Mirrors can help expand a garden
Published 9:00 am Sunday, August 17, 2014
Serendipity Gardens by Carol Hegel Lang
One of the basic concepts in gardening is to extend the view or frame it, thereby making the garden seem larger or emphasizing the view. An easy way to expand the view is by using mirrors to add depth in the garden, especially if it is a shallow garden. Earlier this spring, while I was paging through one of my garden magazines, they had used an old window frame and painted it lime green drawing your attention to the area. I went one step further and added a mirror to the back of the window and then painted it a green color. My original intent was to make it lime green, but my husband used a darker green and then he also sprayed lightly another color over it so it isn’t quite the bright color that I wanted. It does what I wanted it to do, it extends the view. If I had it to do over again I would have definitely used the lime green to draw your eyes to it.
By using a mirror on the back of the window frame it draws the garden into the frame and makes it appear as though you are looking through a window to the outside. A couple of years ago I did the same thing with a round object that I purchased at a flea market and then added the mirror. This one is mounted under the canopy of the gazebo on the patio and brings in not only light, but also a lovely view of the gardens. This can be done in any size garden to give you added depth.
Email newsletter signup
For my birthday my husband made two tuteurs out of re-rod and then he added an armillary-like top. They stand in both the cutting garden and the oval garden where they add not only height, but the one in the oval garden also frames a view through this garden towards the fence.
As I sit in the gazebo and look out at the oval garden, this tuteur draws my eyes, not only to it, but also through it. A beautiful gazing ball sits in front of the structure and then directly behind it is a tall strawberry filled with blue flowers that just grabs your attention. As your eyes follow it through you will see a rose bush filled with delicate apricot-colored blooms slightly taller than the strawberry jar. This brings your focus up a bit higher and further back to where the bright yellow rudbeckia is in full bloom. As your eyes continue to be pulled even further back, you will see blue morning glories that have scrambled up the gray fence and a small birdhouse that they have also climbed. In the span of a few seconds your view has gone from the front of the flower bed through the oval garden and all the way to the fence, making the garden seem much larger than it is.
I love using these tricks of the trade on small gardens to make them seem so much larger than they are or to bring depth into a narrow garden. When your garden space is small it can be challenging to make the space appear larger, but these tricks really do work so I hope you will try them in your gardens. This is especially good if you have a small balcony and want to bring light and added depth to it.
For those of you who have visited my gardens, you know they are not large but appear as if they are and that is because I use varying heights and depths throughout the area. The gardens that border the fence are only about three to four feet deep, but by adding structures for plants to climb on they add not only height, but depth. Sit a container on top of something in the middle if necessary to add height or plant a bright color towards the back.
“Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of their character, though few can decipher even fragments of their meaning.” — Lydia M. Child
Carol Hegel Lang is a green thumb residing in Albert Lea. Her column appears weekly. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.