How to make a Fairy Garden in a Planter

To Start your Container Garden

I have several Fairy Gardens in my yard. But, now that the weather is getting colder, I want to take the plants and the statues inside. This hub provides you with some ideas and directions to creating a Fairy Garden in a planter. I used long narrow planters because I had them in the yard.

The planters have become overgrown and some of the plants have died. So, this is a good time to add some of the plants that have been in the garden. This will refurbish my container gardens and save some of the plants I most admire.

In addition, I will collect and clean the Fairy Garden accessories, such as statues, pools, rocks, benches, and houses.

Fairies in my Summer Gardens

Our children used this wagon for years after it was given to us. Like my Grandma's bowl, this wagon is difficult to part with.
Our children used this wagon for years after it was given to us. Like my Grandma's bowl, this wagon is difficult to part with. | Source
Our old rusted wagon offers quite a nice place for a fairy garden. It is off the ground, yet close enough.  Each year, I make something new in the wagon garden. It is a great container for this smaller garden.
Our old rusted wagon offers quite a nice place for a fairy garden. It is off the ground, yet close enough. Each year, I make something new in the wagon garden. It is a great container for this smaller garden. | Source
A friend made these steps for me to reach this door in a Birch tree stump. This garden hosts my herbs and a statue or two, plus a wagon with a large egg.
A friend made these steps for me to reach this door in a Birch tree stump. This garden hosts my herbs and a statue or two, plus a wagon with a large egg. | Source
Here is a prefab stone path that leads us to a bench with a fairy, and a garden verse.
Here is a prefab stone path that leads us to a bench with a fairy, and a garden verse. | Source
I used my grandmother's stoneware bowl to bake bread for years, but it finally broke. I could not part with it, so it shelters a Fairy house in one of my gardens.
I used my grandmother's stoneware bowl to bake bread for years, but it finally broke. I could not part with it, so it shelters a Fairy house in one of my gardens. | Source

Choosing what to save.

My neighbor gave me some miniature Geraniums that provide small pink blooms. I want to save them from the freeze of winter. So I knew they could be put into the container gardens, but placing them in a square like in the garden was a challenge.
My neighbor gave me some miniature Geraniums that provide small pink blooms. I want to save them from the freeze of winter. So I knew they could be put into the container gardens, but placing them in a square like in the garden was a challenge. | Source
I decided to put a pool as the central component to highlight the four miniature Geraniums. A decorative stone adds interest from another angle.
I decided to put a pool as the central component to highlight the four miniature Geraniums. A decorative stone adds interest from another angle. | Source

Think about what to bring into the Planters

My neighbor works at a nursery and often gets to take home extra plants the nursery is throwing in the compost. I am the happy recipient of many "throw-aways" from her.

Miniature Hosta, Coleus, and Geraniums won't survive the winter, so they are plants I will add to the Fairy gardens to bring inside. All kinds of Miniatures are favorites in Fairy gardens. Violets that have come outside for the summer and other house plants can also work well in Fairy gardens.

In addition, planting herbs in the fairy gardens mean you can enjoy fresh basil, parsley or rosemary through the fall and winter.

I dig up Irish moss, other mosses and even newly sprouted ferns to place in the Fairy garden containers.

Gather Supplies for your Fairy Garden

Gather Supplies for your garden and place them all on a table or bench near where you are planting.
Gather Supplies for your garden and place them all on a table or bench near where you are planting. | Source

What you learned from this hub.

Did you make your own Fairy Garden in a Planter?

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Steps to creating a Fairy Garden in a Planter

1. Gather one or more planters, potting soil, fairies and other accessories, including houses, bird or bee houses, miniature birds, frogs, turtles, bunnies or other miniatures, benches, large seed pods, trellis, rocks for pathways or water ways, bridges, pool containers, etc.

2. Put fill or rocks in the bottom 1/4 to 1/2 of your container (depending on the depth of your planter).

2. Add the soil to your containers about half to two-thirds the depth you will finally want.

3. Look over your gardens and decide which plants you will want in your Fairy Garden. You will want small plants that grow slowly.

4. Make a plan for your garden: place items in the garden as you will want them to be, especially the path, houses, trellis and arches.

5. Take accessories out and plant your flowers.

6. Add the path, and the pool

7. Add moss in areas where the plants don't meet the path, where you want to place fairy statues and where you want to bank a raised area.

8. Add the rest of the accessories to create interest in the garden.

9. Water well. Let sit for several hours or overnight. Then water well again. After this you can bring your garden into the house, or place it in your yard.

10 Be sure to think about how much light and water your garden will need and how often your might need to rotate and water it. (most often it is once a week).

Items for Fairy Gardens

Height
Ground cover
Accessories
Tall Plants
Irish moss, creeeping Thyme
Fairies
Fairy Houses
Low growing plants
A Pool
Trellis
Paths
Benches or fences
Toy Bird houses
small rocks
small animal statues
flags on a stick
sand or sea shells
smaller nuts or seeds
Besides Soil and a Container, you may want a variety of other items to complete your Fairy Garden. It will be important to have some high and some low points of interest.

Placement of ivy on the trellis

This Ivy has been growing, but has not been climbing the trellis like I wanted. So I will trim some of it back.
This Ivy has been growing, but has not been climbing the trellis like I wanted. So I will trim some of it back. | Source
Weave the ivy in and out of the sections of the trellis.
Weave the ivy in and out of the sections of the trellis. | Source
Continue weaving  through the top of the trellis.
Continue weaving through the top of the trellis. | Source
Trim any excess vines so that the ones you are training to go over the trellis will grow more.
Trim any excess vines so that the ones you are training to go over the trellis will grow more. | Source
A small amount of ivy will soon become fuller.
A small amount of ivy will soon become fuller. | Source

Add interest with height

Tall plants and trellises add height and interest to your garden.

* Place tall plants behind or beside houses

*Place tall plants as a focal point

*Place tall plants as a hedge or a border along one end or one side of your garden

*Place tall plants beside your pool

Placement of plants behind houses

I had a Goldfish Plant in the garden. It produced small golden-orange flowers that look like fish bloom on the plant.  It is so pretty, but won't last the winter.
I had a Goldfish Plant in the garden. It produced small golden-orange flowers that look like fish bloom on the plant. It is so pretty, but won't last the winter. | Source
Here, behind the house is a good place to plant something tall that will mimic a real-life tree. Ferns, or other plants can be used.
Here, behind the house is a good place to plant something tall that will mimic a real-life tree. Ferns, or other plants can be used. | Source
Here is what it looks like now, with a Pansey on one side, the Goldfish plant in the back and a trailing Petunia on the other.
Here is what it looks like now, with a Pansey on one side, the Goldfish plant in the back and a trailing Petunia on the other. | Source
Here is a small Variegated Maple tree (perhaps) that provides interest behind this Fairy House.
Here is a small Variegated Maple tree (perhaps) that provides interest behind this Fairy House. | Source

Pools, Streams and Water

Gardens with pools or other water interests provide a place for butterflies and birds to sip, sit and visit your Fairy garden. They also add interest for people (and fairies) to stop and meditate.

Pools can be purchased, or can be as simple as the bottom of a clay pot, the lid of a jar, or something plastic or rubber that fits the space. They only need to hold a bit of water.

Rocks or filler are optional for pools, but I like to put small pebbles, marbles, shells, colored glass bits or something like that to give the pool a bottom. This also provides places for butterflies to land and stand on, as they drown easily in even short depths of water.

The other important ingredient is "Dragon's Tears", which are flattened (on one side) colored glass marbles. They sparkle in the sunshine and catch your eye in the rain.

I usually only place one to three Dragon Tears to a pool or along a garden stream. They are treasures children like to discover and carry around awhile. I always permit this, as the Dragon Tears generally seem to find their way back into the fairy stream or pool. In the mean time, there is no telling what power they provide to the child.

Pools & Streams Add Interest

This pool is filled with a variety of small pebbles, colored class. Notice the tall plants and tall house near the pool that provide interest along with the bird.
This pool is filled with a variety of small pebbles, colored class. Notice the tall plants and tall house near the pool that provide interest along with the bird. | Source
This pool focuses the end of  the garden and unifies the four miniature Geraniums. Note the bird and decorative rock add interest. I also spy the Dragon Tear in this photo.
This pool focuses the end of the garden and unifies the four miniature Geraniums. Note the bird and decorative rock add interest. I also spy the Dragon Tear in this photo. | Source
This pool is filled with small white rocks used for a fish tank. Fish tank rocks opens up a whole set of possibilities, doesn't it.
This pool is filled with small white rocks used for a fish tank. Fish tank rocks opens up a whole set of possibilities, doesn't it. | Source
I made a small stream with pebbles that travel under this bridge. Notice there is  a ceramic teapot and a small frog.  I Know there is a Dragon Tear in there, but i can't find it in this photo. Perhaps you can.
I made a small stream with pebbles that travel under this bridge. Notice there is a ceramic teapot and a small frog. I Know there is a Dragon Tear in there, but i can't find it in this photo. Perhaps you can. | Source
This stream was made using larger rocks to edge it and small pebbles for the stream bed. The bridge is taller, yet smaller than the one in the photo above this one. They both work because the rest of the garden follows suit.
This stream was made using larger rocks to edge it and small pebbles for the stream bed. The bridge is taller, yet smaller than the one in the photo above this one. They both work because the rest of the garden follows suit. | Source

Gates, Benches and other items of interest

Gates on a trellis or by themselves provide interest in Fairy Gardens.

What else might you put into a fairy garden?

-Benches, seeds, decorative rocks and fairies themselves bring your garden to life.

-Small wagons, small bikes or go-Karts, carts,

-Small ceramic birds or butterflies, insects or frogs, turtles, bunnies, kittens, dogs, etc.

-Cast iron or resin birds, animals, insects or fairies

-Small bird or butterfly houses add height.

-Beehives that can be tall or short, miniature bird baths

-Acorns, eggs, mushrooms pumpkins or watermelons that can lay in a clump or

go in a wagon.

I have often found rocks with sayings that are perfect for the garden.

Placement of accessories in the garden

Gates can be left open to invite the gaze or shut to keep "critters" out.
Gates can be left open to invite the gaze or shut to keep "critters" out. | Source
Placing fairies in small groups or alone is an option. Here I placed a fairy on the bench and another one nearby.
Placing fairies in small groups or alone is an option. Here I placed a fairy on the bench and another one nearby. | Source
This standing fairy goes well on the path with a taller trellis. It is important to keep the accessories in line with the size of your garden.
This standing fairy goes well on the path with a taller trellis. It is important to keep the accessories in line with the size of your garden. | Source
I have trimmed the small brush to look like a tree; with the bench and fairy underneath it, and the larger bird house as an accent.
I have trimmed the small brush to look like a tree; with the bench and fairy underneath it, and the larger bird house as an accent. | Source

Tidbits of info about container Fairy gardens

Placement of paths:

Fairy Garden paths can be made from a variety of materials and can be short, long, straight or curved. I have used a variety of materials over the last few years and find that larger River rocks are the ones I used most. You can get a bag of rocks fairly cheaply or pick up rocks when you visit the creeks or lakes near your cabin.

I have also used sand or smaller rocks to create a path. This seems to get messier each time the garden is watered. Glass stones, a layer of moss or large pieces of bark would also work.

Use your imagination and what is available for your path. Test it to see what looks good and what works for you. I have seen gardens with large bricks, pieces of pottery and shells used for paths.


Match your accessory to the size of your Garden:

It is important to keep the decorative points in your garden in line with the size of your garden. Don't mix large sizes with smaller ones unless they really fit together.

For instance, using a large bird house and a tiny fairy, or a small bridge with a big fairy will make the garden look disjointed. Even though fairies are said to come in a variety of sizes (and shapes), creating a symmetrical garden means keeping things somewhat in proportion.

Making a Pathway

Polished stones can create a pleasant path if you remember to piece them together like  a puzzle.
Polished stones can create a pleasant path if you remember to piece them together like a puzzle. | Source
An easy but inflexible path is one like this one that is pre- made in sections.
An easy but inflexible path is one like this one that is pre- made in sections. | Source
River rocks - especially the larger, flat ones make great paths and lend themselves to more variation than pre-made paths.
River rocks - especially the larger, flat ones make great paths and lend themselves to more variation than pre-made paths. | Source
This photo shows how you can create a nice front step using a stone that hugs the shape of the house.
This photo shows how you can create a nice front step using a stone that hugs the shape of the house. | Source
Concrete circles make a cute and flexible stepping stone path. They are easily lost however, so are better in container gardens than in a bigger plot, such as a yard garden.
Concrete circles make a cute and flexible stepping stone path. They are easily lost however, so are better in container gardens than in a bigger plot, such as a yard garden. | Source

Filling in with mosses & ground covers

Placing moss under and around plants keeps the garden looking lush and green. This happens to be Creeping Thyme that is an excellent ground cover.
Placing moss under and around plants keeps the garden looking lush and green. This happens to be Creeping Thyme that is an excellent ground cover. | Source
Lucky for me, there is plenty of moss in the shady parts of my yard.  I use a trowel to gather it, much like harvesting grass.
Lucky for me, there is plenty of moss in the shady parts of my yard. I use a trowel to gather it, much like harvesting grass. | Source
I break off the amount of moss I need, then press it into the soil under tall plants and along the edge of the planter.
I break off the amount of moss I need, then press it into the soil under tall plants and along the edge of the planter. | Source
It is also possible to purchase dried moss, which is what I use under the Fairy houses. This helps keep the houses dry and prevents rot.
It is also possible to purchase dried moss, which is what I use under the Fairy houses. This helps keep the houses dry and prevents rot. | Source

The Finished Gardens

This basket garden uses a plastic circular pot to hold a Fairy house, pool, path and miniature bird bath.
This basket garden uses a plastic circular pot to hold a Fairy house, pool, path and miniature bird bath. | Source
Here is another way to use that round planter, using a smaller house and pool full of Dragon's Tears.
Here is another way to use that round planter, using a smaller house and pool full of Dragon's Tears. | Source

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9 comments

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

Wow this is such a good idea! I have angels, planters, tiny birdhouse, colored stones and I am thinking duh, why didn't I think of that! But I didn't and sure glad you did! I will do it!! Thank you. Up and sharing!


Crystal Tatum profile image

Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

Such a lovely idea. There is a passive park in the county where I work and they hold a fairy festival every year and decorate with fairy homes. Voted up and awesome.


agaglia profile image

agaglia 3 years ago Author

Hi Jackie,

thanks for reading and have fun with your Fairy Garden!


agaglia profile image

agaglia 3 years ago Author

Crystal,

Yes. the Renaissance Festival in Shakopee, is a wonderful fun event we have here in Minn. they have a walk with fairy houses and it is really fantasy like. I love it


oldiesmusic profile image

oldiesmusic 3 years ago from United States

Your garden is a work of art indeed! You are very very creative. When I do have time I'm going to transform my rather drab-looking porch into something like that. Thanks for sharing your ideas. :)


Writer Fox profile image

Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

This is delightful! I've noticed a lot of products lately on Amazon for fairy gardens. Maybe you should add a few year. People would appreciate your advice on making a selection. Enjoyed and voted up!


agaglia profile image

agaglia 3 years ago Author

hi Writer Fox, I've purchased fairies in a variety of places and I know about Amazon. Thanks. I will think about providing advice on making a selection.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 21 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

What a great display of your youthful spirit! Perhaps it will revive that same spirit in your readers, too.


agaglia profile image

agaglia 21 months ago Author

Perspycacious,

Nice use name. :D thank you for the comment. I hope it does revive the same spirit in my readers!

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