When something is whimsical, it is playful, fun, fanciful, and not too serious. Your style or your home décor can be whimsical, but what about your garden? If you enjoy the world of whimsy, take it to the outdoors and design a quirky and imaginative space.
What Makes a Whimsical Backyard or Garden?
Being whimsical can mean being unpredictable or impulsive, but in terms of garden design, it implies creativity, imagination, and humor. A whimsical yard or garden might contain some unusual, even odd elements, but it’s all in good fun and has a lighthearted spirit.
Whimsical garden design is laid back and free-spirited. It isn’t too rigid. It involves trying new and unusual things and finding out if they work. If you enjoy creating and designing on the fly rather than sticking strictly to a plan, whimsical gardening could be just right for you.
DIY Whimsical Garden Ideas
Whimsy is fun, so why not embrace it in your yard and garden? Here are some whimsical garden ideas to help you create a unique and enjoyable outdoor space:
Create mixed beds
Whimsy is far from formal. Keep this in mind when creating flower beds. Use a mix of plants to vary texture, size, and color. Blend foliage plants with flowers. Don’t overthink it or over plan. Just plant and see what happens.
Choose whimsical plants
Look for plants that are bright, bold, or unusual in some way. A plant with very giant flowers, like a hollyhock, for instance, or a boxwood trimmed into fun shapes definitely add whimsy to beds and gardens. Vines and dwarf trees are also good options.
Upcycle or repurpose old objects or those that don’t traditionally belong in the garden for a touch of the unexpected. Turn an old headboard into a fanciful bench or trellis for a vine. Use an old door to make a potting bench. Turn a vintage dish or platter into a birdbath or teacups into a fountain.
Use unexpected containers
Extend upcycling to your container garden. Instead of growing annuals and other ornamentals in flower pots, use other objects. Some fun examples include an old wheelbarrow, a half a barrel, a watering can, an old rain boot, baskets, or even a vintage, clawfoot bathtub. If drainage is an issue, use standard pots placed on top of or inside unexpected items like these.
Create garden art
Outdoor art pieces are great for adding whimsy to a garden. It’s even better if you make it yourself. Use durable materials that will last outdoors and consider upcycling things like antique furniture and fixtures to make something really creative.
Make a fairy garden
What could be more whimsical than fairies? Fairy gardens have been popular for several years, but it’s always a trend worth revisiting. Find a small space in your garden to create a diminutive village for fairies. Or, small doors to trees and fences to act as fairy doors.
A whimsical garden is informal and fun, but it shouldn’t be chaotic. Avoid going too far in adding too many elements to the space or crowding plants and containers. A garden style like this can easily cross that line.
Creating a whimsical flower garden or yard is a fun way to get creative in your outdoor space. Reject formality and embrace the whimsy. Use these ideas to inspire your own creativity.
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Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.
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