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Garden Illusions

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December 24, 2019


Mirrors can give a small cramped garden the illusion of greater space today on Southern Gardening.

Mirrors can alter the viewer’s perception and deceive the eye. Having to look again at a scene to determine if it’s real can create surprise. Mirrors catch and reflect light adding interest. Any reflective surface will do. Why do you think reflecting gazing balls are so popular with many gardening friends? They add movement of light to the garden.

Mirrors can look like entrances and windows. They can give the illusion of looking through to the garden on the other side. Hanging a window frame with a mirror on a blank garden wall gives the impression of being an actual window.

You can add to the illusion by masking the frame with foliage or by adding a piece of garden statuary. But not too close, you want the viewer to able to walk comfortably between the statue and mirror. Another method to add illusion to the garden is to paint a beautiful scene in a window or doorframe. Adding lattice in the form of a receding tunnel can be used to create the illusion of depth.

Using window frames is a great way to repurpose or reuse items headed towards the landfill. Check your local thrift stores or stop by a remodeling site. You might just get a deal that will look fantastic in your garden.

Be sure to keep your mirrors and windows clean and dust free if you want visitors to do a double take in your garden. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.

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