There’s no rule that says everything in a well-designed garden has to be brand new. As this tattered wicker armchair attests, many of the most charming elements are vintage pieces. Here, petunias form a colorful seat cushion.
This contemporary fountain’s clean, spare profile is the perfect foil for groundcovers laid out in simple fields of color. A more ornate fixture would only have competed for attention, detracting from the serenity of the small space.
A bold tile mosaic makes this path a much more interesting route through the garden than plain concrete.
When planning all hardscape, think about how you can design functional features that are stylish as well.
A mirror strategically placed against a painted block wall bounces back an image of the garden in front of it and tricks casual observers into seeing another landscape through an open doorway.
Note how the reflected garden appears to recede into the distance as though it were real.
A collection of birdhouses transforms a wall of shingle siding into a fanciful focal point.
The fact that a birdhouse is normally nestled among plants in the garden makes this grouping all the more appropriate for displaying outdoors.
Trompe l’oeil murals can leave visitors guessing whether the garden they’re viewing is real or fake. Even an impressionistic painting like this one can fool the eye by artfully duplicating three-dimensional landscape elements -- vines twining up side posts -- in two dimensions.
From Big Ideas for Small Gardens
For more ways to punch up your garden with personality, purchase Big Ideas for Small Gardens.