How To Decorate With Outdoor Garden Mirrors

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Mirrors are used all over the home for function and style, adding depth to any room, and dramatically increasing light spread across the room. While you may not have considered it before, use mirrors around your yard and garden to incorporate these benefits for outdoor enjoyment as well.

Why Use Outdoor Mirrors for Gardens?

  • Space: Mirrors work wonders at opening small spaces inside your home, and provide the same benefit in your garden. If you have a small, fenced yard, hang wide/long mirrors along your fence to instantly double the appearance of space. See more flowers, more plants and more light with yard-opening mirror décor.
  • Style: You’ve likely never seen a mirror used in a yard or garden, making this outdoor accessory incredibly unique. Quickly and cheaply add style and personality to your outdoor area with the addition of mirrors.
  • Light: Just like indoors, mirrors reflect light around your garden. Use them to bring functional light to view walkways and pathways better during the day, or even shed light on plants that need it. Formerly dark, damp areas of your yard can be brightened with the addition of one to several mirrors.

What Types of Mirrors to Use In Your Garden

While essentially any style of mirror will do, they will be exposed to the elements. If you will be purchasing a mirror rather than taking one from inside your home, select one with a frame that will resist water damage. Rain and sprinklers will take a toll on the frame over time.

  • Stone frames may be more expensive, but they will resist water and weather damage much better than wood. Try adding stone tiles to a mirror’s edge to create your own stone frame.
  • Wood frames will work outdoors, but should be treated with a sealant to prevent warping and rotting. These frames will likely need to be replaced every five years or so. If you are repurposing an indoor wooden mirror for outdoor use, rough up the frame with a piece of sandpaper to transform it from indoor ornate to outdoor shabby chic.
  • Metal frames are durable, but may rust. Be careful when handling one that has been in your yard for a while. Cover the glass portion of the mirror with a plastic bag, and spray paint the metal frame with rust resistant paint to make it more durable for outdoor use.
  • Plastic framed mirrors are cheap and easy. They’ll repeal water, are light weight and can withstand moderate weather. While the frame may crack after a year or two, full-length mirrors with plastic frames are often available for $15 or less at discount retail stores, making them easily replaceable.
  • Plastic Mirror Sheeting provides an alternative to the glass portion of the mirror. Less breakable than glass, plastic mirror sheeting comes in either acrylic or polycarbonate form. Both forms are often available at home improvement stores and online retailers. Acrylic mirror sheeting is a bit stronger than glass, and is less expensive than polycarbonate, which is up to 200 times stronger than glass. Select your mirror material based on your regional weather conditions (determining how much abuse the mirror may take) and your budget.

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How to Use Mirrors in Your Garden

If you’ve decided to try decorating your garden with mirrors, learn where to place them for maximum impact.

  • Reflect Flowers: For long flowerbeds or flower patches, use mirrors on fences or walls to reflect them. You’ll instantly see double the color and make your flower garden appear larger.
  • Reflect Water: Whether it’s a bird bath, fountain, pond or stream, reflect water in your garden with mirrors. Hang one or several mirrors on a fence or wall behind the water installation to beautifully reflect sunlight glimmering off the surface, double the appearance of elegant fountains or birdbaths and increase the appearance of pond and stream size.
  • Increase Garden Size: For smaller gardens and yards, mirrors can dramatically increase the appearance of space. Line your fences and/or walls with as large of mirrors as possible. Purchasing large mirrors from discount stores and painting their frames to match is an easy way to install many mirrors without spending a fortune.
  • Improve Seating Area Views: If your outdoor seating features a round table near a wall, chances are at least one person at the table will not be facing the garden, and is forced to look at the wall. Place a mirror on the wall/fence next to the table to reflect the view of your garden. Every seat at the table will have the best view of the yard.

When using mirrors in your garden, be sure to blend the mirror into the plant life. Hang mirrors on walls with ivy to watch the piece be slowly surrounded and incorporated into your landscaping. Buy real or fake moss to lightly place on the frame, or completely cover it. The key to decorating with outdoor mirrors is to accentuate the natural décor, rather than clash it with traditionally indoor pieces.

Last Updated: April 11, 2013
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About Alexandra Kerr Through Ideal Home Garden, Alexandra covers topics ranging from interior design to home improvement, gardening and cuisine. Having a passion for cooking and entertaining in her own life, she hopes to communicate her love of home design and decorating with her readers. 

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