Ultimate Fairy Garden Guide: What Are They and How to Make Your Own
If you’re looking for a way to add a little visual interest to your patio table, backyard area, or even indoor space, a fairy garden might be something to consider. They’re a beautiful option to add something unique to your home.
What Is A Fairy Garden?
A fairy garden is a beautiful miniature garden that includes figurines, life-like structures, and living plants and flowers. If you love to tend a garden but aren’t able to do so year-round, fairy gardens can be a great way to keep you working. You can keep them inside as long as you have adequate sunshine and you can exercise your creative side to design a special little fairy world.
Legend has it that fairies bring good luck! Creating a space for fairies to live is said to bring good luck to your home and family.
Fairy Garden Supplies
Are you ready to build a fairy garden of your own? The possibilities are endless for choosing a design and theme for your garden. You can plant them to reflect your personal interests, hobbies or favorite places to visit around the world.
Before you start to build the garden, you’ll want to make sure that you have the proper fairy garden supplies in order for your garden to thrive.
What You Need To Make a Fairy Garden
To build a basic fairy garden, you will need a few essential supplies to get started.
Select a Container
Choosing the right container is necessary. The best kind of containers have a large, open surface area. This gives you plenty of space to have a wide variety of foliage and structures in your fairy garden.
Pick a container that matches the natural decor of your home or outdoor space. Wicker baskets with a plastic liner, wooden boxes or terra-cota pots are all good choices for a fairy garden. Other options are ceramic pots or hyper-tufa troughs. Essentially, you want to choose a container that is going to hold soil, give you plenty of surface area to work with, and will allow for extra water to drain properly. This will prevent root rot for your plants and extend the life of your garden.
Pick The Best Potting Mix
The key to picking the right potting mix is finding one with excellent drainage properties. Don’t opt for normal soil as it will retain too much water. You’ll end up with rotting plants and a failed fairy garden. Instead, look for a potting mix that contains a balanced combination of vermiculite, peat moss, and perlite. This type of mix is commonly used in planters, window boxes, and other potted plants.
Choose Your Plants
We’ll talk a bit more in-depth about this later in this post, but choosing the proper plants is important. Take into consideration where you’ll be keeping the fairy garden. If it’s a south-facing window or side of your house, you’ll want plants that require a lot of direct sunlight. You don’t want to choose any plants that will grow too large or choke out the rest of your other plants.
Moss is also key to creating that fairy-tale landscape in your garden. You’ll use this to cover the top layer of soil, giving your entire garden a soft, green appearance.
Choose Your Accessories
There’s really no end to your possibilities when it comes to what you can use for accessories in your fairy garden. When choosing accessories, many people like to do a mix of homemade items as well as store-bought. Thrift stores, auctions, farmers markets and antique stores are great places to find unique miniatures that will add a special touch to your garden.
You can also use items found around your house or yard. You can sew small, colorful leaves together to make a bedspread, or use acorn caps as plates or bowls. The creative detail that many people put into fairy gardens is truly what makes them special.
If you are keeping your garden outside where it will be exposed to the elements, it’s best to coat your accessories in a layer of clear lacquer. Clear nail polish works well for this, and the small brush is ideal for coating every piece of your small figurines.
Where To Get Fairy Garden Supplies
Basic fairy garden supplies such as containers and potting mix can be purchased at your local Home Depot, Lowe’s, or any outdoor garden shop. You’ll find a wider variety of plants to choose from at smaller, locally owned shops. It’s best to check these if you want a unique spread of plants to use in your gardens.
For accessories, like we mentioned earlier, thrift stores and antique shops are great places to check. Craft and dollhouse stores or hobby shops also carry an extensive supply of miniatures if you’re looking for a few standard pieces to get your garden started.
Fairy Garden Kits
Starting a fairy garden from scratch might seem a bit overwhelming if you’re new to fairy gardens. A fairy garden kit can be a great way to test out your options before designing your own. There’s a wide variety of different kits available through online retailers.
Enchanted Fairy Garden Kits
The Enchanted Fairy Garden Kit is available for purchase on Amazon. It’s designed for kids to build and maintain the garden themselves. The kit comes with a floral dish, potting soil, and seeds to get your garden started. Colorful ground cover, a fairy house, and sparkling gems will finish it off. The kit also includes a set of acrylic paints so your child can decorate the house any way they choose.
Natural Fairy Garden Kit
This kit available at Hobby Lobby is built to give you a few extra special pieces as you start your own fairy garden. It includes several varieties of moss including Spanish and reindeer moss, as well as terrarium bark. A moss mat is also included that you can use as a carpet or cut into smaller sections to use as rugs of blankets in your fairy garden.
Classical Miniature Garden Kit
If you are looking for the perfect traditional fairy garden accessories, you might love the Classical Miniature Garden Kit. The main feature of this kit is a beautifully crafted French Chateau that will serve as the focal point of your garden. Several accompanying planters are included for you to plant your own favorite varieties of plants and flowers.
Happy Campers Miniature Gardening Set
Outdoor lovers will find this set particularly charming. Included in the set is a bright green camping tent and a small campfire. Two porcupine figurines, a fox and a squirrel accompany the camping supplies to finish off the set. These accessories would look particularly cute in a rustic fairy garden setting with varieties of evergreens.
Fairy Garden House
In every fairy garden, there must be a home for the fairies to live. These are one of the highlights of a garden and an easy way to introduce your onlookers to the theme of your garden.
When choosing a fairy house, look for one that represents the theme and overall feel of what your garden will be. Are you inclined more towards a cottage, a cabin, or a more traditional house? You’ll want to make sure that the house coordinates with the accessories you purchase for the garden, and vice-versa.
Fairy garden cottages have a fairy-tale look to them. They’re often constructed out of natural rock, with a circular door made of birch or cedar carved into the stone. They come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes but all have that natural stone look. You can purchase these types of cottages in-store at JoAnn Fabrics or at an online retailer like StoneFairyHomes.com.
Every fairy deserves a castle! You can purchase a variety of castles in different sizes and shapes. They’re made of natural stone, metal, or ceramics. If you’d like to paint your own, you can purchase a plain castle and paint it with a set of waterproof acrylics. These are available at JoAnn Fabrics, as well as online retailers such as Etsy.
DIY Fairy Garden Home
If a DIY project is more your speed, you can easily make your own fairy garden home with a few supplies and creativity. Construct a small house-like structure with popsicle sticks and a glue gun. If you want to jump-start the process, purchase a small unfinished birdhouse made of untreated wood. This is a great palette to start from.
Use straw, grass or leaves to attach to the house to create a “thatched roof” appearance. Toothpicks or popsicle sticks can be used to make a door. Use a small stone as the door handle. If you have extra moss leftover from decorating the garden, you can attach it to the walls of the house. This will give the fairy home a woodsy, fairy-tale appearance that will blend perfectly into the natural setting of your garden.
How to Make a Fairy Garden
So now it’s time to actually build your fairy garden! You’ve assembled your supplies, planned out your design and are ready to put it together.
Fill The Container
The first step to actually assembling your fairy garden is filling the container with the potting mix that you purchased. Remember to purchase one with well-draining ingredients so that your plants will thrive. You’ll want to fill the container about three-fourths of the way so that you have plenty of space for plants and accessories.
Add The Plants
Now it’s time to plant your various plants! To create the aesthetic of a closed-in area, it typically looks best to plant your tallest plant or small tree in the back of the pot. Medium-height plants can fill the sides. Reserve the center and front area for your groundcover plants and moss.
If you’re not sure where your plants will look best, consider leaving them in the pots and moving them around the planter. Test them out in different areas and inspect the garden from a few different angles before you decide on a layout. Remember, you’re trying to create a closed-in world that stands on its own.
If you have a large fairy house or other structure, you might want to add that right now as well. This will make sure your greenery is suitably arranged around the house.
Add Structures and Groundcover
If you didn’t add groundcover your fairy house before, now is the time. Any other large figurines or pieces should be put in. Add your moss and pebbles to create paths and grassy areas. You can use small sticks or larger rocks to create areas that look like cliffs, ponds or wooded areas. Use your imagination!
Add The Accessories
Now it’s time for the fun part. This is where you can use your clever ideas to create your fairy world. Set little scenes with small figurines, benches, tables, or chairs. This is something you can change as often as you want. Refreshing your fairy garden is as simple as adding or removing a few pieces to change the scene you are portraying. Some people decorate their gardens for each holiday which gives you an opportunity for a new theme each time.
If you haven’t already done so, make sure your accessories are weather-proof. If they’re not, it’s highly recommended to cover them with a clear, protective gloss such as a clear nail polish. This will help preserve the paint and design of the accessories so they won’t be damaged by weather fluctuations.
Water The Garden
Once everything is in place, it’s time to water your garden. Be careful to only water enough to dampen the soil. You’ll know it’s time to re-water again by inserting your index finger into the soil. If you notice the soil is dry about a half inch down, it’s time to re-water. This will keep your plant roots properly hydrated without causing them to rot.
Fairy Garden Plants
There are a wide variety of plants to choose from when shopping for fairy garden plants. You’ll want to be sure you choose plants that will thrive in the area of your yard or home that it will be living in. If you’re unsure, ask the greenhouse owner or staff member where you are purchasing your plants. They’ll be able to help you make an informed decision.
Types of Plants You Can Use and Care They Need
Asparagus ferns look like a mini-tree which makes them ideal for a fairy garden. You can plant several of these to create a forest look, or just a single one to serve as a focal point. They prefer indirect, bright light so they’re ideal for a southern or western facing window. If you live in a dry climate, you’ll notice the asparagus fern is tolerant of the dry air.
Rosemary is a fun way to add some greenery to your garden yet use it as an herb garden. It thrives in full sunlight and requires a significant amount of moisture. Keep it watered regularly, and it will continue to grow even if you clip it every few days to add a fresh flavor to your dinner.
Golden Creeping Speedwell
This is a beautiful yellow leaf plant that grows low to the ground. If you want something that looks like carpet in your fairy garden, Golden Creeping Speedwell is a great option. You’ll love the tiny blue flowers that bloom all throughout the summer season. Once this plant is firmly rooted, it’s very tolerant of varying soil moisture levels.
If you’re looking for a warm, deep red-tone to add to your garden, you’ll love this plant. It’s deep rich burgundy shade is soft and reminds you of a flavorful, aromatic red wine. This plant works great as a medium-sized plant to frame the sides of your garden. It requires well-draining, yet moist soil on a regular basis.
Where To Get Fairy Garden Plants
You can purchase all of these plants at most Home Depot, Lowe’s or garden and outdoor supply stores. Your local greenhouse will also carry these varieties and many more that will make your fairy garden look lush and beautiful!
So there you have it! Your complete guide to building, designing and caring for a beautiful, lush fairy garden. Enjoy the artistic aspect of building these gardens because the possibilities truly are endless. Happy planting!