A growing interest?Amazingly enough, the earliest record...

ON THE HOME FRONT

February 21, 1993|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,Staff Writer

A growing interest?

Amazingly enough, the earliest record of a garden layout we have is 4,000 years old. Found in the tomb of an Egyptian court official, it's a doll-size model made of wood and painted. The sycamore figs and some bunched papyrus canes are still recognizable.

If you're a lover of gardens and this sort of historical detail fascinates you, a new book, "Gardening Through the Ages" (Simon & Schuster, $50) is a must-have. The author, Penelope Hobhouse, is a noted garden designer and authority on historic gardens. Her newest book explores the relationship between plants and their influence on garden styles: In Renaissance Europe, for instance, new bulbs were treated like rare works of art.

This is a scholarly book, but accessible to anyone willing to spend a little time with it. And the illustrations are gorgeous, from illuminated manuscripts to the latest in full-color garden photography.

For anyone who's ever wondered how to deal with damaged furniture or needed help with hanging pictures, Antique Imports in Frederick is offering a series of free classes related to home furnishings.

Antique Imports, which sells decorative art and home accessories as well as antiques, will hold the informal one-hour sessions in March. All will be taught by on-staff professionals.

"Unraveling the Mysteries of Antique Clocks" (at 4 p.m. March 13) would be useful whether you want to buy or simply appreciate a clock you already have; "Decorating with Pictures" (3 p.m. March 14) will teach participants how to select frames and group collections; "Restoring Injured Furniture" (10 a.m. and 2 p.m. March 20; 2 p.m. March 21) will explore cleaning and repair techniques as alternatives to refinishing.

To register for any of the sessions, call (301) 662-6200 or (800) 662-2014. The classes will be held at Antique Imports, 125 East St., in the Everedy Square/Shab Row shopping complex in Frederick.

"People come in thinking they're in a little museum," Elyse Caplan says of Elyse, her new gift and home accessories shop in Pikesville. In case you think that sounds stuffy, consider one of her big sellers: a desk accessory called the Stress Train. It carries pencils, and makes a sound like a real train as it goes round and round its little track.

Elyse's is full of collector's items such as hand-painted porcelain, crystal, unusual clocks, and crafts and paintings by local artists. She has camel bone boxes from Afghanistan and mahogany carvings from Jamaica. There are Western-looking vases in earth colors and glass pedestals that turn into vases when you flip them over. She and partner Arnold Zulanch also design, make and sell their own jewelry using semiprecious stones.

Elyse's is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. The shop is located at 1306 Reisterstown Road and the phone number is (410) 653-9711.

The design-build concept is a popular one, especially in this economy. It's easy to have one person or firm do the

architectural design and handle the construction of a building or remodeling project. But Revisions Design Center in Columbia takes the concept one step further: It offers customers a remodeling design showroom.

Clients do as much or as little as they want to, says Patricia Daly, co-owner of the center. Say you want to add a bathroom to your basement. Normally you might have to work with 10 different sources for design and layout drawings, building permits, cabinets, counters, plumbing, flooring, lighting, windows and accessories. But the Design Center showroom offers a wide selection of materials in one place so you can coordinate them easily. A staff member will work with you from start to finish, whether you're doing the construction yourself or want all of it taken out of your hands.

The Revisions Design Center is located in the Maryland National Bank Building, 9200 Route 108, Columbia; (410) 740-9200.

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