Make a Mini Fairy Garden in a Birdbath Planter

Updated: Mar. 29, 2024

Transform an old birdbath into a planter using succulents and other miniature plants, plus fairy garden decorations.

birdbath mini garden planterHeidi Hess
If you have an old birdbath, you can turn it into a garden planter.

Transform an old birdbath into a planter with this easy idea. If you have a birdbath that’s had its day, give it new life as a planter for a miniature fairy garden. Add a little magic with a stone pathway or a few fairy garden accents. We’ve listed our favorite plants for this project, as well as landscaping tips.

Learn how to repair a cracked birdbath.

Miniature Plants for Your Birdbath Planter:


Use succulents for accent plants or “shrubs.”

Ground Covers

Use ground cover plants to create a mat of green in the miniature garden, and a “waterfall” over the birdbath planter.

  • Golden club moss (Selaginella kraussiana ‘Aurea’)
  • Scotch moss (Sagina subulata ‘Aurea’)
  • Blue Star creeper
  • Pink cranesbill (Erodium x variabile)


Provide woodland “shade” and a layer of realism with dwarf conifers.

  • Jervis dwarf Canadian hemlock
  • Dwarf Pagoda Japanese holly
  • Mont Bruno boxwood
  • Fernspray false cypress
  • Lime Glow juniper

Materials for a Birdbath Planter:

  • Old birdbath or other container
  • Bagged potting mix
  • Planting material
  • Small stones, gravel or pine bark nuggets
  • Fairy garden accessories (optional)

Birdbath Planter Instructions:

mini birdbath planterHeidi Hess

Step 1

Place a birdbath or other container, like a terra-cotta pot or wooden box, where it will stay permanently before planting in it. It will be too heavy to move later. Play around with the landscape design with the plants still in their pots to make things easier on you and the plants.

Step 2

Fill the planter about two-thirds full with soil.

Step 3

Remove plants from their pots one at a time, knock off soil, and loosen and spread out roots. If roots are matted, spray with a hose to detangle them, then gently pull them apart.

Step 4

Position the plants in the soil by spreading the roots of each as widely as you can, while leaving room for neighboring plants. This step is especially important if you are using a birdbath or similarly shallow planter. Once you’re satisfied, add as much soil as possible to cover the roots, but not so much that watering will wash it away.

Step 5

Gently water all plants with a watering can or by holding your thumb over a hose nozzle to make a fine spray.

Step 6

Add decorative features. Try using everyday items in a new way. Gravel can be a tiny stone path; tumbled glass transforms into a shimmering pond. Fairy garden decorations range from minuscule arbors and bridges to tiny houses and animal figurines.

Next learn how to clean a birdbath the right way.

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