As the Fourth of July approaches, star spangled banners are unfurling along Studio City parkways. While Betsy Ross’ iconic stars and stripes design remains a front yard fixture patriotic heraldry now shares green space with banners supporting everything from barbeques, the Lakers, Union Jacks and butterflies to Tibet and Shrek.
Whether hoisted on a pole or staked into dirt, garden flags create movement, at least when the Pacific sends a breeze over the hill. And during the lipstick-melting dog days of summer, even the slightest glimpse of fluttering fabric can raise morale.
Another perk? Flags, bunting and banners can inject an eye-catching splash of color in dark corners or otherwise boring rooflines.
From a design standpoint, a properly positioned banner functions as an installation that costs far less than a pricey water feature.
As a symbol of civic pride, flag presentation runs the gamut. The Court of Historic Flags in the L.A. Civic Center respects sacrifice, yet the barren plaza sacrifices greenery to concrete. Canada’s Garden of the Provinces’ formal terrace, by contrast, plants flags of the provinces right next to tulips and other flowers. San Francisco’s ReIMAGINE Prayer Flag Project used Tibetan prayer flags to release wishes of love, kindness, peace, compassion and wisdom to the universe. And in New York, installation artist Christo gained international notice after installing thousands of flag-like orange fabrics alongside pedestrian paths.
Check out the accompanying photos for more variations on the Summer Unfurled theme.
WHAT TO DO:
Consider placement. If you have an interesting front door, move the flag asymmetrically toward the side so it does not compete.
Consider size. You don’t want a flag to get lost in the landscape; on the other hand, you don’t want a billboard in your yard.
Harmonize with the mood of your garden. A traditional house with an arbor of roses probably goes best with the straight-ahead stars and stripes. A cottage might do better with a folk-art rendition. The flower garden could feature a hummingbird or butterfly motif.
Make your own. Textile companies that manufacture durable, attractive outdoor upholstery include Sunbrella and Outdura.
STEAL THIS IDEA:
Prayer flags come in long lengths and multi colors and can be strung through trees like garden lights.