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The Collected Look in My Garden-How you can Get It

We have all had more time to appreciate our Outdoor Spaces during this pandemic.  Would you like a more personal, bespoke look for your garden? A Collected look has personality, interest, and history. Collecting and gathering things from your travels, flea markets, and or architectural salvage and antique shops add sense of history and character to your garden. The mixing and matching of outdoor furniture, finishes, and textures are one of the easiest ways to make your garden look as if it’s evolved over time even if it hasn’t.  Here are a few of my tips on how to create a gathered look in your own garden. Let’s take a look at The Collected Look in My Garden-How you can Get It.

the collected look in my garden how to get it

Steve and I have definitely tried to spend a little more time zhushing up our garden this year.  We have carved out a new little seating area and have added a few pillows to our existing furniture. We prefer the same look in our garden as we have in our home, a collected look that appears to have evolved over time (well it has actually).  If you are looking to do the same in your garden here are our tips for achieving the collected look.

#1-Create Garden “Rooms”

Create areas where people can stop and drink a cup of coffee, enjoy a glass of wine, or have an alfresco meal. We purchased this table and chairs in Mexico years ago.  This year we purchased a new umbrella from Pottery Barn in the color of our trim. The pillows are also from Pottery Barn and are linked below.

design blogger cindy hattersley's alfresco poolside table

A favorite spot for a glass of wine or two in the evening in front of the fountain. We ordered these chairs on “super sale” from Pier One.  They are similar to our Restoration Hardware ones that are no longer available but are super comfy.

design blogger cindy hattersley's rose garden with lounge chairs

Cozy seating by our outdoor fireplace.

cindy hattersley's outdoor fireplace

#1-Use a Variety of  Textures and Materials on Patios, Decks, and Walkways

Our pathways are a mix of gravel, stained concrete, and saltillo tiles throughout our garden. 

Here is the side garden pathway which is California gold pebbles.

design blogger cindy hattersley's gravel pathway

The path going to the garage is stamped concrete.

design blogger cindy hattersleys rose garden with fountain

#3 Mix and Match Furniture Styles

We have mixed iron furniture from Mexico with Wicker pieces from Restoration Hardware and Pier 1.

#4 Combine the Old and New

Here on my front porch, I have a table and chairs from Mexico, a bunny statue I picked up somewhere, studio mcgee for target pillows and a target bowl that I turned into a planter.

design blogger cindy hattersley's front porch vignette

On our front porch is a bell from Portugal that was a gift from our blacksmith.  The Vintage Wine Hotte on the front door came from Patine, the stone planters were new (although almost everything at our house is old now!), and the number sign was purchased on one of our trips to Mexico.

design blogger cindy hattersley's front door old grape hotte filled with roses

#5 Add Collected Treasures and Artifacts

The angel on the fireplace we picked up in a junk shop. The faux bios planters came from a great local shop Wisteria. The bowl on the table is Romanian redware filled with not old repro fishing floats.

design blogger cindy hattersley's outdoor fireplace


#6 Add Structure with Trellises, Gates, Obelisks, Statues, Fountains, and Fences

We found this fountain many years ago at a local Mexican import place (no longer in business).  We loved it because it had a colonial look to it.

design blogger Cindy Hattersley's fountain with landscape roses

We purchased two of these statues many years ago at our local nursery Bokay and place one at each path intersection


design blogger cindy hattersley'sfall statue with lavender and nepeta in cindy hattersleys garden

Our good friend who passed away built two of these tuteurs for me for my birthday one year.  I think of him every time I see them. They are surrounded by plumbago and lavender.


garden spire in design blogger cindy hattersley's beautiful garden

#7 Mix and match pots and planters

In my garden, I have a mix of repurposed iron pots, stone, terra cotta, and vintage vessels.  Mix up your containers for interest.

Our front porch is large and our house is a two-story Monterey Colonial with a large balcony spanning above.  This space called out for something oversized.  A bunch of small pots would look silly. We located this old farm wagon years ago at an antique store. Steve has had to rebuild the box a few times but we still love it. It is filled with geraniums, lavender, and ivy.

design blogger cindy hattersley's old farm wagon filled with flowers

In the center of my herb garden, I have a large Mexican pot planted with a bay tree.  This adds structure and interest.

design blogger cindy hattersley's bay topiary in rose arch

On the back patio, I have a repurposed iron bowl filled with succulents flanked by olive topiaries in simple terra cotta pots.

the collected look in my garden how you can get it

If you are seeking a more collected look in your garden my advice is to be patient.  Search for things you love that you can add over time. We had no money when we started our garden so it had to evolve. Anyone can achieve a cookie-cutter look with matching everything.  It is much more fun to wait until you find that perfect piece often at the perfect price to give your garden character and a sense of you.  Take your time and enjoy the hunt.

I hope you enjoyed The Collected Look in My Garden-How you can Get It. Have you spent more time in your garden this year and do you prefer a collected look?  I would love to hear more about it.

If you enjoyed this post you might enjoy My Rose Garden What is Blooming Right Now,  and  How to Achieve a Collected Look on Your Porch or Patio. You might also enjoy following me on Pinterest where I share more garden inspiration, and on Instagram where I post way too often on my garden!





Reader Interactions


  1. Juliet says

    The beauty of your garden never fails to wow me! We definitely enjoy being outside, particularly at meal times. Our landscape project is into week 5 and the dirt and dust have driven us indoors. Your post is timely because we’ve purchased the bones of our outdoor furnishings (tables, chairs, etc.) and want to achieve The Collected Look as we add pillows, throws, pots, and accessories to make the spaces feel complete. Wish the Alameda Antique Faire could reopen … I’m excited to get out on the hunt. Your home and gardens provide so much inspiration. xo

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Juliet
      We miss all of our vintage sources don’t we? I am so sad that one of my favs here Perch Decor is closing. We have to get through this!! Thank you for the sweet comments about my garden. I know yours will be beautiful when completed!!

  2. Meg Ray says

    I love, love, love so much in this post. We have been in a mew home for about 18months now and things are gradually taking shape and time and money allow. I wonder how you manage spiders, bugs and the general dust/dirt that happens outside. Do you have to clean, dust or wipe your outdoor items often? That is one thing that puts me off wagons, trolleys and repurposed furniture. I have an old corner cupboard that wold be amazing outdoors with succulents filling the drawers and pots and flowing flowers in other places. Just worried about the maintenance.

  3. Linda Henderson says

    Your garden is just so beautiful. Makes me happy to look at the photos. When I think of the area where you live my points of reference are the John Steinbeck novels I have read. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Ginger says

    Every outdoor space you have created is unique, inviting and beautiful! I’d love to have a day to slowly stroll through and take in all the wonders! You have given me food for thought on how I can cultivate a more collected look in my garden, thank you!

  5. Karen B. says

    As always you provide us with such great inspiration. I love your style and each “room” is inviting and charming.

  6. DInnerpartyguru says

    Everything is just wonderful-I would love to see it first hand someday. I totally agree with your philosophy of collecting overtime, everything has a meaning in your life that way which makes it even more special.

    Thanks for the glimpse into this enchanted space.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Amanda
      I hope you can too! If we can travel again!! Only buy things you love and you will never regret it!

  7. Rebecca says

    You have a beautiful home and gardens. Your photograph of your stamped path to the garage is so breathtaking. I actually thought it was a painting. Thank you for sharing. Love it when I see you in my inbox!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Rebecca
      Thank you so much. That shot was taken during the golden hour. It is hard to go wrong during that time of day when the light is just right.

  8. Francesca B. says

    What gorgeous spaces thank you for sharing! I am longing to gravel a little side area we have and turn it into a meditarrean haven with just pots scattered around and herbs growing but the ground is on a slight slant so I will have to think through it a bit. Do you please have a source for David Austen roses? My local gardening place in LA closed down-Stirling Nurseries-and David Austin roses are my favorite. Thanks for posting, love your blog, and happy summer!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Francesca
      So sorry for the late reply. I have a nursery locally that I can buy Austin’s from, but your best bet is to order bare root from his online nursery. They are shipped from Texas and I have had very good luck from them. You can place your order anytime to ship in January I believe. They are also much cheaper that way!!

  9. home before dark says

    You two have created a paradise. Plus you don’t have the humidity and bugs we have in the midwest!! That means you can enjoy your evening in your beautiful garden without being a human sacrifice! I’m totally enthralled…and more than a big bit jealous!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Patricia
      Thank you so much. I know the plantings are so different in the Midwest as well. There are so many things you can grow there that I cannot. Peonies for instance. I am so jealous about that!! Do you guys have a screened in porch?

  10. Anne says

    Absolutely beautiful! This is a peaceful haven I could get lost in. Thank you for sharing.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Anne

      Thank you so much for your sweet words. It has been a lot of fun this year in particular.

  11. Nancy Brantley says

    Your collected look is absolutely GORGEOUS!!!! I would love to tour and sit in your garden if I lived near by. YOU HAVE EXCELLENT TASTE!!!! I love a beautiful garden and house!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Nancy
      I am so sorry I never replied to your comment. Thank you so much for your kind words. We enjoy our garden. Especially this year.

  12. Dora Renata Pala says

    Cara Cindy
    Mi identifico pienamente in te nel tuo gusto e modo di condurre la tua vita. Tutto si rispecchia nelle tue scelte, indoor or outside. Le mie case sono cresciute con me spesso
    Con pezzi di arredamenti che altri scartavano. Nella mia vita lavorativa sono stata proprietaria di un agenzia immobiliare nel centro di Bologna e quindi ho potuto disporre di cose che altri non volevano più. Anche qui in montagna abbiamo raccolto vecchie cose donate o acquistate in mercatini locali. NON cambierei niente i due piccoli giardinetti sono la mia gioia e ogni oggetto ha un passato da raccontare. Per esempio ho dei bellissimi vasi provenienti da un antica villa Toscana nobiliare e posso immaginare le Signore che passeggiavano in quei meravigliosi giardini. Il passato racconta.

  13. Loya Palmer says

    Your gardens are beautiful and I know the space has been a refuge during this pandemic.

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