Once upon a time the purpose of a flower garden was to grow plants and blossoms for visual and aromatic enjoyment. But today a beautiful garden can be more than just flowers. According to folklore, the purpose of a miniature fairy garden is to provide a special place where fanciful pixies love to “live” and spread good fortune. All it takes to make your own fairy garden is a little creativity and imagination.
Small-scale fairies, such as Tinker Bell, are highlighted in stories around the world, which entertain, provide life lessons and are long remembered. These small and worldly fairies can also come to life right in your backyard—and their fictional stories will be yours to unfold.
“Fairies are about the size of hummingbirds,” says Tami Smith, assistant manager of perennials at Sargent’s on 2nd, which offers fairy garden supplies and classes. “You can build a fairy garden in a small container about 10 to 12 inches in diameter or you can build a garden for several fairies. Fairy homes are usually six to eight inches high and about four to six inches wide, surrounded by small plants.”
Let your imagination go
Almost anything can be used in a fairy garden, including treasures at home and in nature. Fairy homes are available for purchase and “move-in ready,” and many craft stores carry entire lines of miniature fairy garden items and kits. Dollar stores and garden centers are excellent resources for supplies and creative ideas.
Hillside Nursery in Chatfield displays a fairy garden complete with a running water stream. “We have lots of fairy garden accessories and specialize in succulents—52 different varieties—which work well in the miniature gardens. From kids to grandmas, it’s a nice activity for all ages and can even be done while sitting at a table,” says owner Sandy Gathje.
Build your garden with“faith, trust and pixie dust”
Smith provides tips that allow you to create a fairy garden with confidence:
- Identify a container for your garden, such as a glass bowl, unusual pot or old lunchbox. It should be large enough for a fairy house, plants and a fairy. The location of the fairy garden should be determined by the type of plants used and the amount of light needed for them to grow and thrive.
- Find a fairy (or a gnome or elf). Choose a figurine that will inhabit your garden and then select accessories to go perfectly with it.
- Create or purchase a home for your fairy to live in. Natural building materials include twigs, acorns, shells and bird feathers. Or consider an elegant tea cup turned upside down or a wooden bird house with a painted door and windows.
- Add flowers and plants to resemble a fairy forest, as well as moss, rocks or walnuts for other landscape features.
- Gather whimsical accessories, such as tiny mushrooms, birds, frogs and insects, as well as swings, chairs, tables, small animals, wheelbarrows or anything else a fairy could need. Tiny strings of lights will add illumination and wonderment.
6.Create a gazing ball by gluing a marble to a golf tee or fill a small saucer with blue stones to resemble a small pond. A fairy village can comprise several pots with adjoining bridges made of Popsicle sticks. A milkweed pod makes a great bed for a fairy. The possibilities are endless.
“Everybody needs a little magic, something to believe in.” says Smith. With the addition of an enchanted fairy garden, you and your fairy can live happily ever after.