Tips and Guides

6 Playful Garden Ideas

Add whimsical touches to your own garden with these tricks you can try at home

Photography: Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions

Do you have a cookie cutter garden—one of those front yards with straightforward lawns and clean-cut shrubs that look like everyone else’s green corner in your village?

Gardens don’t have to be too serious. After all, it was typical for 18th-century European royalty to have gigantic mazes cut into the shrubs of their gardens. Here, horticulturist and former RL contributor Jan Imperio shows us how to have fun in his Tagaytay garden. These charming accessories and techniques all add a delightful edge to the entire green space.

1. Install a water feature.

Here, Jan propped up a “fountain” he found from HMR Trading and simply hooked it up to a sprinkler system. You don’t need a huge, waterfall-like fountain; a small zen fountain or a talyasi vat of water lilies would do (find small fountains at Wilcon IT Hub, Chino Roces Ave., Makati City).

2. Add vintage pieces.

This horticulturist created a romantic area by hanging vintage sampaguita glass panels in a trellis of thunbergia vines. Create a similar look by installing capiz panels, or even callado panels you can find at secondhand shops.

3. Create a seating area.

Add a small wooden or metal bench (available at Wilcon Depot) to create a cozy seating area in a corner of your garden for afternoon reading or siestas. Make sure that there is ample shade around it via a tree or neighboring vines.

4. Make an arched trellis.

Jan created this arched trellis by having wire forms customized to curve over a pathway. The arches can be separated in the middle so that these can be moved to another spot if needed.

5. Plant statues.

Outdoor statues can be charming features in the garden, such as these “Hear, See, Speak No Evil” stone statues Jan picked up from a garden stall in Silang, Cavite. These pop up from a bed of golden miagos.

6. Play hide and seek.

Another playful feature in this garden is this amusing crocodile ornament that his children love to play with. This croc is made up of three stone pieces each, embedded in the grass to make it appear as if it is lurking. You can also find many playful garden ornaments in True Value stores.

Read the original article ("The Constant Gardener") in the May 2006 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.

More on

5 Simple Yet Relaxing Outdoor Areas

10 Relaxing Outdoor Areas, Ranked

4 Garden Styles


Latest Stories

The Ultimate Quiapo Bargain Shopping Guide

Ready to go on a Quiapo adventure? From Ilalim ng Tulay to Plaza Miranda, you are bound to spot a budget home find. Read on for our list of stores and buyers tips.

The New Holiday Balikbayan Guest Solution: Airbnbs

They will surely feel right at home!

Your P2,000 Budget Can Afford A Mini Makeover

Turn sad corners and uninspired nooks into spaces that wow

18 No-Fail Building Materials For Your Home

These designer-recommended products would make your home last a lifetime, saving you money in the long run

You'll Love These Pieces That Combine Style and Function

An elegant blend of design and style, these picks make a great addition to any room.

All The Breathtaking Design Details At The ASEAN Summit

In photos: Pinoy design and Asian elements took center stage, from the arrival area to the closing ceremonies

This Is How To Choose The Best Products For Your Home

Top tip: seek professional advice!

These Photos Will Inspire You to Display Your Favorite Bags

Showcase your precious totes and purses while keeping your home clutter-free

Home Improvement Projects That Don't Add Value To Your Property

Are the repairs you're working on doing more harm than good?

Decorate Your Home for Christmas for Less Than P1,500

A trip to the bookstore is in order

Have Your Audrey Hepburn Moment With An Actual Breakfast At Tiffany’s

The luxury jeweler has just opened a cafe at their flagship store in New York, and it is so swell!

A Look Inside Bar Luce, The Quirky Cafe Designed by Wes Anderson

The offbeat world of filmmaker Wes Anderson comes alive in this Italian coffee shop
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!