A Color-Packed Country Garden Inspires Whimsical Ideas

small patio table under wood built cover in garden
Photo: Emily Followill

You don't feel the same nostalgia in every garden that you do in a rustic, country garden. This Southern gardener filled her yard with charm and personality by adding antique garden accents and DIY garden decor to the landscape.

01 of 11

Frame Views

log cabin country flower garden
Emily Followill

The Komiches built a spectacular country garden in Georgia surrounding an 1850s log cabin. They highlighted the cabin by framing the yard's entrance with a rustic wooden arbor.

Test Garden Tip: Use arbors, fences, and even trees or shrubs to highlight key elements in your yard. Here, the arbor's pointed shape mimics and frames the rooflines of the cabin—creating the perfect view.

02 of 11

Add Accents

gardener standing on front porch with plants
Emily Followill

While the garden and cabin are beautiful in their own right, the Komiches scoured flea markets, antiques shops, and auctions for perfect accessories to add to the cabin's charm.

Test Garden Tip: Accenting the garden with art can be a fine line. If you have too much, it can feel cluttered. Consider each accent piece and where you'll place it before adding it to your garden.

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Grow Fun Container Gardens

rusted birdbath along gravel path of garden
Emily Followill

A series of colorful container gardens add to the Komiches' rustic touch. Here, a rusted birdbath is filled with easy-to-grow succulents.

Test Garden Tip: No matter what kind of container you use, make sure it has drainage holes so excess water can escape after watering or heavy rains. This is especially important for succulents and other drought-tolerant plants.

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Be Whimsical

diy scarecrow flower garden in front of log cabin
Emily Followill

The Komiches put together this colorful scarecrow—complete with a flowering head and parasol—to add a whimsical touch to the landscape. This easy-to-do project is a clever way to create a little fun in the garden.

Test Garden Tip: If you want to put a pot on top of your scarecrow like this, look for a sturdy pot holder to sink your pot into. The holder attaches to the post holding up the scarecrow.

05 of 11

Create Surprises

diy scarecrow surrounded by flowers
Emily Followill

When viewed from straight on, the scarecrow is a focal point. But when viewed from the main path, it becomes a garden accent, complementing the collage of colorful white cleome, purple verbena, and pink daylilies.

Test Garden Tip: Keep in mind the angles at which objects are viewed in the garden. You can create fun and interesting surprises if you hide things from main view so they're only seen when you turn a corner.

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Play with Color

flower garden with petunias hydrangeas salvias
Emily Followill

The Komiches added gardens around each side of their log cabin. On this side, bright pink blooms of petunias and hydrangeas, as well as blue salvia, create an eye-catching display.

Test Garden Tip: Keep in mind the power of color. This garden wouldn't work as well in front of the cabin because it would take attention away from it.

07 of 11

Choose Appropriate Plants

pink lacecap hydrangea flower
Emily Followill

Hydrangeas are one of the hallmarks of Southern gardens. This bright pink lacecap hydrangea can provide color for a couple of months.

Test Garden Tip: Hydrangeas do best where they get some morning sun followed by afternoon shade. In most climates, they'll sulk and stay wilted in full sun.

08 of 11

Don't Be Afraid to Be Dramatic

rusted cauldron garden area with elephant ears plant
Emily Followill

An old cauldron becomes a dramatic centerpiece in this shady lawn. Filled with purple-leafed elephant ears and ringed with bright red impatiens, the cauldron is an easy way to add a bold splash of color.

Test Garden Tip: Use the power of scale to your advantage. When you have a big container like this, you can create a big impact with bold, tropical foliage like elephant's ears, cannas, or angel's trumpets.

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Create a Sense of Space

long narrow space stone center point
Emily Followill

Even though the Komiches don't have a large yard, they cleverly created the illusion of it. This long, narrow lawn feels extra large thanks to a tall, skinny focal point at the far end. The undulating edges along the fence also help draw the eye back.

Test Garden Tip: If you want to help a small space seem bigger, put light colors such as white or pale blue at the far end of the garden. Because they're so light, they'll seem even farther away.

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Keep It Simple

garden lawn shed with old wooden wagon
Emily Followill

The 1850s log cabin isn't the only structure the Komiches had to landscape around. An old barn also sits on the property. They kept the plantings around it simple to keep it from distracting attention from the showpiece. Though simple, the rustic wagon and small number of plantings help enhance the country theme.

Test Garden Tip: Big trees help nestle this barn into the landscape. You can do the same thing with a garden shed, albeit on a smaller scale. Just tuck it in among small trees or large shrubs to create a cozy, established feel.

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Leave Space for Outdoor Living

small patio table under wood built cover in garden
Emily Followill

While the plantings are a highlight of the Komiches' yard, a simple patio covered by a rustic wood pergola leaves the couple space to entertain outdoors—or just enjoy a glass of wine in the moonlight.

Test Garden Tip: Leave a spot for a deck or patio in your yard—even if it's just a small one. Adding outdoor living space not only makes your yard more comfortable, but it also increases your property's value.

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