Mirrors have become quite popular as garden ornaments. And I love the idea of a mirror in a garden. I don't have a mirror in my garden - yet. And, actually, I've never even seen a mirror in a garden, just pictures. But I still love the idea.
It seems that there are two ways to use mirrors in the garden. The first, is quite easy. Just hang (or lean) the mirror where you want it. This look is obvious, but it still gives the illusion of a larger space. There are a couple of considerations to using a mirror in this way. You would want to make sure the mirror doesn't reflect the sun too strongly. It could be very uncomfortable to come around a corner and be blinded by glaring sunlight! Perhaps hanging the mirror toward the north, with the back to the south, might be the best position, or in a little alcove, or shaded by a tree.
The second way to use a mirror in the garden is the way I would use a mirror in my garden: by the use of tromp l'oil.
I can't remember where (don't you just hate when that happens?) but I once saw a picture illustrating the use of a mirror in the garden. I had to look very, very closely to see the mirror. In fact, if I hadn't know there was a mirror there, I would have been completely fooled!
To achieve the look of a tromp l'oil effect, these are the things I would do:
Attach the mirror somewhere along the perimeter of the garden. I would have two garden paths leading up to, set in a V pattern. This way you would not approach the mirror straight on, which would ruin the effect if you could see yourself approaching. I would put some sort of plantings along the sides of the mirror for several feet each way. I would make sure that the top of the mirror is also camouflaged, either by the use of an arbor, vines, or trees. You would want lush plantings on either side of your pathways, so that when you were walking toward the mirror, you would see plants being reflected back, strengthening the illusion of additional garden space beyond.
You might want to consider putting a garden gate very close but in front of the mirror, so that you feel you needed to stop and open the gate to continue. It could be very embarrassing to run into the mirror! This could even be painted on if you're more talented than I.
|Can you see where the real plant ends and the reflection begins?|
Maybe one day I'll find just the right spot in my garden for a mirror. But for now, I can dream.
There are a few other things to consider when putting a mirror in the garden:
Regular mirror will eventually lose its silver backing. But, you may like the black bubbling look created by this.
Acrylic mirror is much lighter, and should be more durable.
Don't forget to watch where the sun's rays are hitting!
I'm joining Donna of Garden Walk Garden Talk for Word 4 Wednesday on reflection, and my mind immediately thought of mirrors.
Do you have a mirror in your garden? Is it obvious, or have you used a tromp l'oil effect?