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GardenSMART :: Adding Whimsy to Your Landcape Project

Adding Whimsy to Your Landcape Project

By Missy Henriksen, Vice President of Public Affairs, National Association of Landscape Professionals

Inside your home, photos and trinkets personalize your space. They make your home unique to you and different than those around you. You can add that same personal touch – that same flair – to your landscape projects to allow your yard to represent your personal style statement. An easy rule of thumb for adding whimsy and fun to your landscape is to replace traditional mediums with things that are special to you and your family. Repurpose common items for an uncommon design.

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Photo credit: Photo courtesy of Sun Valley Landscaping, Omaha, NE.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Add extra color to walkways with family favorite items. Line your path with small replicas of sailboats, bowling balls, colored hockey sticks, colorful wine bottles, or other items that invoke a special connection. Just make sure the items you select are weather proof.
  2. Capture memories with personalized paver stones. There are lots of kits on the market that allow you to decorate paver stones. Of course you can create them with children’s handprints when they are small or for the perfect Mother’s or Father’s Day gift but also think about making stones to commemorate special events in your life; job milestones, special vacations, visiting family members, a student’s graduation, and you will literally create your life’s pathway.
  3. Create hanging art. Do you have a collection of something special or are you inspired by a special collection? Consider hanging your collection from your pergola or trellis. Or if nothing on hand seems to fit the bill, take a few weekend trips to yard sales and consignment stores to see what speaks to you. Musical instruments, old albums, dragonflies or butterflies, fairies, shells…the options are endless.
  4. Recycle a child’s special old toy. If your children or grandchildren have left behind special old toys that you can’t bear to part with, make one or two of them into a planter or flowerpot holder. An old Tonka dump truck makes a playful way to display flowers, as does an old bicycle that once provided transport to fun.
  5. Build table art. Create and customize your own table! Take a large container – think about an oversized flowerpot, birdbath, or lobster trap for starters, and fill it with something that represents a special passion or hobby. Think golf balls or golf tees, sea glass or shells, or wine corks, for example. Once the container is filled, cover it with a glass top for a personal table that is sure to be a conversation starter.
  6. Seek unique decorative art and statues. You will find some wonderful statues or lawn art in garden centers and boutiques in most every community. To really personalize your look, however, go old school by heading to antique stores to find pieces that reflect your personality and lifestyle.
  7. Consider adding your patio to your front yard instead of your back. This is a completely fun and whimsical notion! Most patios are in the backyard, tucked back from easily welcoming friends and neighbors for an impromptu visit. Consider mixing things up a bit and making your front yard, your mecca for entertaining.

Whether your landscape is formal or rustic and regardless if your guests are adults are kids, consider ways to showcase your inner sense of whimsy to create a playful, welcoming environment.

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