Nearly every Animal Crossing Island, at some point or another, has a garden: whether it’s just a collection of flowers that you’re watering in hopes of getting all the colors or a meticulously planned natural wonder. In earlier games, like New Leaf, gardening was one of the only ways to decorate your exterior space. Now through a combination of having almost limitless decoration abilities and permanent flowers, your garden can be as vibrant and luxurious as you want, and it’ll stay that way.
But with all the options available, it can be hard to choose where to start. Do you start with a color scheme or flower type? Do you want to use hedges or shrubs? Do you risk lowering your island’s star rating by using weeds to look wilder? Analysis paralysis is totally understandable, and sometimes, you just need a little inspiration to get yourself moving toward a goal. Besides, you can always change it later or squeeze another garden on your island. I know I always have a work in progress.
I’ve put together a few garden ideas that hopefully spark some creativity. For my own sanity, I put all these together in Happy Home Paradise, so my space was limited, and none of these included terraforming. These are just meant to be ideas to start you off, so when you build, I hope you expand upon them to your heart’s content.
There are a few spots around my island where I like the change the decor with the seasons. While a bit tedious at times, it can be refreshing to give your island a new look every once and a while, especially if you’re like me and are terrified of restarting. A seasonal garden can highlight your favorite time of year, or it could be a retreat when you’re powering through a season you don’t like as much.
Let’s get started with the most apparent garden theme, springtime. It almost feels like a bit of a cheat since, practically garden could be considered ‘spring themed’ because spring is so heavily associated with flowers. To invoke spring as much as possible, I used pastel colors and rounded shapes to emphasize the lightness of spring.
- Plant Partition (Light brick)
- Wedding Arch (Garden)
- Flower Bed (Pink Beige)
- Pergola (Yellow Flowers)
- Pink Azalea Shrub
- Pink Mums
- Yellow Cosmos
Arrange your various flowers in a radially symmetrical pattern. This will be reminiscent of the way most flowers bloom. Try to use a variety of ways to display plant life between furniture, flowers, and shrubs to add depth.
If you don’t like the square, you could try making the entire garden flower-shaped by bringing in the corners and pushing out the middle fencing.
To get the flower-shaped path at the center, place down your desired center path in a cross with each arm being two tiles wide, then round off each corner. I used cobblestone, but I think dirt would also provide a more natural look. To make the petal shapes use a different path and make a square in each corner of the cross. Round each corner except for the one closest. For this one, I used arched stone since it best matches cobblestone.
It can be challenging to differentiate between summer when just using plants. Both are associated with thriving nature. In Animal Crossing, the grass and trees only turn a slightly darker green to signify the seasonal change. I choose to theme my summer garden with warm, dark colors to reflect the heat of summer. It gives the entire garden a heavier feel compared to the lightness of spring.
- Fountain (Brown)
- Birdbath (Red)
- Small Vase (Flowers and Birds)
- Moroccan Sofa (Red)
- Moroccan Tray Table (Bronze)
- Succulent Plant
- Blood-Orange Juice
- Fan Palm (Red)
- Curved Streetlight (Green)
- Yellow Mums
- Orange Pansies
- Orange Tea-Olive Shrubs
Arrange your flowers and decorations around the fountain so the water can offer some relief from the heat. Include lights so the garden can be enjoyed on cool nights and not just on sweltering days. When choosing plants to add, aside from flowers, find things that give a more tropical feel.
Tall plants with broad leaves indicate a lot of sunlight. I used less plant-themed furniture here than with the spring garden. Stonework, particularly brown and red stonework, makes the garden look harder and hotter than the wood and leaves of the spring garden.
Autumn is my favorite season, especially in Animal Crossing. I’m in love with the mushroom, maple leaf, and acorn and pinecone season furniture. I chose not to include flowers in this particular garden and instead focused on the plant-like furniture and trees. My thought is that while fall is heavily associated with plants, it isn’t known for flowers.
So, instead, I took advantage of other seasonal items. If you wanted to include flowers in your autumnal garden, I would recommend warm colors, like red, orange, and yellow. For types of flowers, I would say simple flowers with large petals, like windflowers, lilies, and cosmos.
- Tree’s Bounty Arch (Brown)
- Tree’s Bounty Big Tree (Brown)
- Mush Lamp (White)
- Mush Table (White)
- Mush Partition (Ordinary)
- Mush Parasol (Red)
- Mush Low Stool (Red)
- Mush Log (Yellow Mushroom)
- Log Stakes (Dark Wood)
- Log Garden Lounge (Dark Wood)
- Yellow-Leaf Pile
- Brown-Leaf Pile
- Red-Lead Pile
- Bunny Garden Decoration (Brown)
- Traditional Balance Toy
- Festival Zongzi
- Apple Tree
Arrange the trees on the edge of your garden to make it look like a secret forest clearing. Next, place some things, like lamps, paths, and partitions in a symmetrical pattern to keep the idea that it’s an intentional garden. Then add other decorations without a pattern to give the impression of the messiness of falling autumn leaves. Finally, scatter leaf piles across the entire garden to make it look like leaves have been falling.
Winter is simultaneously the easiest and hardest seasonal grade to make. On the one hand, winter has a powerful and specific aesthetic with plenty of appropriately themed furniture. On the other hand, winter is known for its lack of plants. Therefore, I decided to go in the direction of using flowers that are wintery colors. If you’re looking for plants that could realistically be in a wintery garden, I would suggest holly bushes and cedar trees.
- Frozen Arch (Ice)
- Frozen Pillar (Ice)
- Frozen Tree (Ice)
- Frozen Statue (Ice)
- Three-Tiered Snowperson (Light Blue)
- Blue Rose
- White Hyacinth
- Blue Hyacinth
- Holly Shrub
I arranged this one in a radially symmetrical pattern like the spring garden. This time to mimic a snowflake. This comes mainly from the path design. To mimic this design, I highly suggest using cobblestone and arched stone. Begin with a 2×2 square and round the corners to make a circle. In the four diagonal tiles from the circle, make four more 2×2 squares.
Round all the corners, except the farthest one, then remove the closest corner to make a rounded V shape. With the second path, make rectangles that start between the Vs and go two tiles further. In the end, you should have a square of grass/snow with a circle in the middle.
If including flowers, make sure to use either blue or white to maintain the cold aesthetic; I choose roses for their elegance and hyacinths for their small, bunched-up petals. I also decided to include the snowperson to make the garden look like it’s been used for fun, but if you want to maintain a more regal appearance, it can be removed. You could also choose different colors for the frozen furniture for a mystical look.
Decorating your island to look like somewhere you want to vacation is a great way to express your creativity and indulge in escapism. Choosing a faraway destination for your garden can produce various looks and aesthetics to spice up your island. There are so many natural wonders in our world, and we can recreate them on our switch.
Who says every garden has to be filled with luscious, leafy green plants? Beautiful plants can come from various climates, and we should celebrate them all. This design doesn’t include any bushes or flowers since I wanted to focus on plants from more acrid environments.
- Brick Fence
- Swinging Bench
- Cactus (Closed)
- Cactus (Blooming)
- Flat Garden Rock
- Garden Rock
- Termite Mound
- Baobab (Leafy)
- Yucca (White)
This garden requires a large patch of sand to be laid down beforehand. If you wanted to lean hard into the oasis idea, you could build it on the beach, but that much water would look weird next to the cacti and rocks. I recommend a brown outdoor bath if you are set on including more water than I did.
I chose to make this an enclosed space with staggered walls to mimic terra cotta walls seen in Central America. For the most part, I tried to place the decorations randomly. However, I bunched them together to make it still appear intentional. On the other hand, I made the weeds look random and natural like the garden was not overly manicured.
My inclusion of the weeds was to add some smaller flora than the cacti and trees. If you don’t want to deal with the weeds spreading, I suggest planting flowers from seeds in the grass rather than moving them to the sand before they fully grow. Flowers won’t grow on sand, so they’ll stay small and green like weeds.
This idea is a bit wilder than the other gardens I’m presenting. Still, I’m a sucker for old ruins, and I don’t think gardens should be limited to neat flowerbeds and manicured paths. Throwing together the glowing moss and ruined furniture items makes such a mystical, other-worldly environment. A spot on your island dedicated to that makes it seem like your island has a rich history.
- Cave (Mossy)
- Glowing-Moss Pond (Turquoise)
- Flowing-Moss Boulder (Green)
- Glowing-Moss Statue (Mossy)
- Forbidden Altar (Mossy)
- Glowing-Moss Stool (Green)
- Ruined Arch (Mossy)
- Ruined Decorated Pillar (Mossy)
- Ruined Broken Pillar (Mossy)
- Giant Vine (Green)
- Vine Bench (Green)
- Power Stone
- White Windflower
- Purple Pansie
- Glowing Moss
The trick to this garden is making things look like they were once arranged carefully, but time has taken its toll. Set up items like the ruined arch and pillars in a pattern but intersperse it with broken pillars and maybe ruined seats to make it looks like the stone has been damaged. The altar and statue should be prominently featured like they were necessary for whatever purpose these ruins once had. Then add the more natural items around them, don’t be afraid to crowd and cover items to make everything look wild.
Nothing looks quite so peaceful as a quiet forest of bamboo. Something is soothing about the smooth, uniform stalks growing tall and shading the ground with their vibrant leaves. It makes a nice place to sit and relax.
- Bamboo Bench (Green)
- Bamboo Basket (Green)
- Bamboo Floor Lamp (Green)
- Bamboo Partition (Green)
- Bamboo Stool (Green)
- Deer Scare
- Bamboo Grass
- Cherry-Blossom Branches
- White Mum
- Green Mum
I find that a line of bamboo with bamboo grass and a line of bamboo partitions behind makes a good wall that looks clean but grown. This is because the grown bamboo makes large shapes filled in by the smaller shapes of the bamboo grass and partitions.
I choose to make this garden primarily green with small splashes of white and pink. If you wanted to break up all the green, you could add more cherry blossom decorations or use dried or smoked bamboo furniture. Personally, I find the palate of most light green with a few accents to be relaxing.
While gardens are meant to celebrate the natural, they are also ways to celebrate human creation. We can integrate what we create with nature to make something even more beautiful. These garden ideas are based on things created by people that often get incorporated into gardens.
One prime example of exquisite human creation is a beautiful castle. They are signs of wealth, status, and protection. While in real life, castles aren’t always everything they are made out to be, within our game world, we can make them as luxurious as we desire.
- Castle Gate: (Gray)
- Castle Tower (Gray)
- Castle Wall (Gray)
- Round Topiary (Light Green)
- Triangular Topiary (Light Green)
- Plate Armor (New)
- White Rose
- Pink Rose
- Blue Rose
- Purple Rose
- Black Rose
- Orange Rose
- Red Rose
- Yellow Rose
I choose to use only roses for this garden since they are the most extravagant flowers. Roses have always been associated with high status as they are large flowers with complex petals and are challenging to grow. Even within Animal Crossing, the hardest flowers to get, aside from the Lily for the Valley, are all roses.
I matched the roses with the topiaries to keep from overwhelming the garden with color and complexity. They are large and majestic without distracting from the beauty of the roses. Making the space feel complete but not busy.
Many items could be chosen for the centerpiece, like a fountain or gazebo. However, I decided on the armor to match the castle theme. With more space, you could expand the garden, add a throne at the top, and disperse armor throughout to look like guards.
Your island doesn’t have to be all sunshine and rainbows. If that’s all you were restricted to, it would eventually get dull. However, the darker items of Animal Crossing give the game a bit of a punch and allows you to make grim haunted islands. Or, instead, you might want a place of somber reflection; either way, adding a cemetery garden would help to stand out and add variety.
- Western-Style Stone (White)
- Zen-Style Stone (White Granite)
- Creepy Skeleton
- Iron Garden Bench (Black)
- Decorative Pillar (Blackstone Marble)
- Iron-and-Stone Fence
- White Lily
- Black Lily
The best color scheme for a somber garden such as this is black, white, and gray. I chose lilies specifically for their sharp leaves and petals. All the other furniture items I choose are made of hard materials, like stone or iron. So, all in all, the cemetery doesn’t feel soft or warm. Still, the subtle decorations and symmetrical layout don’t make it appear inhospitable.
Do you have more bells than you know what to do with? Do you want to flex on your friends who don’t play the stalk market? This garden was created to do just that. It’s an obnoxious celebration of all the money you can afford to just throw at whatever you want. It may not be based on large, important cultural sites like a castle or cemetery, but wealth is just as much a human creation as buildings or graveyards.
- Golden Seat
- Capricorn Ornament
- Golden Vase
- Decorative Pillar (Whitestone Marble)
- Great statue
- Robust Statue
- Beautiful Statue
- White Plumeria Bush
- Black Rose
- Gold Rose
- Lily of the Valley
- Bell Tree
Symmetry is essential to this garden. It conveys a sense of balance and power. Only those with excessive time and resources can make something perfectly symmetrical. But it doesn’t need to be symmetrical front-to-back because there should be a clear entrance and a clear place of power.
This is a hard garden to build between growing the trees and flowers, waiting for Redd, and gathering all the crafting resources. It’ll take time and patience or time traveling, but it will send a definite message that your island is rich and thriving.
All the gardens up to this point have been made purely for decoration. However, you can make a garden that serves a purpose and make it look just as pretty as decorative gardens.
In the early days of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, one of the ultimate goals was to get a rock garden. Rocks were one of the few things the player had very little control over, so of course, it was a big deal to be able to wrangle your rocks into a delightful setting.
- Zen Fence
- Tall Lantern (White)
- Cherry-Blossom Pond Stone
- Bamboo Grass
- Stone Lion-Dog (White)
The function of this garden lies in how easy it is to harvest materials from rocks. Placing a fence around each rock means you don’t need to dig a hole behind you to prevent falling back when you hit the rock. In addition, each rock is clear on all sides to allow them to drop each item they might hold.
Some rock gardens like this will only leave one hole in the zen fence filled with a tankless toilet. The purpose is to force whoever enters the rock garden to expel anything they’ve eaten and prevent accidentally breaking rocks. I didn’t include that in my design since I was going to something more aesthetically pleasing. Still, it works well if you are forgetful or have sneaky visitors.
Now the hard part, how do you get all these rocks in formation? Rocks break when hit with a shovel after you’ve eaten something. They will then spawn the next day in a spot that fits a set of rules. The space must be a free tile of dirt, grass, or sand, with empty space on all sides and not behind a building or tree.
So the trick is to cover every part of your island so that the rock will only spawn where you want it to. This can be accomplished with weeds, custom designs, or hard paths. Without time travel, this process can take a week or longer, making your island a mess, but it’s very satisfying once it’s done.
The introduction of vegetables in the 2.0 update disturbed many carefully planned islands. But on the other hand, just as many islands were happy to replace their makeshift crop furniture with real vegetables in their gardens and farms. So now, as people decorate their island, they can integrate the presence of vegetables as soon as they can access them.
- All Fruit Trees
- All Vegetables
- Wheat Field (Gold)
- Silo (Brown and Red)
- Windmill (White)
- Honey Bee Model
- Beekeeper’s Hive (Natural)
- Tractor (Green)
- Handcart (Green)
- Milk Can (Silver)
- Nutter Churn (Dark Wood)
- Garden Faucet (Red Brick)
- Potted Starter Plants (Black)
- Country Fence
This garden, or farm rather, allows you a space to grow your vegetables and fruits. It’s modeled to look like a farm and gives you room to water and harvest all your crops. I like lining up the crops and alternating between the dark and regular dirt paths to look like neatly planted rows.
You can also increase or decrease this garden to accommodate your tastes. It can be small patches surrounded by a fence purely for function or large swathes of the field meant to make your island rich rural pasture. I choose to make a small crop area and add lots of decoration to make it look like a farm that produces a lot of different things.
Question: How do you Start a Garden in Animal Crossing?
Answer: To start a garden, you must gather what you want to plant. You can buy any plant start or seed from Leif, who will visit your island every other week, or hang out at Harv’s island once he is unlocked. Once the plants are planted, they take a few days to grow. For vegetables, you should water them each day, so they produce more vegetables.
You can grow and breed more flowers by planting flowers of the same types next to each other and watering them. Other than that, you can buy or craft whatever decorations you want to make your garden unique.
Question: Can you Grow Vegetables in Animal Crossing?
Answer: Yes! The 2.0 update added vegetables to Animal Crossing, which can be grown, eaten, sold, and used in cooking and crafting. To grow them, you simply need to plant a seed or vegetable in a hole and then wait for it to grow. It’ll take three days for vegetables to grow after they are picked, and you’ll get more vegetables when you harvest them if you water them daily.
Question: What is the Rarest Flower in Animal Crossing?
Answer: The rarest flower is the lily of the valley because it can’t be grown or planted like the other flowers. Lilies of the Valley will only spawn when your island has a five-star rating and will only spawn on grassy cliffs. Watering has no effect, so the amount of lilies you have is based on luck and the quality of your island.
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