Eclectic Garden Ideas

Not everyone seeks to have a magazine-perfect backyard. Some look at their outdoor space as an opportunity to express their personality, interests and sense of style. A little planning and a lot of creative vision can turn your garden space, big or small, into an eclectic yard your neighbors will envy. Start with your theme and then build up your treasures and plants throughout the summer.

Hobbit Theme

Hobbit lore, popularized in the award-winning movie series "Lord of the Rings," is set against a backdrop of a lush and unusual environment in which the Hobbits live. Bring a sense of that rich and fanciful look to your garden by planting piles of thick ground cover and beautiful blooming plants. Plant dragon's eye pine, ladies tresses, Chinese dogwood and the flowering Crinodonna lily to get started and sprinkle Hobbit statues and mock doorways around tree roots and partially hidden in ferns to get started.

Organic Accents

Make the most out of your backyard getaway by using rustic elements you can make yourself. Weave a garden trellis out of fallen tree branches and grapevines to line garden walls and to provide places for morning glories and other climbing plants to cover. Make an organic border for flowerbeds by collecting smaller branches and sticks and weaving grapevine through to create a fence. Complement your natural touches with rustic or log patio furniture.

Antiques and Art

Abandoned window frames, old water pitchers and mismatched teacups and saucers all make for a shabby chic garden when sprinkled amongst flowerbeds and filled with ground cover and wild flowers. Hang a fine art print in a golden frame from a patio wall and place broken statues and sculptures amongst a tree-lined border. Finish the look by using old wooden chairs to hold grass or herbs around the patio or in the back of flowerbeds.

Unusual Container Garden

Almost anything can be used as a container in an eclectic garden, and the more variety the better. Drill giant holes in bowling balls to plant cacti, fill old hats with a plastic liner and violets, toss some old rubber boots into a flowerbed and fill with daisies and wildflowers. The more unexpected the container, the more interesting it will be for your visitors. Play on your theme at a garden party by setting the table with glassware filled with ivy.


Show off your collection of Buddha items by sprinkling them amongst your flowerbeds and around your sand Zen garden. Use additional Asian elements, such as pagoda statues and a wall of wind chimes, to further your meditative, yet eclectic, outdoor space.

Keywords: eclectic gardens, shabby chic garden, trellis

About this Author

Diane Steinbach has been writing for a variety of professional, educational and entertainment publications for over 15 years. Her work consists of three books on art therapy including : "Art as Therapy: Innovations, Inspiration and Ideas" (Steinbach, 2005.) She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in art therapy and behavioral science from Mount Mary College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.