“The garden is a mirror of the heart.”
— Author unknown
This quote really rings true for me, mainly because of a dear friend, Lorna, who introduced me to the idea of using mirrors in the garden.
One afternoon, about 10 years ago, I went over to enjoy tea in her beautiful garden and, during our walkabout, I noticed she had mirrors tucked in and around different areas. I had never seen this before and was totally inspired!
Never would I have thought to include mirrors in my outdoor spaces. Lorna told me that using mirrors in your garden makes your space look larger and it reflects back the beauty of what is in front of the mirror, adding uniqueness and interest. But, most of all, it made her smile.
Sadly, Lorna has since passed away, but her legacy of gardening and using mirrors lives on with me. That’s why I wanted to share some ideas and inspiration with you, so you can create your own “mirror of the heart” in your garden and outdoor space.
Using mirrors safely
Make sure you understand the flight paths of our feathered friends in your garden and keep mirrors away from these areas. Place mirrors on side fences with plants in front of them or lower to the ground. This can help give the illusion of much more garden space without posing a danger to birds.
To me, the best mirrors to use are vintage, thrifted ones that add their own special look. Be creative with the sizes, types and finishes of mirrors you use.
Here are a few examples:
Some mirrors might need a little TLC or a bit of paint to give them new life. I recently picked up this large mirror below while thrifting and painted it with exterior paint in the same colour as my shed.
I’ve angled it on the ground in a corner where I wanted to create a small “Zen” space and picked up a couple of Buddha-inspired accessories from the dollar store to complete the look.
More on the final look:
Focal point on a fence:
This is a fun idea below on taking a plain lattice fence, installing a recessed mirror and having greenery surround it. What a wonderful focal point! I especially love the pair of birds sitting in the mirror — such a nice touch!
Reflect back and enjoy
Having a mirror on a fence can help create an inviting vignette. This photo below reflects the beauty of the garden, the bird bath and bistro set and gives a unique perspective and enjoyment of the space.
Creating a corner vignette
As a designer, I’m all about curb appeal and how my home looks as I drive up. One of the areas that was really giving me a challenge was this corner to the right of the gate leading to the backyard. I knew that I had to create something to fill up the space but, more importantly, it needed something that was pleasing to the eye.
Luckily, I had the mirror and wicker chair in my shed and in 10 minutes was very pleased to see how the space transformed. A plant was added to the seat, and a few garden accessories tie everything together. Now it’s an area that brings me joy.
More on this vignette:
I hope this inspires you to see how you can add a mirror or two to your garden or outdoor space. Happy decorating!
Originally published June 30, 2020