These garden mirror ideas show ways to display mirrors outdoors in home gardens. Also includes safety tips, ways to weather proof mirrors, and answers to frequently asked questions.
If you want to dress up a fence see 24 Creative Ideas for Garden Fence & Wall Decor.
15 Creative Ways to Use Mirrors in the Garden
Gardeners have been using mirrors as outdoor art for decades. The first time I saw one, it was tucked behind some lattice in a shady corner. The effect was brilliant both reflecting light but appearing like an optical illusion, as if it was a window opening to another world.
The first question many people ask is how to safely use mirrors in the garden and how to weatherproof them. I have answered these questions and more here.
I have been using mirrors in my own gardens for over twenty years now without any problems. I encourage you to use the safety tips and explore the ideas to come up with your own arrangement.
I’m starting with one of my all-time favorite garden mirrors. This one is a convex mirror used to see what’s around a corner in parking lots.
I love how it reflects a big chunk of the garden.
2Blue Optical Illusion Mirror
I made this optical illusion mirror for our garden but I think it would look neat inside the house as well.
In this next photo I photoshopped the mirror to show how it would look painted white.
3Shower Door Mirrors
If you want a big, weather-resistant garden mirror consider using sliding shower doors.
Here I mounted two on the fence, one above the other. Because they are made for water exposure, they are really durable in the garden.
This next shower door was in my narrow side garden. It faced a house window and gave me a nice view of the garden in the reflection.
4Faux Door Mirror
This gardener used some metal trellis with a matching framed mirror to create a faux door in the garden.
5Small Framed Mirror
This was my garden many years ago. I used to place broken old garden tools and other random items like broken mirrors on the fence. If nothing else it’s free junk art.
6Framed Mirror With Shutters
These framed mirrors with shutters show up in thrift stores quite often. Here my mom put one on her privacy fence along with other garden art.
Any collections come together nicely when there is common element between them.
Here a series of mirror frames are all painted the same color.
8Back Fence Mirrors
A big mirror doubles the garden space, except you don’t have to weed half of it.
This is my shed door. I used a mirror from the thrift shop and added a mirrored candle holder on top of it.
The shed was originally a pale yellow color with a brown door. This shows how we gave the shed a makeover with paint.
This lazy Susan tray hangs on my back fence. I just happened to come by when a chickadee stopped by to have a look at his good-looking friend.
11Plain Wood Porch Mirror
Some mirrors are not going to last long in four-season weather but you might have a good spot on a covered porch.
This white framed mirror is from my front porch. I added a hayrack planter lined with burlap and some metal art (black) also found at the thrift store.
If you don’t have a fence, perhaps the mirror fits on the side of your home. I’m really fond of the design of this one.
Again, there is no sense in using an expensive one that could get damaged so check yard sales and second hand stores. They’re out there!
If you’re looking for mirrors at second hand stores, check the kitchen section. I often see serving trays made from mirror like this one.
14Metal Perspective Mirror
This little mirror makes a big statement. Look for them at garden nurseries that sell creative outdoor furnishings.
If your garden shed doesn’t have windows, create one with mirrors. Here they added mullions with strips of wood and shutters. Plus some giant ants.
Garden Mirror Safety Tips
If there is any doubt about safety, don’t use the mirror! They must be safe for wildlife and the garden in general.
1Use mirrors that can withstand your weather conditions.
I like to use mirrored trays (see them on Amazon here) or a mirrored lazy Susan (rotating tray).
For larger mirrors, I use mirrored shower doors that I buy at places like Habitat for Humanity. They’re often just $10-20 each, and the water-resistant backing makes them very durable outside.
Also look for mirrored closet doors at second hand stores.
Seal wood-framed mirrors to prevent the wood from rotting: that’s the number one reason a mirror might fall from a fence—the frame gives up.
2Make sure the mirrors will not cause any harm to birds or other wildlife.
Understand the flight paths in your garden—which way the birds fly back and forth—and keep the mirrors away from these areas.
For example, in my old garden, we had a very long, narrow side yard, with fence and the house on either side.
The birds would fly back and forth from the front of the yard to the back, so I would never place a mirror at either end where they might mistake it for additional flying space.
Instead, the mirrors were placed on the side fences with plants in front of them.
This gave the illusion of much more garden space but never posed a danger to my beloved birds.
3Never place the mirrors in direct sunlight.
In extraordinarily rare situations, indoor mirrors have caused fires.
While highly unlikely in the garden, you still don’t want them facing the sun.
The main problem with mirrors reflecting direct is danger to eyes.
Place your mirrors in shaded areas where they will not directly reflect sun.
And, the obvious point is, if you have any doubt about their safety, don’t use them.
Frequently Asked Questions
1What kind of mirrors can you use in a garden?
Just about any mirror can work. Usually it’s the frame that wears down through the seasons not the mirror itself.
If you are using a framed mirror or using wood slats to mount it, consider doing it in a way that prevents any rain or snow from reaching the back side.
I like to use mirrored shower doors because they are made for water exposure.
Gaps can be filled with GE II Silicone Sealant to prevent condensation from seeping into the cracks.
2How do you prevent a garden mirror from cracking or breaking?
I’ve been using mirrors in the garden for over twenty years now and I have only had one break and that was because I dropped it.
Generally, a mirror can withstand hot summers and cold winters so long as you don’t drastically change the ambient temperature in a short period of time.
It’s the expanding and contracting that could cause it to crack. This would not normally happen in a garden through the seasons.
3How do you waterproof an outside mirror?
Some gardeners also paint clear polyurethane (or similar product) over the face of the mirror and frame. I have not done that but it’s an extra precaution you could try. It may change the color of the mirror though.
I would definitely do everything you can to protect any wood finishes using exterior paint, primer, and sealer.
4What’s the best way to hang a garden mirror?
If a mirror is fairly lightweight, I just hang it as I would a picture in my home.
If it’s heavy and I’m not sure the wall hangers will hold up, I like to add a board along the lower edge for the mirror to rest on. This way, if the hanging hardware gives up, the board will prevent the mirror from slipping or falling.
I hope that answers your questions.
Again, safety comes first for you, the garden, and wildlife so if you have any doubts do not use mirrors. And if you do, keep them out of direct sun, away from flight paths, and have fun making it creative.
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~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛