Garden mirrors: where to site them, how to hang them, and what to look for.
Garden mirrors are some of our most popular items here at SandEdge. We often get asked for practical advice about these items – so here are our top garden mirror hints and tips…
1. Maintain the illusion
This sounds very basic, but garden mirrors work because people don’t twig that they’re mirrors. A sure way to destroy the illusion is to have the viewer’s reflection staring back at them.
There’s a simple way to avoid this: hang them so that they face slightly downward and to one side. If the mirror isn’t flat to the wall then the viewer won’t see their reflection until they’re right up close.
2. Sense-check the reflection
It’s fairly obvious that you don’t want to create a reflected garden feature of the recycling bins. But it’s a bit like taking a photo: sometimes things can creep in unnoticed. Down-pipes… washing lines… all those items that are very easy to overlook.
Our tip? Take a household mirror outside and line it up in the space that you have earmarked. This’ll soon reveal any rogue elements that could interrupt your view. If you leave it in place for a while then you’ll be able to check the position of the sun, also.
3. Remember, size is important
This is another area where a household mirror will help you out.
As with any such purchase, the general rule is not to get too out of proportion. There are no hard-and-fast guidelines, as the best size for your mirror will depend on all sorts of individual factors – the height of your wall, for instance, and the ornaments or planters that might sit near it.
Having said that, this is one occasion where big is quite often better. Especially, believe it or not, in a small area. The bigger your mirror, the more extra light and space it will generate. A huge mirror at the end of your balcony will double the size of your visual environment.
4. Think about ‘adding value’
A good quality mirror will look great simply hung ‘as is’ on a garden wall. But there are extra things that you can do. With ‘window’ style mirrors, the simplest is to paint them the same colour as your household windows (or the same colour as next door, or the cottage at the end of the garden, if that’d work better).
Some people go the whole hog with those window-styles - a window box fixed underneath the mirror will look fabulous and gives you the illusion of twice as many plants!
Our stunning ‘garden gate’ mirror is pictured at the end of a path. You don’t need to create an entire path, but a few good-looking paving slabs will look terrific and - of course - will be reflected, showing the ‘path beyond the gate’.
5. But don’t overfeature your feature
Confused? Think about it like this. When you buy nice things for your garden (and our mirrors are very nice), the temptation is to put them centre stage for all to appreciate.
However, garden mirrors sometimes work best in the overlooked corners, or in places where you might catch an intriguing glimpse of them from the corner of your eye. This is especially true for larger gardens.
We’re not suggesting that you buy a stunning new garden mirror and then hide it away completely – but remember the magic of stumbling across that window into another world…