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Design Ideas for a Whimsical Backyard

Because gardening has a lot to do with soil composition and growth cycles, it can be easy to think of it as more science than art. But your backyard can be a blank canvas if you let it. Why limit your vision to green grass and symmetrical flower beds? It’s your backyard. Allow your imagination to run wild with these design ideas for a whimsical backyard.

Fairy Tale Archways

Garden archways have a way of making any garden feel enchanted. They turn any walkway into a portal to a whole new world. Experiment with different climbing flowers to envelop your archway or set hanging baskets along the sides or top. If you would rather keep a more neutral green, try using climbing green vines instead. Whatever plants you use, you can add an extra dose of whimsy with garden fairy lights to bring home the “enchanted doorway” look.

Upcycled Accents

When one thinks of yard accessories, most think of garden gnomes, lawn flamingos, or store-bought statuettes. But almost anything can become a delightful accent with enough ingenuity. Think of things that are designed to hold something and place a planter box in it, whether a bicycle with a basket, wagons, old lanterns, or gardening supplies like watering cans and wheelbarrows. Even if you aren’t planting anything in them, old gardening supplies make charming statue pieces, especially when painted bright colors.

Get Fido Involved

For some, dog houses serve a strictly utilitarian purpose. Dogs don’t exactly have an eye for design, after all. But even if your dog doesn’t appreciate it, you certainly can by adding some decorative flair to your doghouse. A well-decorated doghouse can become an artistic accent or a clever place to tuck a planter box. Just make sure you plant flowers that won’t make your dog sick!


Landscaping isn’t the only part of your yard you can dress up. There’s hardscaping, the “hard” parts of your yard like patios and walkways. Typically, the hardscape is straightforward and no nonsense, but there are ways to add a little extra glimmer into these elements. For instance, you can add gravel walkways between the flower beds. These walkways can loop and twist in fairy garden designs that will call to mind fantastical settings like the Wizard of Oz’s Munchkin Land.

Play with Lighting

Lighting is typically an interior design consideration, but there is a whole world of garden lighting designed to make your backyard more whimsical. We already mentioned adding fairy lights in your garden archway. Suspending them from the trees in the summer can make the whole yard look more welcoming. You can also add light to the space with steel or paper lanterns, mason jars, or glass orbs for a different yet charming look.

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