A Storybook-Themed Garden

Recycled objects and a whimsical theme fill this special garden.



Need ideas and inspiration for creating a playful garden? Look no further than Bainbridge Island, Washington, where Cindy Herrick has incorporated various structures and objects among the plants to create a whimsical storybook-themed garden.

Doghouse Gets a Lift

This treehouse was actually a dog house that Cindy purchased at a garage sale. It has never been used, and she thought she would use it for something like tool storage. Eventually she put it atop a large tree stump as an oversized birdhouse. With an old bunk bed as a landing and a ladder to gain access, she can use it for functional or decorative purposes as a toolshed or as an anchor point for the garden.



Cindy has transformed her greenhouse into a whimsical cottage. The back half of this structure is the greenhouse area where she stores soil and pots and makes wreaths. In the front, she has created a miniature dollhouse.

To keep costs down when decorating this mini-cottage, Cindy incorporated recycled objects. The decorative birdcages were either found or purchased at thrift shops. The tea sets were a gift from her mother-in-law, and the butcher block, now a table, is from her father. The bed was picked up at a garage sale and shortened to fit the tiny room, suitable for one of the seven dwarves.


Here Lies a Wicked Witch

At the edge of the greenhouse foundation, wicked witch legs sport a pair of ruby-red slippers.


Yellow Brick Path

From the greenhouse, a colorful path winds through the garden, leading to the blue-themed garden.


Blue-Themed Garden

This enchanting monochromatic garden is adorned with blue bottles, a blue watering can, blue flowers and blue birdhouses.


Faux Bridge

Take a closer look at this "bridge." The timbers were laid on top of the ground over a boggy area in the garden. It gives unsuspecting visitors the sense that you are really crossing a ravine.


Other whimsical items in this garden have sentimental value but also contribute to the sense of wonder. They include stained glass, shells collected on a family trip to Sanibel Island, a copper gazebo that Cindy's husband made for their wedding, and Native American art.

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