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Style / DESIGN : MAKING HISTORY

August 13, 1995|BARBARA THORNBURG

OK, so maybe home isn't a vast family estate of shady woodlands, moss-covered fountains, weathered statues and patinated urns. There's no reason you can't create your own ancestral garden with a few choice ornaments. Of course, real gems--old terra-cotta pots imported from Windsor Castle or new terra-cotta panels cast from original Gladding, McBean & Co. molds--are one way to go. But just as effective are "heirlooms" fashioned from modern materials such as fiberglass or concrete-and-resin composites, which are then finished to resemble aged wood, stone and metal. Antique stores, architectural salvage yards, swap meets and garage sales have accessories in a range of styles your great-great-grandmother might have fancied. And if any of the pieces haven't aged gracefully enough, Rob Smith of Laurels Custom Florist in Los Angeles suggests coating them with buttermilk and burying them in the back yard for a few weeks. Says Smith of the results: "They come up looking like they're a hundred years old."

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