Fairy gardens are the most charming things you’ll ever lay your eyes on. These miniature gardens are like dollhouses, except instead of tiny rooms, beds, and high chairs you have tiny swings, benches, and bird baths. The legend of the fairy is quite detailed and from it we are taught to believe that by maintaining areas around our home that please the fairies, they may do nice deeds for us. This is likely where the idea of a fairy garden was born.
Many pre-assembled fairy gardens and kits include a tiny fairy statue, but you’ll find many homemade fairy gardens with no sign of a fairy at all. In fact, that was one thing I knew I didn’t want in mine! In fact, the fun is in creating a garden setting that pleases you. I was motivated to make my own when I set out to purchase an assortment of kitchen herbs. I’ve been potting and planting things for a while now, and I was bored by the idea of having herbs in yet another pot. So my fairy garden is an herb garden, located in my sun room. It gets watered every week and stays in direct sunlight to thrive. Some fairy gardens have succulents or some have flowers and are located outdoors at the base of trees or in cave-like structures created by natural formations or rock walls. Once you dream up what you want to create, your inner child, artist, and landscaper will come out!
This is a visual step-by-step guide to making your own beautiful fairy garden. Don’t be intimidated by what the finished product looks like. It’s actually quite simply, and more than anything else, fun!
1. Shop or Find
Fairy gardens don’t have to be expensive. You’ll need a pot or container structure of some kind to house it in. This could be a large, shallow bowl that you don’t mind getting dirty, a bird bath, a wheelbarrow or wagon, or a pot from a garden center. Depending on whether or not you have what you’re looking for, you may need to spend money on it.
You’ll also need to purchase some “little” items. This is so much fun! There are mini adirondak chairs and wrought iron chairs and everything in between! Just look at this one section in the garden center I visited.
You can even chose to purchase a little home that will go in your garden, but it’s not necessary. In fact, if you have your own little chotskies around your home you can simply use these for your first fairy garden, rather than going out and spending money.
Look at these adorable trinkets: wine glasses and a croquet set. Wouldn’t I love my life-size garden to have these very items!
You’ll need to pick up the greens that you want, and flowers, herbs, and plants can be expensive. Depending on the size of your container, however, you won’t need much (although remember that there’s nothing wrong with a crowded fairy garden). I was so excited to make an herb fairy garden because herbs naturally look like small-sized trees and bushes. I purchased oregano, thyme, rosemary, and parsley (and I had some basil at home already). Try to get some low, creeping greens (I chose Irish moss, pictured below on the right) and aloe to mix up the height for variety. For a punch of color, be sure to get a small colorful flower or two (I chose portulaca).
Since my fairy garden is staying inside, it doesn’t have holes on the bottom. However, I need proper drainage so nothing rots from sitting in water. Stone from your own yard will solve this problem! I put pea stone (from our walkway) about two inches high in the bottom of my pot. The one down side: this made it heavy.
3. Potting Soil
This is the only calculated part: add potting soil. You won’t need much, so perhaps you have some leftover from what you used to plant your other flowers with around your home. To make sure you leave room to plant the herbs (or flowers) at just the right height, place one of your herbs inside as if the top of its soil was level with the lip of the pot. Then, wherever the bottom of your herb is, make a mark with a pencil and add soil to there.
4. Place Herbs
Now, have fun arranging your natural elements as you wish while they’re still in their plastic containers, keeping in mind that your ultimate goal is to create a space that resembles a miniature garden, patio, courtyard, park, or what have you.
5. More Soil
Add enough soil to fill it up to the top and hide the base of each plant. You can drop a few of your items in to see if you like the placement. Now it’s really starting to look lovely!
6. Lay Rock/Stone
It’s not necessary, but I purchased small pebbles and a mini stone patio (flat stones glued together). I date a landscaper, so having a nice patio was kind of critical for my garden, but you can find your own from what nature has to offer out your back door.
7. Place Trinkets
For the most fun part, add your trinkets in as you would decorate your garden or home. I’ve got a birdbath, pots, bench, arbor, and a few animals and marbles for a whimsical look.
8. Water and Fertilize
Plants that have just been transplanted tend to go into a temporary shock, and the best way to help them through it is to soak them so they establish their roots in the new area. If you have some osmocote, sprinkle a bit on your garden for a little vitamin kick. How often you water your fairy garden will depend on whether it’s indoors or outdoors, how large it is, how much sunlight it gets, and what you’ve got in it. A simple web search can help you determine how to care for your particular plants in particular areas.
Now, kick back and enjoy this miniature masterpiece! In the end, this project can truly be as involved, quick, and inexpensive as you wish. You don’t have to have a green thumb to pull this off, just a creative mind and a love for nurturing things. And even if you don’t do it for yourself, at least do it for the fairies!