A Storybook-Themed Garden

Recycled objects and a whimsical theme fill this special garden.
gby1907_1a-treehouse_s4x3

gby1907_1a-treehouse_s4x3

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.

gby1907_1b-greenhouse_s4x3

gby1907_1b-greenhouse_s4x3

Greenhouse-Cottage

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.

gby1907_1c-witch-legs_s4x3

gby1907_1c-witch-legs_s4x3

Here Lies a Wicked Witch

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

gby1907_1d-yellow-brick-path_s4x3

gby1907_1d-yellow-brick-path_s4x3

Yellow Brick Path

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

gby1907_1e-blue-bottles_s4x3

gby1907_1e-blue-bottles_s4x3

Blue-Themed Garden

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

gby1907_1f-faux-bridge_s4x3

gby1907_1f-faux-bridge_s4x3

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.

gby1907_1g-stained-glass_s4x3

gby1907_1g-stained-glass_s4x3

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

Downsizing the Garden

Learn how to turn a small space into a beautiful garden.

How to Start a Community Garden

Expert Bill Dawson offers tips on starting a shared community garden in your neighborhood.

The Joys of a Kitchen Garden

Good for the soul -- and the stomach -- kitchen gardens are more than just a source of fresh produce. They're a return to simpler times.

Napa Country Garden

Carole and Keni Kent's Napa Valley garden is filled with thriving plants.

Grow a Rooftop Garden

Find out best practices and the edibles that thrive in a rooftop garden.

Plant a Soup Garden

Grab your stock pot! Soup’s on the menu when you fill your garden with crops that blend beautifully with flavorful broth.

Elevated Garden Beds

Growing plants is within reach for those facing mobility issues or limited garden space.

Butterfly Gardening Basics

Offer a sheltered, sunny spot and a diversity of flowering plants, and you'll have these beautiful creatures — and their children too.

How to Water Container Gardens

Learn the basics of watering container gardens—including simple tips for making it less of a chore.

The Best Garden for Your Lifestyle

Use this guide to determine which type of garden might suit you and your lifestyle best.

1,000+ Photos

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

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

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