOUS!!

Lee McKenzie said...

Thanks, Marianne! And thanks for dropping by the blog!

Anonymous said...

Lee...
Wow, what a lovely idea! Mike sent it to me to have a look at and it is so gorgeous! It must be a very peaceful spot to write and ponder the next plot of yet another of your stories. Perhaps the folly is why I haven't seen you out here at the cottage lately!! Great job by your very talented husband...

Wicker and old china and old linens and ferns are definitely what this is calling for!!

Enjoy,
Dolly
Country Treasures B and B

Lee McKenzie said...

Dolly, thank you so much for checking out the blog! The folly is a great place to write, but I'll definitely be back at the cottage one of these days.