How to Make a Fairy Garden

We’ve been collecting images of fairy gardens on Pinterest.  Here are a couple of inspiring photos from local nurseries:

Sweet and Simple
Fancy Fairy Village

Last weekend, we finally made one of our own. Here’s how:

Step One: Believe in Fairies

At least one of the people involved in creating your fairy garden needs to believe in fairies. Fairies are fun to believe in. They are beautiful and fancy, like princesses, but wild, scrappy, and self-sufficient. Feral, even. Fey.

Kind of like somebody I know…

Fairies are like tiny Amazon warriors with ephemeral wings.

Step Two: Choose a Container or a Hidden Spot in Your Garden

Choose a larger container, so you have enough space to create a fairy garden, paths, pool, home… and some mystery.

We decided to re-purpose a baby bath-tub that we couldn’t recycle or donate.

Fairies like privacy, so be sure to choose a secret nook in your garden if you plant directly into the ground.

Step Three: Go to the Nursery and  Buy Too Many Plants

Fairies feel more at home in a garden that is scaled to their size.

Choose tiny plants, with tiny leaves and tiny flowers. The ground-cover section is a good place to look.

Choose plants with contrasting leaf-shapes, textures, and colors.

Try to choose plants with similar growing conditions (sun/shade, moist/dry soil).

Fairies like shades of purple, chartreuse, and deep green. And pink! Lots and lots of pink.

Pink Begonias

Choose a few plants for their whimsy. We found this candy-corn vine:

Candy Corn Vine

This curly grass made a good “tree”:

Curly Grass

While you’re at the nursery, buy some potting soil and a container if you don’t already have them.

Step Four: Plant the Garden

Fairy Garden in Progress

Fill the container with soil, and arrange the plants. Keep them in their pots until you’ve decided where to plant them.

Consult with your fairy-believer as to what looks best.

Leave a spot for fairy path, bridge, pool, house, castle, chair–whatever your whim directs.

Ask your garden helper to look for stones, sticks, and treasures.

It’s okay to break the ground-cover plants into two or three sections. Just gently pull them apart at the roots.

Step Five: Build the Hard Structures

A garden is more than just plants; even a fairy garden needs structure.

Stone path and footbridge

Use a bit of broken mirror, glass, tile, blue stones or beads to create a “water feature.”

Build a simple bridge using sticks.

Arrange stones to create a path.

Give your fairies a home.

We used fallen branches and leaves from our cedar tree. Choose several curved branches of similar size, poke them into the soil, and lean them onto each other. Place leaves on top.

Fairy House and Trellis
Fairy House

Fashion a trellis out of some flexible sticks and ornamental grass blades or twine. Ribbons would be pretty, too.

Make a fairy bed from coconut coir–the stuff used to line hanging planters. Steal a little bit from your planter. It won’t be missed!

Step Six: Add Treasures

Give the fairies beautiful playthings: buttons, trinkets, stones, beads, gems, flowers, ribbons… the possibilities  are endless.

More Treasures

Fairies like their bird friends to feel welcome, too. So, we built a nest from coconut coir:


Step Seven: Welcome the Fairies Home

Put the container in a peaceful spot. Sprinkle the garden with water. Check for fairies every day!

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8 thoughts on “How to Make a Fairy Garden

    1. Why, thank you! Ground-cover plants are very forgiving. Some to try: corsican mint, creeping thyme, scotch moss, blue star creeper. Give it a whirl!

  1. This is a really neat idea. I love how you used an old baby bath. Looks like it turned out great!

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