Plant a Fairy Garden

by Daisy

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One of my favorite early childhood memories is searching for acorn cups for the little creatures who inhabited the imaginary world in the woods behind my house.  I dug caves for them under the moss and built “log” cabins and fences out of twigs.

I won’t say how long ago that was, but I’m still building habitats for the imagination, and you can, too.  They’re called fairy gardens, miniature gardens with suggestions of minikin residence.  Scale varies according to preference and they can be grown in the ground or in containers.  Choosing containers allows for gardens with tropical species to be moved inside for the winter months.

However you build your fairy garden, it will charm and fascinate visitors to your garden of all ages.  And all sizes.

Create Your Own Fairy Garden

1.  Decide on a theme.  Do you think your fairies deserve a formal environment or would they feel more at home down on the farm?  Maybe you have something exotic in mind like a Gothic manor look with a couple of gargoyles or a tropical paradise with a beach.
2.  Choose a location.  A sunny patio or a cool, shady corner?  Location will become key when it comes to selecting your plants.
3.  Design the garden.  Sketch out your ideas on paper.  Include “hardscape” such as a patio space for your fairies to lounge on, features such as fencing or an arbor, and perhaps a water feature like a pond.  Also determine the location of your “softscape” plantings.
4. Pick a container.  Just about anything you can plant in is suitable but keep in mind you want enough depth to maintain soil moisture, particularly in a sunny spot, and enough surface area to accommodate all the elements you envision.

5. Select the plants. Once your design is roughed out, choose plants that look mature in miniature, borrowing from the art of bonsai and miniature gardening.  Rather than a patchwork of color, variations in height and texture among similarly-hued plants tend to give a more natural, cohesive look to your fairy garden.

6.  Dig in! As with any container plant, ensure good drainage and use a quality container soil mix.  For a true-to-life appearance, use full-size landscaping techniques such as flagstones (mini of course!) set in sand or a dry creek bed beneath a bridge. Using your plan as a guideline, have fun installing your tiny garden.

7.  Accessorize.  It’s tempting to go overboard with the trinkets, but use a light hand.  In accordance with your theme, select a few small-scale pieces.  Tuck something away only noticeable upon close examination.  Your fairy garden will be guaranteed to inspire lots of smiles.

Miniature Plant Suggestions for Your Fairy Garden

Bedding Plants

Stonecrop sedum (sedum)
Elfin thyme (Thymus praecox arcticus ‘Elfin’)
White moss thyme (Thymus praecox arcticus)
Corsican mint (Mentha requienii)
Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum tectorum)
Irish or Scotch Moss (Sagina sublata)
Angel’s tears (Soleirolia/helxine soleirolii)
Ornamental strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis)
Creeping veronica, Speedwell (Veronica umbrosa ‘Georgia Blue’)

Dwarf Trees & Shrubs

Green Mound Juniper (Juniperus procumbens ‘nana’)
Dwarf Mugo Pine (Pinus mugo)
Satzuki Azalea (Rhododendron indicum)
Ginkgo Maidenhair (Ginkgo biloba ‘Maidenhair’)

Resources & Supplies

Two Green Thumbs Living Miniature Gardens (
Miniature Garden Shoppe (
Brussel’s Bonsai (

Disclaimer: This post may contain a link to an affiliate.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Kirsten August 12, 2011 at 7:54 am


Gingerskeeper August 12, 2011 at 11:04 am

We must be on the same wavelength. I spent the morning looking for little plants and miniatures for our first fairy garden. There are so many possibilities. My fairy still needs a home, although I do have her lawn taken care of. Your garden looks beautiful and whimsical. Lovely!

Gingerskeeper August 12, 2011 at 11:09 am

I also wanted to share this link with you. I am really going to have to control myself and not go overboard on the accessories. Good advice, but they are so cute. I think every fairy needs a mini croquet set, don’t you?

Tina - CreatedWithFire Studios August 13, 2011 at 8:49 am

Love it, so adorable …. pinned it !

Theresa August 13, 2011 at 9:37 am

I shared this on my fb page, how cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Theresa August 13, 2011 at 12:24 pm

My son and I plan to make a FaeryHome however we were thinking of making it for inside. Should we still use soil?

AuntiePatricia August 13, 2011 at 2:45 pm

i’m a hypnotherapist and i used to do past lives therapy. one client had a very big issue with freedom. interesting story she told. she was held captive in a bell jar on a big oak desk in a very formal library. she would weep and rail but could not escape. one day the maid was cleaning and knocked over the bell jar. the little fairy escaped up the chimney. she had been captured in the woods. she was careful to avoid humans after that. i seriously suspect that there are creatures who are not imaginary but who simply don’t trust humans and so they hide, much as the opossum and other animals who come out only at night in my part of the world. i’m sure that the little people appreciate your kind thoughts and gestures. do not think they go unnoticed.

Tomato Lady August 13, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Theresa–If you want a very low maintenance indoor fairy garden/home, you could forgo the live plants and find substitutes like dried or silk plants. Then soil wouldn’t be necessary. If you want plants, unless you use tillandsia (which sounds kind of interesting, actually), soil (or a soil-less container mix, actually) would be needed. Whatever you use, it’s bound to be fun.

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