What Is a Fairy Garden?
Why should you grow a fairy garden?
Here are a few good reasons:
Follow these steps to plan your fairy garden:
First, you need to choose a good location for the garden. It could be in a pot inside, outside in a container, in a flower bed, at the base of a tree, next to a garden pond - the possibilities are endless. You can incorporate an unsightly feature of your landscape, such as a tree stump, fire hydrant, retaining wall, broken paver or old bricks.
Most fairy gardens will have some type of theme to guide the design. For example, you might choose a cottage, woodland, rock garden or coastal design (see below), plan the garden around a favorite character or decorative motif, or go with an artsy eclectic look.
Next, you should decide if you will purchase a fairy garden kit or set, which will come with all the accessories you need, or if you prefer to design your garden yourself.
A fairy garden doesn't have to be grown in a container, but most fairy gardens have some kind of boundary, whether manmade (tiny fence or hedge or the edge of the pot), or natural (edges of a tree stump). Use your imagination when selecting a container - it might be a plant pot, dish, terrarium, planter box or just a section of a flower bed. I love this fairy garden in a suitcase on the Empress of Dirt blog!
The most fun part of planning your fairy garden is choosing the plants and accessories you will use. Keep in mind the theme that you have chosen, and the scale of the location and container you selected.
The final planning step is to draw a rough sketch of the garden layout, or use a stick to draw it out on top of the soil.
Now you are ready to build your fairy garden!
Start with the container or location you have chosen. Then add a base of potting soil, and use a stick or the tip of a trowel to draw a rough outline of your fairy garden landscaping plan.
Next, add the larger elements, like bigger plants, rocks or larger accessories like houses or water features. Add the remaining landscape elements such as bridges, fences, rock paths, etc. Then fill in with your smaller plants and accessories.
When planning your fairy garden, think about the theme or style that you would like to follow, and plan your landscaping and accessories accordingly. Here are some possible fairy garden themes:
A fairy garden will typically require some supplies that you want to make sure to have on hand:
What kind of plants do you put in a fairy garden?
There are really two main criteria:
If you are only planning to keep your fairy garden for a few weeks (such as for the holidays, or a special occasion) then these requirements are less important. Just remember that if you decide to plant a cactus together with a water-loving plant in your fairy garden, they will not both thrive for very long: either the cactus will eventually suffer from rot, or the water-loving plant will wilt and die.
These are some good plants to consider for a fairy garden setup:
For more ideas about the best plants to select for your fairy garden, read this article on choosing fairy garden plants.
The fun part of building a fairy garden is selecting the accessories that you want to include, such as statues, buildings or other items.
To keep it from seeming too cluttered, stick with a theme for your accessories, then select statues, landscape elements, furniture, miniature buildings or other items to fit your theme.
These are some of the types of accessories you might want to consider:
For more suggestions on accessories to select for your fairy garden, read this article about fairy garden accessories.
If you are looking for an easy, straightforward way to build your fairy garden, then a kit might be a good way to go. By choosing a fairy garden kit, you'll start with a proven layout and base for your garden, and you can personalize it by adding special plants or accessories to make the garden your own.
If you want to design and build your own fairy garden, here are a few do-it-yourself ideas:
You don't have to build your fairy garden in an indoor container. These are just a few ideas for an outdoor fairy garden:
* Build your fairy garden at the base of a tree, using the tree roots in your design,
* Create a feature in your flower bed,
* Fill in a bare patch in your garden (maybe it doesn't get enough sun or rain),
* Disguise an unsightly feature like a tree stump or fire hydrant (see the "tooth fairy home" here which is cleverly disguising an old stump).
A fairy garden in a pot can make a great alternative to a traditional indoor houseplant. Just choose your container, and select plants that fit with the available sunlight and watering schedule you prefer.
Small plants are very inexpensive, and if you make the fairy garden accessories yourself then this can be a cheap alternative to buying a large, costly houseplant.
If you enjoy craft activities, then it can be very easy to make your own fairy garden accessories, like the twig fairy furniture above. Here are a few other ideas:
A seasonal fairy garden can be a fun way to decorate for the holidays. These are just a few options:
You can use little ladders or stepping stones to connect the different levels or add fairy doors on the side of the pots.
Design your garden around a tiny birdhouse centerpiece. Choose a cute birdhouse, or decorate your own from a wooden model from the craft store. Then add some bird figurines, a little bird bath, tiny flowering alpine plants, or bonsai trees.
Use herbs to create a fairy garden that is fun, pretty, aromatic and useful at the same time!
Use lavender or rosemary to create miniature bushes or trees, chives with their small purple globular flowers, and thyme for a great tiny groundcover.
Do you have a planter box where no plant wants to grow? No problem - just build a fairy garden around it, filling in the bare patches with rock paths, tiny landscape elements and accessories. You can do the same thing with a bare patch in your flower bed where nothing wants to grow.
Do you have a pot that you love, but it's broken beyond repair? No problem - turn it into a fairy garden!
Pot up the whole part of the container, and use broken pieces to create a little staircase or "retaining wall" across the front.
You can use the base of a tree and a fairy door, and build a little landscape around that to create a tiny tree house garden.
A terrarium can create a great fairy garden because it is already a small, contained environment. Add some small terrarium plants (ferns, cryptanthus, mosses) or rocks and airplants, with a few statues or small polished stones.
Want to explore other ideas for gardens in pots? Learn how to grow a cactus garden container.