Mirror magic

Through the looking glass: Three ways to use reflective illusions in your garden

Imagine an opening in a garden wall. You move closer, attempt to peer through it to glimpse the leaves, flowers, and branches moving gently in the breeze on the other side. But then a person comes into view. It's you.

Startling? Perhaps. Magical? For certain. And therein lies the shimmering wonder of a garden mirror. It tricks, illuminates, and doubles the beauty.

Western gardeners are discovering the power of mirrors, using the reflective glass in creative ways in the garden; three examples are shown here. On a wall, a mirror seems to expand a garden beyond its boundaries. On the ground, a mirror is a surprisingly good substitute for a real pond, especially when you edge it with boulders and small weeping conifers or grasses. Small mirrors can look like windows on the outside world.

Outdoor mirrors are installed differently than those indoors; for one thing, you need to protect the glass from moisture damage. See Installation tips on the following pages.


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