A difficult word to pin down, glamour. You probably know it when you see it but teasing out its components somehow detracts from its essential nature. And that’s because, once upon a time, ‘glamour’ meant enchantment, magic. It encompasses allure and captivation, charm and spell.

It’s a very hard thing to capture.


Perhaps glamour lies in hints of what you do not know, what is partly seen, what there is to be seen that you cannot see.

It lies in shimmer and haze, and in twinkles of coloured light and not coloured light, and in glints of metal, sometimes gold and sometimes silver. And in occasional sparks.

There’s scent too.

Glamour takes you away from the everyday. It engages all the senses.

Inject a little glamour by screening non-glamorous things in the garden

I sometimes have a feeling that part of the secret of glamour is that less is more. And what you choose has to be well-chosen.

We can all think of non-glamorous things in the garden:

  • the Dalek-style compost bin
  • the faded plastic lorry with the wonky wheel that should be in the sandpit and is always somewhere else
  • the furiously burning sausages on the barbecue.

Plan somewhere out of sight for the compost, tidy away the wonky lorry and for the third, just believe me that sausages and glamour are not a thing.

Plan for glamour

Part of a garden’s glamour lies in always holding something in reserve. Paths that allow you a glimpse of a new vista, for example, or that take you around a corner to discover something new. As I said just now, screen off the business part of the garden somehow.

Scented air

The plants you choose for your garden can add a touch of magic. On balmy evenings, the scent of nicotiana hangs on the air and, as night creeps over the garden, it becomes a luminous white. This says glamour.

Here's how to capture scent in a garden.

Nicotiana 'Fragrant Cloud'. aspect. Bedding plants. Glamour

Nicotiana 'Fragrant Cloud'. © cristina.sanvito and reused under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/


It’s good to be able to see but security lights and ferocious LEDs are too workaday a solution. Choose something much more muted with a warm yellowish hue, or one or two pink lamps – perhaps tea-lights in coloured glass holders. Something that glints and winks in the candlelight is necessary. Glasses will do this, of course, and so will some metal garden ornaments.


Select garden furniture that fits in and doesn’t dominate the outdoor space. Make it somewhere comfortable to sit and enjoy the company, or your own company.

Barcelona rattan garden cube set. Glamour

Barcelona rattan garden cube set

Enjoy the glamour of the garden!