A Playhouse Adds Whimsy to the Garden

A few weeks ago, I spent two days, back-to-back on garden tours. It was truly a whirlwind weekend of gardens! Some were grand, spanning five acres like the garden I shared recently in this post:  A Breathtaking Garden From The Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour

Other were more the size you would expect to find in most backyards. It was a wonderful mix of gardens and if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years of going on garden tours, no matter the size of the garden, there’s always so much to be learned and gleaned from each one.

The garden I’m sharing today offered so many wonderful ideas, great takeaways we can all use in our gardens. The tour started here under this lovely arbor covered in a New Dawn rose. I remember reading about New Dawn many years ago when it was just starting to be known. Today it continues to be a popular climbing rose because it rewards you prolifically all summer in soft pink roses.

Arbor with New Dawn Roses_wm


Two sassy bunnies greeted us, sentinels keeping watch as we entered the garden.

Bunnies Framing Arbor Entrance To Garden_wm


One of the first things we noticed in this garden was how many of the standing planters had a grapevine wreath encircling the top. I tried to snap a photo for you. It’s a nice way to decorate the top portion of the planter. Wonder if it helps to keep pesky critters out of the plants? It also hides the top of the pot if you just place the pot in the planter instead of planting it. Clever, huh?

Grapevine Wreath Around Plant in Tall Urn_wm


I LOVED this idea…they’ve tucked beautiful decorative stone into the mortar between the paver stones of the walkways and patios in the garden.

Garden Patio with Decorative Stones and Jewels in GroutA_wm


Notice how they created lovely designs whenever there was a wider spot between the stones.

Add Pretty Stones and Jewels to Patio Grout_wm_edited-1_wm


This garden had lots of whimsy! See the teacup bird feeder?

A Garden Tour_wm


Some of the pretty flowers growing here…

Flowers in the Garden_wm


I love Lambs Ear, it’s so soft to the touch.

Lamb's Ear in the Garden_wm


Here’s a little better view of the teacup bird feeder.

Tea Cup Bird Feeder in the Garden_wm


Have you ever thought of tucking a child’s rocker into a garden bed and using it to hold a plant? I bet it would last a long time if covered in a good outdoor paint. I’d probably add a coat of some type of outdoor varnish since we have termites here, but I do love this idea!

Rocking Chair Planter_wm


I racked my brain trying to remember the name of this plant. I know they come in many colors. Can you guys help me out?

Garden Tour_wm


This garden held a little surprise, a darling playhouse. At first I thought it might be a gardening shed for holding tools and potting things.

Darling Playhouse in the Garden_wm


But a peek inside revealed an adorable playhouse. Wouldn’t the children/grandchildren love playing here!

Playhouse in the Garden_wm


Here’s a view of the other side of the playhouse…look at those sweet curtains. I think grownups might even enjoy a little respite here. It would be fun to hide out and watch the birds and the critters who visit the garden, wouldn’t it?

A Play House in the Garden_wm


Remember this other sweet playhouse I shared a while back in this post: My Dream Home  🙂  There’s something magical about a playhouse, isn’t there?

Cottage Playhouse


Pssst: I’ll be back later today with a book from the BNOTP library. Happy Friday, dear friends!

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  1. Peggy Thal says

    What an adorable playhouse. A little girl’s dream. Later you can always use it for a potting shed. Funny but just last week I bought one of those rabbits at a favorite consignment shop in Williamsburg. $80.00 ! I just love bunnies- it is an illness. I really like the wreath around the potted plants. Might give it a try! Thanks for the photo’s looks like you had a fun tour.

  2. Lovely playhouse. I like that idea about the wreaths too, maybe it will critters out! The plant I believe is columbine. I have some that are a pretty purple. Can’t wait to see what the new book post is! Almost time for some garden tours in northern Michigan. cold today 60’s maybe

  3. Nice photo’s! the plant is columbine. lovely perennial. Cant’s wait for the new post of a book today!

  4. Susan,

    Thank you so much for this post. I was planning on making a glass bird bath (saw it on Pinterest) and I woke up one a.m. thinking, “oh no! The neighbors might think it’s tacky!!” But seeing the whimsy in these gardens made me realize, “not tacky — it’s whimsical.” I wish I could send you a pic of the glass bird bath. It’s really pretty and I picked up glass bowls and plates at Good Will for $20. Now I just need to get out the super glue.

    Thanks again! — Alley

  5. Jan Ferris says

    Susan, those uppermost white flowers are columbines. I was first introduced to them on a visit to Colorado many years ago, and they have become a favorite of mine. I don’t see them very often in my southern California area (other than my backyard!), but they do grow beautifully here – and they reseed, which means I do hardly anything to keep them growing!

  6. Forget the grandchildren…I wanna play in that playhouse!!! Love the little wicker furniture:) That’s one heck of a beautiful garden too!

  7. Susan, I love this tour. I love whimsy. And I want a cute playhouse I can use for a potting shed. That is something I have always wanted even before I got into gardening. There is just something magical about a playhouse in the backyard. I am definitely going to use some of these ideas. Carla

  8. You know, I think that’s a super idea about placing a grapevine wreath over the top of planters…hope chipmunks don’t like it… Our columbine is just starting to bloom, too. We have a wee little playhouse for the kiddos, too…just put small iron bench by the door…need to paint it…summertime – and the living is…easily…spent painting, etc.!! franki

  9. C. Morgan says

    Love the garden, the playhouse, and the wreaths around the plants!

  10. Susan, thank you for taking us on the garden tour. Love the playhouse…yes I would be in there too with my tea set!! 🙂
    I like a garden with unexpected things.

  11. I would take a guess and say the plants that are in the planters are on loan and they put the wreath there to hide the container. I think this because the hangers are still on the plant so they either ran out 0f time or someone loaned them for the day But it sure is a great idea.

  12. Charlotte says

    What a cute playhouse! I love the gardens too. Years ago when I was touring Tezcuco Plantation in Darrow, LA (I am pretty sure that was the plantation) there was a cute playhouse that Papa Noel brought to the children for Christmas and he left a note in their stocking, the note was framed on the front of the playhouse. Sadly, Tazcuco Plantation was destroyed by a fire in May 2002, but it was beautiful.

  13. Bonnie Gutierrez says

    That playhouse brings fond memories of my childhood. My Dad lovingly built one for me that I and my very best friend spent many hours enjoying – we even camped in it overnight! How serendipitous is this: just a few days ago my friend ( we have known each other for more than fifty years and are like sisters) mentioned that she and her husband took a drive to our old neighborhood and the playhouse is still standing! Yep, Dad built things to last. This is one of many fond memories of my Father. Susan, thank you for sharing those photos, you made my day! The timing was also perfect with Father’s Day being this weekend.

  14. I want to move into that second playhouse~leaving my hubby to live in this partially remodeled house we’re in now. The playhouse is much nicer! Ha!

  15. I think it is every girl’s dream to have a pretty playhouse…Beautiful gardens and love the gorgeous arbor with the New Dawn roses!…

  16. Thanks for sharing Susan. I just love garden tours. I don’t know if you saw the one I did about 4 weeks ago. Really saw some lovely gardens. Makes you want to come home and start changing things.
    The play house is really cute and I love how they incorporated the stones into their walkway.
    Have a great weekend Susan.

  17. What a great idea about the wreath around the planter. I tried to picture for indoor planters, but no looking so good in my imagination. Maybe something different, like a boxwood wreath? Or not.
    My mom had heard that colonists used lamb’s ear where their shoes were rubbing blisters. I image shoes fit really poorly back then.

    • Question, Everyone:

      Re: the adorable tea cup bird feeder. Does anyone worry that such short bird feeders will attract birds. . . and cats?

      I have plans for a short(ish) bird bath and I’m afraid I’ll be creating a bird buffet for a neighbor cat. Or are birds just too fast?

  18. I love the play house! My uncle built my mom a playhouse when she was five. He was much older and a builder. It was the most amazing playhouse I’ve ever seen! It was outfitted with many items that I have fond memories of, like painted wooden Coca-Cola bottles – a set of six in a wooden crate, no less; a hand-made high-chair, which I now have; a hand-made cradle, which I now have – and made into a doggie bed. Yes, this playhouse you posted today would be awesome for grandchildren. I hope you’re making plans to add one to your back yard for yours! Thanks for sharing this wonderful garden. 🙂

  19. Susan I love your garden tours especially ones of little houses but I have to tell you all my life I have fantasized about living in a yellow house with white picket fence then I saw this picture of this yellow house. I didn’t know if I should laugh ,cry or call a Realtor this is my fantasy home. where is it? Can I move in today?is this not stunning? Susie

  20. Mary from Virginia says

    Beautiful garden tour! I love all the fun ideas for adding “surprises” to the garden. I love walking along in gardens and finding cute whimsical things. Cute play house too. I always wanted one.

  21. My husband and I drove over from N. Alabama to attend that tour. We had a blast! Each garden was so very different and interesting. Loved that little playhouse too.

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