For many of us, having access to even a postage stamp sized garden is a blessing. But urban gardens bounded by walls can sometimes feel oppressive. Fortunately, the same principles of refraction that make mirrors a godsend to apartment dwellers, can work in outdoor spaces as well. After all, the only thing better than a pocket of green is two of them!
1. Place a mirror next to an outdoor dining area to create ambiance and double the soft glow of candles or lanterns.
2., 4., & 6. Place long mirrors along garden walls or other flat surfaces to create the illusion of space. Mount them horizontally against the wall to create length or vertically to create height.
3. Use small mirrors to create tableaus, reflecting flowers or other plants at interesting angles. These mirror tiles can be created by cutting acrylic mirrors with a hacksaw.
5. Place unusual or interestingly shaped mirrors in random corners to create unexpected lighting effects or add a sculptural element to the garden.
7. & 9. A full length mirror provides a natural looking portal in the garden. Positioning the mirror flush with the ground will create the illusion of a doorway.
8. Add a trompe l'oeil water feature by placing a mirror on the ground surrounded by river rocks.
If you're using a mirror beneath eaves or solid roofing, any type is suitable. If the mirror will be exposed to the elements, consider painting the frame with an outdoor epoxy. Be sure to affix the mirror solidly to the background. A wire-hung mirror will tilt, reflecting more floor than garden.
For even more ideas, check out 10 Ways to Use Mirrors to Make Your Space Look Larger.
(Images: 1. Blakes Hotel, 2. Hillhout, 3. Alan Smith, 4. Studio G, 5. Adam Frelin, 6. Homes & Gardens, 7. & 8. Sunset, 9. Plan Eden)