Fairy gardens: Bringing the magic in miniature
With a little imagination and a few basic materials, fairy gardens can add magic to your indoor and outdoor living space.
Tonkadale paved the way for fairy garden enthusiasts and leads the nation in fairy garden plant material and accessory selection. We were named Best Resource for Fairy Gardens in 2013 by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
What are fairy gardens?
Fairy gardens are miniature landscapes created using small-scale plants and accessories. These little scenes are essential for attracting those little elusive fairies to your home and garden.
An outdoor fairy garden can be as small or large as your area allows. Choose a spot beneath a hosta leaf, under a tree in a shady spot, in a birdbath or an abandoned tree stump. Add a bench, a tiny birdhouse and a bird bath and you have a secluded place for fairies to linger. If you have room, add a path that leads to a lighted house complete with a picket fence.
Plant small terrarium-sized plants like baby tears or ivies. Hang a tire swing on a nearby branch to entice an entire fairy family to move in. The possibilities are endless!
Fairy garden folklore
Common Celtic belief is that fairies were driven away by humans to live in the other world. However, many fairies have chosen to stay among us.
Fairies wear flowers for clothes, which makes them hard to find. They are said to have magical powers, are very shy, and tend to be a little mischievous. Fairies like to play tricks; they move things around in the garden and hide things just for their own amusement. They love to dance and play. If you look closely, you may see them dancing in the dark with the fireflies.
While they make their homes in the holes of trees, fallen logs, and mossy hillsides, they are never ones to turn down a ready-made dwelling. Fairies would rather play than work; a fairy house and a garden is always appreciated.
How to build a fairy garden
1. Choose a container
A container with a drainage hole is best when using live plants. Plastic or terra cotta pots work great. Glass bowls and jars show off all the layers.
2. Layer your materials
First, place a layer of pebbles for drainage. Next, place a layer of charcoal to keep the soil fresh. Fill with potting soil.
Cover the soil with bark, pebbles or sheet moss. You can use these materials to create grass and paths, too.
3. Choose a theme
English cottage, fairy tale, nature-based, tree house . . . It’s up to your imagination. Look to your fairies to give you clues and inspiration.
4. Pick your plants
Choose plants with compatible light and watering requirements. Choose miniature plants or those that you can prune and train easily.
Use ferns for trees, lipstick or goldfish plant for bushes. Baby tears make a nice ground cover, and ivies and angel vine are great climbers.
Miniature violets, roses, kalenchoes and poinsettias add color to the scene.
5. Add the fairy and fill in with accessories
Chairs, benches, trellises, garden tools and more are all available at Tonkadale. You also can fashion your own structures and accessories from everyday household items or leftover craft supplies.
6. Fairy garden TLC
Remember to water and fertilize carefully, because everything is little. And have fun! Involve your family, friends, kids and grandchildren.
Having trouble getting started?
Tonkadale has many talented fairy garden enthusiasts on staff to help you get started, or let one of our designers create one for you.