By Jill Morgan
Bringing some garden mirror ideas into your plot is one of the easiest and quickest ways to elevate it. With tons of different shapes, sizes and styles available, when thoughtfully positioned they can create a maximum impact for very little effort.
Use them as you would indoors to reflect light into dark corners or narrow areas. Doing so will create the illusion of extra space, so they're perfect if you're on the lookout for small garden ideas. They're also handy for introducing a dash of color and character into blank walls or fences.
Whatever style you go for, there are plenty of opportunities to get creative. For instance, you can hang mirrors in unexpected places, prop them up to reflect a favorite plant or view, or group them en masse for a quirky, eclectic look. Of course, mirrors also don't have to be flat – reflective globes, tiny cut shapes, and surfaces covered with flowing water all have their own magical charm. The possibilities are almost endless.
20 striking garden mirror ideas to try at home
We've brought together a round-up of gorgeous garden mirror ideas to help you get inspired for your own backyard. You'll be sure to find something you love in this mix.
1. Give your porch a chic new look
Garden mirror ideas are a great way to create an indoor-outdoor feel. They work especially well on a porch, covered patio or deck or even as part of your balcony garden ideas to add a homely vibe.
Here, a stylish round design makes an impressive statement hung on a wooden-clad wall. Surround with lanterns and other ornaments for a feature that would work just as well in your living room. Some of the best garden furniture and a cozy rug underfoot will finish the outdoor-living-space look perfectly.
2. Trick the eye with a mirrored doorway
Make guests look twice with a large, door-like mirror attached to your wall or fence. This stunning illusion will make your yard feel instantly bigger and will add tons of character and intrigue.
To enhance the effect, create a pathway that leads away from it – our garden path ideas feature has plenty of inspiration. Surrounding the scene with plants is also a lovely approach as the mirror will double up the view of greenery.
We like the shutters used in this set-up too – the soft gray color adds a rustic yet on-trend tone that works well against the stone wall.
3. Make a statement with a reflective water feature
Water features come in all shapes and sizes and are wonderful for both large gardens and small patios. Choosing a mirrored style, however, is a surefire way to boost the visual impact and feels effortlessly contemporary.
This design, by David Harber, is made of mirror-polished stainless steel. As the water clings to its surface it creates a mesmerizing display that will soothe any onlooker, along with its gentle sound. Note how it reflects the nearby planting too, which adds additional color and movement to the scene. However, it could also be placed on a stand in the center of a pond – a striking option for larger plots.
If you love the idea of combining water and mirrors, another option would be to go for a mirrored water wall. This is a popular way to pep up a boundary or to divide zones in modern plots.
4. Double up your flowerbeds
A tiny plot can be restrictive when it comes to planting. But if you long to turn your courtyard or deck into a jungle-like scene, a mirror or two can be a useful tool to double up your flowers and foliage. Plus, they won't take up additional floor space.
Try tucking them along your plot's perimeter behind your garden borders. Or, as seen here, add them to the back of your container garden display. Make it a style statement by choosing a design with an eye-catching frame, or keep it subtle to up the illusion.
Looking for more advice on how to make a small garden look bigger? Our dedicated guide has lots more top tips.
5. Fake a window
Add character and charm in an instant with an elegant window-style mirror. The beautifully weathered shutters and multiple panes in this design are crafted from iron and will bring depth to flat and lifeless surfaces – great if you're looking for interesting shed ideas or garden fence ideas.
Choose to fully open or half close the shutters for different looks. Or, leave them ajar to conjure up an air of mystery. Encourage climbers to grow over the mirror edges to complete the 'just discovered' look – a scented rose or honeysuckle will always boost the sensory appeal.
6. Prop one up on your potting bench
If you don't have a shed, a potting bench can be a great addition to a side garden as will help you make the most of the space. And as these areas are often shady, a mirror can be a welcome accessory.
Prop or secure one above your table and the scene will instantly feel a little lighter and brighter. Pick a style that complements the rest of your garden for a cohesive feel. Just remember to keep practicality in mind – you won't want it to get in the way when you're busy repotting plants or sowing seeds.
There are lots more side garden ideas in our feature.
7. Get creative with color
If you're looking for garden mirror ideas that feel a bit more unique, a beautiful sculpture like this could be the way forward.
In this design, mirror-polished stainless steel leaves sit atop adjustable rods to form an enchanting display, reflecting the surrounding space. The back of each is painted in a bold color for an extra dose of vibrancy.
We think it would be a lovely addition to a flowerbed or amongst some of the best trees for small gardens, offering a striking focal point even in winter when many plants die back.
8. Use more than one
Why have one garden mirror when you could have two, or even three? Rather than feeling crowded, this set-up adds a chic and industrial tone to the space.
Opt for designs of a similar look for a harmonious, contemporary vibe. Or, if you prefer a more eclectic style, mix them up – whatever works best for you.
Paired with a white wall, they breathe new life into this courtyard, brightening the space and doubling the leafy views. A great addition to our courtyard garden ideas.
9. Give your lawn a fabulous focal point
A striking sculptural addition to any space, this mirror-polished stainless steel design is sure to be a talking point amongst guests.
With its convex curves, it reflects the surrounding garden adding tons of visual interest to a lawn or patio, offering an almost other-worldly vibe.
Love the look? Our lawn decoration ideas include lots more beautiful designs.
10. Angle your mirror to reflect the sky
To bring a fresh perspective into your courtyard or patio, why not prop a mirror in a position where it can reflect the sky? That way, you'll have an ever-changing view of fluffy clouds, enchanting blue, or flocks of birds which, amongst trailing foliage and interesting pots, will add a soothing touch to a space.
If you're looking for more relaxing additions for your plot, our sensory garden ideas will provide plenty of inspo.
11. Hang your garden mirror above seating
Take your outdoor seating ideas up a notch with well-positioned mirrors. This multi-pane, wooden design is a great way to pep up a brick wall, reflecting a much-more-interesting view of nearby roses.
To add to the ambience further, string fairy or festoon lights along the top – the soft glow will seem extra magical as it reflects across the space.
12. Go for interesting shapes
A smaller and pleasingly-symmetrical design can add just as much impact as larger mirrors. Perfect for a more classic-style space, this quatrefoil shape gives an architectural nod and would brighten up any small garden or patio.
Opt for a distressed finish for a rustic charm that will only enhance over time.
13. Introduce the element of surprise
What could be more intriguing than making an unexpected discovery in the garden? A well-chosen mirror artfully propped against a garden wall and surrounded by a tangle of plants can conjure up that feeling of surprise and enchant visitors young and old.
Add a touch of reality to the setting by choosing a window style mirror, such as this one. The antiqued finish, moulded frame and fine glazing bars all add architectural detail.
14. Set up a console display
A well-crafted and interesting display of favorite pots and plants can be pepped up with a well-placed mirror or two. These mirrors add real impact to the group, introducing height and elegant lines while reflecting the sky and beautiful surroundings.
Raised up on a weathered console table, each item can be appreciated more, and the mirrors can reflect more of the sky than the ground. Cheat the look by propping a worn scaffolding board or length of driftwood on a couple of trestles in front of a mellow stone or brick wall. The beautiful backdrop will accentuate the natural shape and colors of the display.
Looking to add some new finishing touches to your space? Our garden planter ideas feature is filled with lovely designs.
15. Add a surprise sparkle
Bring jewel-like garden mirror ideas to a favorite part of your yard for a touch of the unexpected. Small but certainly effective, just a small group of three or five of these pretty butterfly designs are certain to draw the eye, reflecting light and colors from the surrounding garden.
Fix them on a well-placed rock, on a stone wall or even hang them from the branches of an overhanging tree so they can dance in the daylight. Your view of them will also change as you move around the space and as the seasons and weather changes.
Children will love to spot them too – speaking of which, we've got lots of other ideas to keep them entertained outdoors with our garden activities for kids guide.
16. Bounce light back
Need to revitalize a dull or dingy courtyard? Adding a large, stylish garden mirror could be the answer. Not only will it help to boost the light levels, making the space much more inviting, but it will also create a beautiful feature that will bring character to a wall and create the feeling of space, too.
For a touch of elegance, go for an arched design with fine detailing – this is a fabulous example. And think carefully about the reflected view. Prop it casually against a wall with a couple of planters nearby or hang at eye level and pop a console table beneath to create a more formal display. It's a great contender to add to your patio ideas.
17. Indulge in a touch of wonderland
Bring a playful touch to your garden with an eclectic wall of framed mirrors. Showcasing a range of different shapes, sizes and colored frames these mirrors help bounce light around the garden and break up a vast expanse of dense conifer hedge.
A fun and quirky statement, it is balanced beautifully by the simplistic, block style seating and clipped box hedges. Have a go at achieving the look by hanging the mirrors at two or three points using dark cable ties.
Alternatively, if you have a large number of frames to hang or a precise arrangement, you may need to create a timber framework which can be pushed back into the hedge and hidden by the close growing foliage. This can then be used to help fix the frames securely in place.
18. Blur the boundaries
A trick loved by both interior and exterior designers is to use a large-scale mirror to visually stretch a small space. Simple but super-effective, this concept is great for small, urban courtyards as shown in this London garden.
Several, frameless mirror panels have been carefully fitted to create a huge mirror that stretches across an entire wall. The result is a light-filled space that feels twice the size, and this is emphasized by the narrow, timber slatted fence that runs down the side of the space. Overhanging climbers and raised beds in front of the mirror help to soften the edges and enhance the illusion.
Our small garden layout ideas feature has more inspiration.
19. Play with distorted reflections
Water and light are key to bringing any garden to life and a water feature with mirrored spheres will certainly add something special. This design is mains-powered and comes with its own built-in reservoir so will sit happily on a patio, nestled amongst pots and plants.
Simply fill up, plug in and switch on and it will recirculate a curtain of water over the polished stainless steel globes, continually altering the reflection and reflecting light off the surface. There are also similar products available that are solar powered, giving you more flexibility on where you can place them in the garden.
Looking for alternative designs? Our water feature ideas are sure to inspire.
20. Create a contemporary feature
Enjoy an alternative view of your outside space with a curious cluster of gazing globes. Nestle them amongst long grass, low-growing flowers or in a gravel garden and they will reflect the sky and plants around them.
A great way to bring light into a dark or dull corner, you can also move them around and rearrange to suit your mood and experiment with different effects. Group together in odd numbers and varying sizes for the best results. A fabulous option for a modern garden.
Where should a mirror be placed in a garden?
Dani Taylor, Product and Creative Director at Cox & Cox shares her tips when it comes to placing a mirror in a garden: 'You can put a mirror on a fence or wall, but they look better and almost magical when slightly covered by a bush or tree – making them look more like a window into another part of the garden. That's why window mirrors work so well!'
Remember, the reflection is key. You want to make sure it reflects back something beautiful, like your favorite flowers, your container garden, or other greenery, rather than your kids' climbing frame, for example.
You'll also need to ensure your mirror isn't placed in direct sunlight as it could become a fire hazard. Also, be sure to choose a place where birds aren't likely to fly into it – this means avoiding high-up spots. To reduce the risk, it's also a good idea to use trellis ideas for gardens in front. Or, opt for a design where the glass is broken up into panes rather than just a single expansive sheet, or pick one with an antique or frosted finish. To be extra safe, avoid hanging your mirror outdoors altogether in spring. This is breeding season for birds, and male birds are likely to attack their own reflection, thinking it's a competitor encroaching on their territory.
Of course, wherever you place it, be careful that it's out of harm's way and well-secured. A propped mirror on a patio floor can look fabulous, but might not be suitable if you've got pets or children running around. And, if you're securing it to a wall, make sure you use the correct fixings. Some designs can be very heavy and need appropriate fixings that will take the full weight of the mirror.
Can you use a normal mirror in the garden?
Dani Taylor, Product and Creative Director at Cox & Cox, suggests to avoid using indoor mirrors in your garden because non-waterproof backboards can rot, causing the glass to fall out.
So, to avoid risk, go for garden mirror ideas that are specially designed for outdoor use. These are made to withstand outdoor weather, so although they may develop a rustic-looking patina (which adds tons of character), they shouldn't fall apart.
If your mirror will have some added protection from the elements, such as underneath a covered pergola, you'll be able to choose from a wider range of materials. Alternatively, you could bring your mirror inside during the colder winter months and display it in your home instead.
Where to buy garden mirrors
Want to bring some gorgeous garden mirror ideas to your backyard? Our quicklinks are a good place to start.
Where to buy garden mirrors in the UK:
- Shop garden mirrors at Cox & Cox
- Shop garden mirrors at Amazon
- Shop garden mirrors at Crocus
- Shop garden mirrors at Homebase
- Shop garden mirrors at Garden Trading
- Shop garden mirrors at Dunelm
- Shop garden mirrors at Primrose
- Shop garden mirrors at Wilko
Where to buy garden mirrors in the US:
Jill puts her love of plants and all things garden related down to the hours spent pottering around with her Nan and Grandad when she was little. There was never a moment at their house when they weren’t weeding, pruning, planting or harvesting cucumbers or dahlias from the lean-to greenhouse. Her Grandad’s shed was a place of wonder, and she can still recall the musky smell. Today she is lucky enough to have a garden of her own in Surrey and spends much of her time writing about them too. A typical long-thin town garden it features favourite flowers along with the odd veg plant and the usual assortment of toys, bikes and… oh a couple of guinea pigs too.
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