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.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Garden Design: Connect Your Indoor and Outdoor Spaces

Let your indoor space inspire your landscape design plans.

Outdoor Living Spaces: Ideas for Outdoor Rooms

Learn about options and ideas for outdoor rooms and outdoor living spaces.

Outdoor Rooms Add Livable Space

Spend less money on vacations and more time with friends and family on your deck or patio.

Define Your Outdoor Space With a Garden Fence

Discover the materials and design that will work best for your garden boundary, whether it is a fence, wall or hedge.

Reclaim Wasted Space: Dining Rooms, Garages, Attics and Closets

Explore the evolution of floor plans from previous decades and gather inspiration for designing a space that fits your lifestyle.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.


Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.