How to Make a Fairy Garden
What is a Fairy Garden?
A fairy garden is a garden, or section of a garden, with miniature houses, furniture, or accessories. It creates the impression of a tiny world, of the sort and size that fairies might inhabit. At first glance, someone might not see the little details that make your window runner or herb garden so special, but for anyone who looks twice, they provide an intriguing outlet for the imagination. They're a great conversation starter, make thoughtful gifts, and are a fun and engaging hobby to practice with children.
How to Make a Fairy Garden
When making fairy gardens, there are a few decisions you need to make upfront. First, you need to decide whether you are going to have your garden outdoors or indoors. Outdoor gardens provide a lot more room for your fairy world to expand, but it may limit the accessories you can use, as some may be damaged by weather. Indoor gardens are easier to maintain, but are limited as far as the space they can take up. Another issue you'll want to think about ahead of time is how much you want to leave to the imagination. Some people choose to put actual miniature fairy statues in their gardens, but many people prefer to leave it simply at furniture and ornaments, and hope (or imagine) that some real fairies come to stay!
Once you've made those first decisions, it's time to pick your specific location. If you are outdoors, it can be overwhelming to try to pick the perfect spot, but you have the advantage that there are probably already plants in set places, which can narrow it down a little. Fairy gardens work best alongside plants that are smaller in scale, with fine detail. If you have an herb garden, for example, that would be a great place to make your fairy garden.
If are making an indoor fairy garden, choose a container. Window runners or large terra cotta pots work well. Alternatively, you can use a series of small pots in a row on a sill or countertop. This is also fun because you can easily rearrange the garden or add an extra pot to expand your fairy's world. You also get to decide what plants to incorporate. As I said above, herbs work especially well, and on a practical note, they're handy to have around in the kitchen. Herbs smell fresh and green, too, so they add a more full sensory experience.
Some plant suggestions include:
These are a just a jumping-off point. Go to your local nursery and browse, and I guarantee you you'll start seeing possibilities everywhere.
Fairy Garden Ideas
The next task is to start finding miniature fairy garden supplies. You can find fairy garden sets, but I think it's more fun to choose your pieces individually.
The plants you choose may inspire you--for example, curly chives or creeping savory can be used to form a hedge, so if you've picked up one of those, perhaps you want to look for a fairy house. Small pebbles and stones can create a pathway or a stone wall. Craft stores and collector's shops have any number of miniature accessories. You can also use high-quality wooden doll furniture (or make it, if you've got someone handy in the house), but only in an indoor garden, since most fine doll furniture is not built to handle the outdoor elements.
Fairy, Fairy, Quite Contrary, How Does Your Garden Grow?
If your garden doesn't come together all at once, don't worry about it. Part of the fun of making a fairy garden is finding the pieces to create the perfect scene. Once you start thinking about it, you'll see everything in a new light. A rock from the park becomes the perfect piece to finish your garden border. A bit of sea glass will add some dimension to your walkway. Soon, your fairy garden will become more than just a fun hobby or an activity with the kids. It takes on more meaning as it starts to map out a timeline of happy memories. And maybe those memories end up the inhabitants of your small world... more important than any fairy.
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