Whimsical Garden Decor

by April Reinhardt
(last updated May 7, 2013)

Most often when landscapers and master gardeners speak of gardening decor, they advocate understated elegance, focusing mostly on color schemes, patterns, and pre-designed plans. But what of the gardener with a light heart and a sense of humor? Creating a sense of wonder and whimsy in your garden will surprise and delight your visitors, and reflect your personality.

The word whimsical has been defined as "lightly fanciful" and "subject to unpredictable change." While strolling through a garden, what could be more capricious than spying a delicate fairy peeking from around a Honeysuckle hedge, or a stand-alone purple door that opens to a rock pathway enveloped in creeping Phlox?

While some people think a garden gnome is a standard whimsical garden accent, the list of personal garden pieces that inspire whimsy are endless. Some gardeners have been known to decorate their gardens with:

  • Wind chimes, sundials, gnome doors
  • Ceramic toadstools, toad houses, gazing balls
  • Signs, plaques, statues
  • Bird houses, suspended windows
  • Metal bedsprings draped with vine flowers
  • Antique cars, spinning wheels
  • Strategically placed mirrors
  • Scarecrows, fairies, metal animals
  • Sleds, bicycles, pogo sticks
  • Twinkling lights, golf clubs, clocks

Keep in mind that in order to support a great deal of garden accents, you need to have the greater portion of plants. You can be creative when personalizing your garden to evoke whimsy, but start small, and don't make anything permanent. Perhaps you'd like to place an antique spinning wheel for your Morning Glories to climb, but you know that rain and snow will eventually destroy the wheel. Instead, place accents for a few weeks or months, and then replace and recycle them throughout the year. Some more things to consider when creating garden whimsy are:

  • If you are nostalgic, use that in your garden plan. Perhaps you are an antique lover. You could use wooden buckets or crates, old farm implements, or a washboard to evoke bygone days.
  • Recycle anything and everything. If you have a garage, attic, or basement full of stuff that you haven't touched in years, use it as garden decor.
  • Incorporate your hobbies into your garden theme. If you're a sports enthusiast, love sewing, games, writing, trains, or woodworking, you can place objects into your garden to reflect those pastimes.

Whatever whimsical garden decor you use, make sure that it is environmentally friendly. After all, it is a garden and needs to be compatible with nature. For example, if you recycle a gas lawn mower to use as garden whimsy, make certain that you have drained the oil and gas tanks.

Oftentimes the first impressions of your home are its surroundings. Your garden is a reflection of who you are. Using whimsical garden decor shows your personality and you sense of humor.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...


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