How to Create a Joanna Gaines-Worthy Garden

  “Fixer Upper” is one of my favorite TV shows!  My niece & nephew first told me about it; they talked about this “Joanna Gaines” character, & since I hadn’t seen the show yet, I didn’t understand that those words actually meant a whole style.  Relaxed, friendly, cozy, warm, farm house….that pretty much sums up her style in a few words.  So when I recently bought a house that has a HUGE backyard, I got inspired by an episode called “Family Garden Project,” that showed Joanna & Chip designing their own backyard.  In this post, I’ll explain step-by-step how to start creating a Joanna Gaines-worthy garden in your own backyard!

How to Create a Joanna Gaines-Worthy Garden, Girl Who Travels the World

Wood trellises form the center point of Joanna Gaines’ garden: they’re surrounded by raised garden beds & lead to her garden “shed.”

A Tour of Chip & Joanna Gaines’ Garden

Before we figure out how to create a Joanna Gaines garden of our own, let’s first take a look at her garden to get ideas & inspiration.  Under each photo, I make note of key decisions she’s made to enhance the beauty & aesthetic of her garden that can easily be mimicked in your own.

All photos below of Chip & Joanna Gaines’ garden are courtesy of HGTV.

How to Create a Joanna Gaines-Worthy Garden, Girl Who Travels the World

Raised garden beds are the cornerstone of Joanna’s garden: though they are all different sizes, they’re all stained the same color for uniformity. White pea gravel provides a beautiful contrast to the dark, cedar wood of the raised beds. (Note that is you’re staining raised beds yourself, the stain may harm the plants or herbs; opt for an organic stain if you can find one.)

How to Create a Joanna Gaines-Worthy Garden, Girl Who Travels the World

A large tree outside the white picket fence provides nice shade for the entire garden. Notice that Joanna tends to put smaller plants in the FRONT of the garden ~ with taller plants like these climbing vines, in back….so you can clearly see everything from the front of the garden. (Note: If you watch the episode, you’ll see how her & her daughters created the height for those climbing vines by first building wood “teepees” for the vines to climb up.)

How to Create a Joanna Gaines-Worthy Garden, Girl Who Travels the World

Okay….so this isn’t exactly a “shed” ~ this is like a beautiful outdoor room that’s an inspiration in itself! If you can’t afford to create a “She Shed” that’s this elaborate, replicate it on a smaller scale by creating a small potting station with a wooden sign that says “Perennials” or “Garden.” Let your imagination go….

How to Create a Joanna Gaines-Worthy Garden, Girl Who Travels the World

This is one idea I’m DEFINITELY taking inspiration from: place an outdoor dining table in the MIDDLE of your garden (i.e. in the middle of your raised garden beds), so that when you enjoy dinners al fresco….you are literally sitting in the midst of flowers, trees, & herbs! What could be more delightful?

How to Create a Joanna Gaines-Worthy Garden

  1. Start With a Plan

If you’ve watched anyFixer Upper” episodes, you know one thing for sure: Joanna never starts a project without a PLAN.  I’m a terrible artist, but even I was able to sketch out an initial vision for my backyard project.  Adjustments undoubtedly will need to be made along the way, but having a plan gives you a structure to build from that you can adjust over time.

How to Create a Joanna Gaines-Worthy Garden, Girl Who Travels the World

The sketch of my future garden includes a dining area surrounded by raised beds, & trees in strategic spots to enhance privacy.

2. Buy What You Need For “Phase 1”

If you’re like me, you may not be able to afford your entire garden vision at one time.  Decide what will make the MOST impact, & start there.  For me, that included purchasing my first three raised garden beds (8 feet by 2 feet), followed by two more raised beds (8 feet by 4 feet).  When I checked gardener-specific sites for raised beds, I found that many were back-logged for months!  But I was too impatient, so I checked Amazon & found that they had exactly what I was looking for: to date, I’ve ordered seven Yaheetech Raised Beds, & I’m very happy with them: they were easy to put together & have the pretty, natural look I wanted for my garden.  They also have many different-sized beds so I can keep using & growing my garden with them in the future. 

(And the price was UNbeatable: $86 for an 8 X 4 foot bed!!!)

How to Create a Joanna Gaines-Worthy Garden, Girl Who Travels the World

As you can see, my yard is a total work-in-progress! I’m using pots & raised beds to make my patios feel cozier, adding cedar chips to cover the dirt & add great scent, & of course, setting up my first few raised beds. Like Joanna, I’m mainly using smaller plants in the first row of beds & will add taller trees behind them, so that everything is visible from the house ~ while still giving me the privacy I want. I’ve got a LONG way to go, but I’ll continue updating this article as I make more progress!

3. Gather Inspiration & Talk to Local Nurseries as You Continue Adding to Your Garden ~ Don’t Do it All at Once!!

Local nurseries are your best bet for two things: 1) Gathering inspiration, & 2) Finding out what plants will work best in your zone.  Here in Bend, Oregon, I’ve found a few nurseries that I absolutely love, & I’ve come to rely on the advice given to me by their owners.  My latest project is hiding my (ugly) brown fence ~ the ladies at the nursery down the street told me about “Virginia Creepers,” & said that within 1-2 years my fence will be covered by their beautiful green vines! 

Finally, while most of us may not be able to afford Joanna’s insanely elaborate “She Shed,” we can pick a special project we’d like to complete in the future, that will give us momentum & excitement for our project in years to come.  Perhaps, instead of creating a chicken coop ~ you can build a small, cozy dog house for your favorite pup, or maybe you want an area of your garden to have a nice big shade tree with a cute hammock underneath it. 

Dream a little, & have some fun….

How to Create a Joanna Gaines-Worthy Garden, Girl Who Travels the World, Joanna's Garden Shed

Joanna’s “She Shed” is elaborate (that stained glass window!!), but we can aim for a focal point that is less costly but just as satisfying ~ whether it’s a hammock, a dog house, a large outdoor dining area, fire pit, corn hole station…or whatever you can dream up!

How to Create a Joanna Gaines-Worthy Garden

I hope this post has given you some fun inspiration towards creating your own little backyard sanctuary.  One more thing to consider, particularly if you’ve purchased a home with established, deeply-rooted trees: instead of trying to prune them yourself, hire an expert like “The Local Tree Experts.”  This will save you time, money, & a lot of heartache ~ as pruning massive trees can be dangerous & even potentially cause damage to your home.  Let an expert take care of this!

Happy Gardening!

xoxo Noelia

Read Next: How to Create an English Cottage Garden

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Take a Tour of Joanna Gaines' Garden Shed & Layout, Girl Who Travels the World