How to Plant a Fabulous Fairy Garden

Celebrate spring by cultivating a little magic

Photo credit: Tiffany Doerr Guerzon

Fairy gardens are all the rage lately. Blogs, Pinterest and magazines abound with ideas for these miniature living spaces meant to attract fairies. It's no wonder: Planting a tiny garden can be a magical experience for kids of all ages (and their parents!).

Although an Internet search will reveal many elaborate fairy garden ideas, they don't have to be complicated. Here's an easy tutorial for a project your kids can do in an afternoon. Of course, you can add as much detail as you like though remember, the fairies might have some DIY ideas of their own.

Choose your planter

A planter for your garden can be anything from a large saucer to a basket lined with plastic. It should be at least a couple of inches deep and wide enough to put your fairy house, pathway and a few plants.

Purchase plants                 

Cruise your local nursery for plants in miniature. Bring along your kids so they can find plants that speak to them. Plants labeled as "ground cover" such as moss, ferns and grasses work best.

Because you're creating a tiny garden, most four-inch pots of greenery will yield four separate plants. Be sure to pick a variety of heights and textures. While in the garden section, grab a bag of potting soil and a bag of gravel.

Find or buy accessories

  • Fairies need an abode, right? You can create a house from a recycled yogurt container (instructions to the right), or purchase a home for your fairy. Options range from a castle meant for an aquarium to a wooden birdhouse from the craft store. Use your imagination!

  • Create a path to lead your fairy home. Use colorful rocks meant for fish bowls, gravel or even tiny ceramic tiles.
  • A small scallop seashell, fancy soap dish or candle holder make for a perfect pond, if you want one.
  • Have your kids look around the yard and house for other items to add. Small rocks can be fairy seats, and a sprig of pine becomes a tree.
  • The craft store also makes for good scavenging. Look for unfinished wooden furniture meant for dollhouses, tiny flags and miniature wooden spools. 

Create your fairy garden

  • Prepare your garden by lining your planter with gravel, if it doesn't contain drainage holes. Add the potting soil.

  • Since everything in your garden will be mini, it's a good idea to divide your plants. Simply remove them from the plastic pots and use a sharp knife to cut each into fourths.

  • Next, lay out your landscape with your child. Place the house, set the plants and add any accessories. Rearrange everything until you have it just right. Then remove everything from the garden and set it aside.

  • Put in the garden. Plant the greenery and water lightly. Afterwards, add the house and create a path to the front door. Last, put in your other accessories. 

Once finished, you should have a perfect world for a fairy to call home! After all, if you build it, they will come.

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