Get an Inside Look at Joanna Gaines's Garden at the Silos for Ideas You Can Steal

The garden director at the Magnolia Garden shares how she brought Joanna’s vision to life, and how to find inspiration to create an outdoor space you love.

Any fan of Joanna and Chip Gaines knows about the Silos. In a little corner of downtown Waco lies an oasis the Fixer Upper couple created from the ground up, featuring a marketplace, restaurant and bakery, little shops, and beautiful gardens. Located on the grounds and free to the public, visiting the gardens is a must when you’re in the area—especially during springtime.

Magnolia Garden space at the Silos


Brooke Garcia, garden director at Magnolia and horticulture expert, is in charge of bringing Jo’s vision of the gardens to life through the selection of color palettes, texture combinations, and a variety of plants.

The process of building the gardens began when Jo brought her friend to the space (which was barren and deserted at the time) and was inspired to bring a renewed sense of liveliness to the land again with fruit trees, climbing roses, and raised beds with mixed cut flowers and fresh veggies, every single season.

“She had this vision of putting this garden on the grounds, because how contradictory is that to have a garden space in downtown Waco, full of life, attracting bees and pollinators, and just this beautiful moment in the middle of downtown,” Garcia says. “So I think the process really was like this—how do we bring this place back to life and make it feel beautiful, lush, and inspiring.”

Overview of Magnolia Garden in front of Silos


Bringing Jo’s vision to life meant making the gardens a place for seasoned and beginner gardeners alike to find inspiration to create the same sense of beauty at home. A plant palette is a key component in this—planning for a seasonal color, hunting for which plants are on brand, and incorporating Jo’s favorites. For spring, she gravitated toward a gemstone palette, while summer is about instilling a brighter, zesty feeling.

At the Magnolia Gardens, Garcia chooses plants that have a sense of softness and whimsy, and she likes to keep it more informal. 

“I tend to associate the texture of a plant with more of a feeling: Is it rigid? Is it flowy? Is it soft? ” she says. “So we might have some like formal elements in the garden of these straight lines, these walkways—there’s not a lot of curvature in our garden spaces, but we break that like formal line through plants and texture and this loose kind of feeling.”

This season, Garcia chose to grow an abundance of different flowers and plants: white king delphinium, hummingbird poppies, dalmatian white foxglove, champagne hollyhock, chocolate lace dara (Jo’s favorite cut flower), and more. Fresh produce is also abundant, from strawberries and different basil varieties (like lemon and African blue) to lettuce and jalapeños. Garcia’s style involves planting the basils down the middle of the raised bed and wrapping the perimeter with the cut flowers to frame everything.

When developing the garden designs, Garcia thinks about what she would want in a flower bouquet and goes from there, focusing on curating the plants in a way that feels abundant.

Garden Trends to Try at Home

When the pandemic hit, Garcia found that she was seeing a lot of new gardeners taking up cut flower gardening, with homeowners wanting the ability to go out into their outdoor spaces, cut whatever they were growing, and bring them inside to add life to their rooms. If you want that option but don’t know where to start, she recommends taking a trip to your local nursery or plant shop to gain inspiration.

“Whether you’re traveling or just finding beautiful garden spaces, I think a lot of my landscape design is in a way self-taught, just from going to spaces and being inspired by new plants,” she says. “I always encourage folks to visit their local nurseries. And don't be afraid to try something new—failure is part of the process, especially with gardening. You’re gonna fail at something, so you might as well just try it and smile that you’re doing it.”

In 2023, these are the gardening trends Garcia is noticing—and they’re all projects you can achieve on your own. If you’re new to gardening or the thought of it is overwhelming to you, choose just one to focus on. As long as it’s one that truly speaks to you, you’re sure to be happy with the results.

Building a Raised Bed

Anyone with the right tools can build a raised bed in their backyard, Garcia says. She loves using cedar or treated lumber and says you can go with whatever size or shape fits your vision and space (the Magnolia Gardens uses rectangular beds). If you have multiple beds, leave some room between them so you can walk amid them.

Greenhouse with potted plants at Magnolia Gardens


Personalizing a Greenhouse

“I feel like a greenhouse is almost like a new ‘she shed’ in a way, where people want to have this beautiful space full of light and life,” Garcia says. 

Consider the style of your greenhouse as much as its function—you can build your own or find one online that suits your needs and aesthetic.

Growing Roses

The popularity of roses diminished for some time because of a rosette disease scare, but Garcia says they’re back in full force now. At the Silos, their favorites include the ice cap rose and the heirloom rose, both of which give off a delightfully sweet scent. Overall, roses are now more disease resistant and very prolific bloomers, characteristics that are attracting people to them. 

Outdoor room with table and chairs at Magnolia Gardens


Setting Up an Outdoor Room

People are developing their outdoor areas as an extension of their homes with features like a fire pit space, pool, patio, deck, pergola—anything that creates elevated relaxation. Think of it like you’re putting together a room inside of your home, and apply those same principles (just with outdoor elements and furniture).

Whether you decide to grow a vegetable garden or put together beds for your freshly cut flowers, getting outside and connecting with nature is the part of the experience that really matters.

“I think for Jo, [gardening is] such a peaceful thing, and it helps her stay really present,” Garcia says. “So I think my biggest takeaway is just if people are outside in their garden, or if they’re at least curious about it or interested in a plant—I want people to be inspired by the garden, and that’s it. We hope that at Magnolia, people come here, and they leave having one little moment of, ‘I can do this.’”

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