Whimsy in the Garden

Whimsy in the Garden

I feel that part of all gardening styles should include even a wee bit of whimsy…..something playful, fanciful, amusing, and certainly appealing- an addition to your garden that makes you smile and feel joy when entering your outdoor space. Whimsical items can become old friends….you expect to see them, and they reward you, forcing you to react in a good way. I sometimes move many of my garden items around, in part because I have such a large space, and also because as gardens mature, we sometimes have to move things around…..like kids, the landscape matures and takes over enough space that a garden item gets lost. Whimsy can be present in all styles of gardens, so lets take a look at some ways to have fun in the garden.

This fella had a name….”Randolph”. Don’t know why, but it really fit him. I swear that this frog changed expression depending on the weather and what was planted in his body, as he was really a planter. Unfortunately we had a record snow storm a couple of years ago and he broke from ice expanding in his belly. I miss him……..tough way to go.

Lighting can add a whimsical touch. This fella has a sweet expression and one would be sure to smile as he greeted visitors.

Repurposing garden equipment and tools adds up to some lovely vignettes. Here a light hanging from a tree limb adds even more to the setting.

Here the bike was completely painted in a single color, much less time consuming and resulting in a really nice effect. One spray can of paint, maybe two, and there you have it. source

This leaves one to wonder who was behind the farm implement at one time, and who pushed open the old garden gate?                source

Old shoes and boots make adorable planting containers. Good planting idea to do with children. Non-breakable and colorful. source

Old chairs with flowers…..how can you go wrong. I adore the shape and lack of color on this chair, which allows the flowers to take center stage. source

I bet kids today wouldn’t even know what a washboard is, but here old implements are a perfect touch in a whimsical country garden.            source

I have several of these old galvanized watering cans and lined up on a stair look very sweet. Notice all these cans are a bit different as well.    source

Old garden tools plus succulents hung on a bright white background……with an old show and antique toy truck add up to country garden art!

We can also add whimsy to the garden by using color. Here painting many pots a vibrant purple hue, and planting with the same color range of plants makes for a pop of color that would make anyone notice and enjoy.

Here color is used on a fence for not only a pop of color, but to effectively help keep puppy out of the flower beds. Very effective.  source

If you live by the lake or any body of water, how cute are these fish chairs. Subtle, but a good example of using a theme for whimsical effect. These almost look like they could straighten up and dance! Notice the fish tail shape for the leg rest……            source

Now this is a new definition of flower bed!!!! I could one not laugh coming around a corner and seeing this? My mattress should be so fluffy looking and my bed so well made!    source


Here a screened door was reused to mark the entrance to a garden. The whimsy is not just in it’s purpose, but in the response one feels upon entering, with the door slamming shut behind you. Wonderful childhood memories of the porch door slamming all summer long, with a parade of people coming and going                 source

Garden Houses allow a gardener a place to showcase design choices that might otherwise not be possible in the main house. This one is tea party ready.



Topiaries can add a fun component to a garden whether large or small. Let your inner artist play Edward Scissorhand!   source

A dog house can be a creative way to add fun and color. This one had its own flower garden!

Now this person is not afraid of color or fun choices in the structure as well. You just have to laugh. Don’t know if I could go this far, but you have to admit it is whimsical.

Here color is used on an asymmetrical garden path. How can one not be happy walking here?              source

Here bright color is used to compliment the bright blue of Hydrangea for a fun place to sit.  source

Old pieces of ceramic are used in a creative and fun way to add dimension to flower beds.   source

Here teacups and teapots are used to make a bird feeder.   source

This guy appeals to my sense of humor. I would have him at eye level as I rounded a corner to a garden space and I know I would laugh out loud every time.    source

This was made by the Master Gardeners of Green County ,MO. What a delightful and original piece of garden art.

What fun for children or adults……………..source

Major whimsy!       source




The photo is a bit blurry, but for some reason I was really drawn to this art installation. It is whimsical, but more than that, for me it tugged at my heart strings…….                      source

Now this is the kind of whimsy that kids love!!!! I can just here them as they catch sight of Mr. Garden man emerging from his home below the earth.    source

And I love this as much as any kid would………so very creative.

This would definitely appeal to kids, although not sure I would want it in my garden! From the upper left photo you can see how large it really is. At night it could be a bit scary………but still falls within the definition of whimsy! The bottom one is kinda cool.

Kinda Alice in Wonderland, but what kid wouldn’t love arriving home to this. I allow however, that these homeowners just might have had a tipsy gardener trimming their shrubs.

And how about romantic whimsy?             source

So there you have it. The whimsical in a garden can run the length from collections or theme’s, statues, color, structures…..whatever makes you happy. Whimsy can lift the spirit. It can bring children into garden spaces and engage and encourage a love for gardening and the outdoors. It offers a chance to tap into your inner artist, and even your inner child. Whimsical elements encourages one to show a sense of humor as well, or just simply a chance to express yourself in a myriad of ways. Whatever adds to one’s enjoyment in a garden space is a good thing……so happy gardening.

Tomorrow, a walk through my gardens as they  begin to come into their own. I took some photos while waiting for my dirt….My dump truck load of dirt did arrive, and just in time as we will have rain and thunderstorms for the next couple of days. Wished I could have planted this new area before the rain, but alas, gardeners learn to be patient. Thank you for stopping by. Laters, charisse



  1. God bless you for posting these wonderful garden pictures. They are amazing. I am going to try some of them myself.

  2. This makes me want to move out of Texas. Too hot here but I love all of the pictures.

  3. Victoria Moores

    Oh Charisse!! What a treasure of garden art to awaken my senses this morning! I love so many of them but my favorite is the “Tea Cottage,” of course. I also love “romantic whimsy swing’ and the dog house as well as the Master Gardener’s of Mo.’s lovely lady. It was sad to hear that Mr. Frog has met his demise but the little old bearded man caught my eye. I love the screen door idea and your comment about the slamming of such. That brings back so many memories of running in and out of the house in the summer. I am fascinated by the gorgeous colors used; purples, blues, lime, yellow, pink. The ceramic pieces make a royal statement and the dog house is so cha cha. The boots are adorable. I love all things garden. This was much fun!! Have a blessed day. The weather is pretty in Asheville today. Love Your Whimsy, Victoria Moores

    • Hi Victoria,
      So glad to hear you enjoyed the post. It was fun to put together, but also difficult as I had so many fun images of whimsy it was hard to narrow down. Maybe another post? I loved the “Tea Cottage” also, in fact have been tempted to order it! I can’t live without whimsy…….Thanks for reading. charisse

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