One of my favorite childhood memories is searching for acorn cups for the little creatures who inhabited the imaginary world in the woods by my house. Today, I’m still building habitats for the imagination. You can make your own fairy garden, too. Whether you choose to have one in a container or out in your garden, this garden craft will charm visitors of all ages (and sizes).
Decide on a theme. Do your fairies deserve a formal environment, or would they feel more at home down on the farm? Maybe you have something exotic in mind, like a Gothic manor with a couple of gargoyles, or a tropical paradise with a beach.
Design the garden. Sketch out your ideas on paper. Include places for your fairies to lounge, a fence or an arbor, and perhaps a water feature.
Choose a location and pick a container. Just about anything you can plant in is suitable, but keep in mind you want enough depth to maintain soil moisture, particularly in a sunny spot, enough surface area to accommodate all the elements you envision, and drainage holes.
Select the plants. Once your design is roughed out, choose plants that look mature in miniature, borrowing from the art of bonsai. Don’t aim for a patchwork of color; variations in height and texture give a more natural, cohesive look to your fairy garden. Here are twelve good miniature plants to try:
- Stonecrop sedum
- Elfin thyme
- White moss thyme
- Corsican mint
- Irish moss
- Angel’s tears
- Ornamental strawberry
- Creeping veronica
- Green mound juniper
- Satsuki azalea
Dig in! As with any container plant, ensure good drainage and use a quality container soil mix. For a true-to-life appearance, use full-size landscaping techniques such as flagstones (mini, of course!) set in sand or a dry creek bed beneath a bridge. Using your plan as a guideline, have fun installing your tiny garden.
Accessorize. It’s tempting to go overboard with the trinkets, but use a light hand. Tuck something away that’s noticeable only upon close examination. Your fairy garden will be guaranteed to inspire lots of smiles. For miniature supplies, try Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center or the Miniature Garden Shoppe.