The Outer Garden, floating high over a quarter of a full sim region, is a true delight. Designed by Bisou Dexler, it is a tour de force demonstration that less is very often more as it presents visitors, and especially photographers, with an absolute treasure of a place to visit.
Central to the design is a huge pavilion of glass what I take to be wrought iron, a structure evocative of Victorian beauty, hung with climbing roses and surrounded by a lake of bright rose bushes set against the snowy white ground. Around this can be found a series of little scenes which can either been seen as a part of the whole, or form self-contained elements of their own, while inside the pavilion lies a romantic heart.
Here one finds an aisle leading from the great doors to a single chaise lounge, the red petals of roses forming a soft carpet on the white floor. Close by, the ghostly form of a glass piano sits, waiting to be played or to play for visitors. Candles light the space on an evening, together with a sprinkling of golden stars floating in the air under the high dome, while balloons are gathered near the piano and the seat, like clouds hovering at the horizon.
Outside, ices and cakes can be found not little tables next to an ice cream gazebo staffed by a a little white teddy bear, the translucent forms of butterflies hovering wisp-like between the tables. A little further away sits a little copse, a little hideaway nestling inside.
There is a beautiful ethereal quality to The Outer Garden, partially due to the use of light (especially a subtle use of glow); this gives the entire scene a soft look that might be described as “timeless” or “other-worldly”, and which leads to opportunities for some clever photographic effects when mixing the right appearance with the surroundings. Just watch, for example, as someone can seemingly disappear into the rose bushes surrounding the pavilion as they walk away from you, their form gradually softening and fading the further they get from your camera.
The Outer Garden is an absolute treasure; if you’ve not already been there, it is a place I thoroughly recommend you add to your list of places to visit.