Has fairy dust landed on your garden yet?  If not, get ready for an invasion because fairy gardens are all the rage these days - and not just for kids.

What are Fairy Gardens?

Anything that's pint-sized with a touch of make-believe.  Perennials that look like trees become forests in miniature versions of woodland gardens, complete with tiny furniture and even tiny houses.  Actual fairies and fairy dust are optional but always welcome.  Fairy gardens are similar to the larger but just as imaginative railroad gardens that railroad enthusiasts (grown-ups, mostly men) have enjoyed for so long.  Because fairy gardens require much less effort and expense, they're available to everyone.


Fairy gardens can be exist completely within containers, either indoors or outdoors,  or they can be in the ground, tucked away in a corner of the garden, or along a path like the play area above.  Other excellent spots in the garden are in the shade of large trees - to protect the delicate plants and furnishings from hard rains and getting stepped on - or rock out-croppings and stumps.  The gardens can be as large or as small as your space and imagination allow.

Materials Needed

For container fairy gardens, start with good potting soil and a pretty, low container.  The container can be any flower pot, a terra cotta saucer, hypertufa trough, a bowl or even a garden cart, as long as it has a drainage hole or two.

The choice of plants depends first on whether the garden will be indoors or out, of course.  But beyond that, let your imagination be your guide.  For inspiration, click here to see dozens of Pinterest boards packed with photos of charming fairy gardens. (Sorry we can't show you use any of those photos right here without violating copyright law.)

Then add some fun fairy furniture.  We're told that fairies prefer furniture made from natural materials, like bark and twigs, but a tired fairy will sit down anywhere.  Naturally, they appreciate having their own fairy cottage, too - store-bought or homemade.

More fun items that add to the charm include pebbles, smooth glass, and fairies.  Miniature fencing can be constructed out of twigs or popsicle sticks.

Once the garden is in place, little-girl fairies like the adorable one here will may soon appear.

Photo credits.  Top: J0-H - top.  Second photo by Susan Harris.  Collage left by Monkey Mash Garden.  Collage right by Megan Schuirmann.  Little girl by Flo's Shots 4 Me.

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