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Fairy Garden with Plants – Bring Your Creations to Life!

My sister once asked me why I wanted a fairy garden with plants. I answered, “Why wouldn’t I?!” Some folks do make these with artificial plants, but the many advantages and fun of using real plants is the only way to go for me!

Fairies obviously prefer real plants of course! Not only are they beautiful, creative and magical, but also there are many other benefits you might not have initially considcered.

Benefits of Using Real Plants

For example, decorating can be one of the most A Fairy Garden with Plantsfun and satisfying activities to work on in and around your home.

There is a certain appeal to a cute fairy garden with plants growing in it that you don’t get with other decor options.

Along the same lines, gardening has been the hobby of choice/necessity for a huge percentage of the  population for all human history due to its limitless uses.

A Fairy Garden with Plants Historical Gardening/AgricultureFrom beautification to industry as well as enjoying the literal fruits of your labor plants are essential to our daily lives. Personally I would love decorating and gardening all day long, however I have two small children.

 

We make it a point to create learning opportunities and family fun memories that we all can enjoy doing. So this activity was one that checked all the right boxes for me.


Getting Started Checklist

When you decide to create a fairy garden with plants, there are a few things that need to considered initially.

Hold off on getting supplies together just yet.A Fairy Garden with Plants Checklist First, here is a preparation checklist:

  • What is your purpose for wanting a fairy garden? Kids? Decoration? Hobby? Assigned project?

 

  • Will your fairy garden be indoors or outdoors? There are different things you need to consider for both options.

 

  • The scale of the garden; i.e. how big do you want it to be? There are a range of sizes and complexities depending on what you want your initial resource investment to be as well as your future maintenance needs. Speaking of…

 

  • How much time do you want to have your fairy garden require to stay a thriving garden paradise for our magical winged friends?

 

A Fairy Garden with Plants Money PlantFiguring these basic elements out before running headlong into your local craft store or online retailer will save you a significant amount of time and-arguably more important to most- money!

 

The Purpose of Your Fairy Garden

A Fairy Garden with Plants Child LearningWhy do you want a fairy garden with plants? Is this just a fun thing to do with the kids to touch on several educational areas? This type of project allows for so many teachable moments!

You can go with the obvious gardening/plant biology (roots, soil, water, leaves, light, etc.) or swing into a lesson about the seasons and how they affect both the weather and the plants! Color identification, scale identification (large, small, tall, short, long, etc.) and so much creativity!

If you can’t tell, this is my preferred teaching method! Or is this more of a choice of decor? Bringing A Fairy Garden with Plants Adding Energysome living plants to a space to bring a healthy energy and purify the air while injecting a bit of fancy into your world? Fancy which can be significantly lacking in most of our lives.

Are you a fan of the fantasy genre, and would love to bring elements of that world into our-less magical realm?

Knowing your purpose helps to guide you on your first few steps down the path to becoming your very own fairy garden master.

Outdoor or Indoor

Outdoor: There are as many climates in the world as there are places; and plants grow, go dormant (if they do at all) and put out new growth at different rates. A Fairy Garden with Plants FrostSome plants cannot survive a single frost, and some can hold fast through a deep freeze only to burst forth with an explosion of energy in spring.

In order to help novice gardeners know which will work where they are located, there are things called hardiness maps. These maps tell you what “zone” you are in. When looking up a plant to potentially use, you’ll often see a zone reference.

This tells you which zones this particular plant can survive in. You can pull up these zones on any number of websites, but this one is the official USDA website for my local growers, and this website in particular is good to use no matter where you are from in the world! (including the US)A Fairy Garden with Plants SeasonsIt’s also important to know your time frame. Because of the lack of control we have over the weather conditions and mildness/severity of any particular season, knowing when you are going to plant is essential.

These hardiness zone maps are helpful in knowing your average frost dates and ranges of temperatures where you live. There is a website I like to use that has a good garden plant list that includes flowers, vegetables, herbs, and fruit.

According to the internet ( here, here and here), the best time to plant trees and shrubs is in the fall. So make sure you look up what the best time is to plant your chosen plants, or a lot of hard work will be for naught. If you are mid-winter, and you still want to do a fairy garden ASAP, you might want to go indoors.

A Fairy Garden with Plants Indoor Fairy Garden

Indoor: Hardiness maps are less relevant for indoor fairy gardens. You’ll mainly need information about the light requirements and watering schedules for most. Excepting the more exotic and specialty indoor plant varieties.

You will need to know where you will be putting the fairy garden in order to determine what size container to get. This leads directly into the next consideration on the list.

Scale of Your Fairy Garden

A Fairy Garden with Plants Outdoor ScaleKnow your space allocations. Typically, fairy gardens are smaller in order to fit an entire “fairy environment” into a specific location.

There are installations that are full sized gardens with fairy elements placed throughout, or even human-sized decorations… for a giant fairy? (Or more likely the owner of the garden… but use your imagination to your own liking!)

For your smaller scale, you can go with basic A Fairy Garden with Plants Boot Containerplanters. f you feel the desire to use a decorative container not originally intended to grow a plant in, make sure you have prepared the inside for it’s future use as a holder of soil, water and plants.

Lighter materials can be damaged if moved too much or around kids or A Fairy Garden with Plants Container Basketpets. The container itself can be damaged by the watering, sometimes a planter not properly prepared can damage your plants.

Typical damage to plants from containers comes from not allowing for drainage. Even if using the age-old gardening trick of putting a layer of rocks in the bottom of your planter, don’t over water!A Fairy Garden with Plants Tub Container

If your roots are sitting in water for long periods of time, your plant will suffocate. Your plant’s root’s need air as well as water.

It is wise to know the watering needs of your plants. Many gardeners recommend using the trick of simply sticking a finger about 1 inch into the soil. This is done to determine if it needs to be watered.

A Fairy Garden with Plants Stump TrollFor outdoor fairy gardens, you have a bit more freedom, but also potentially more of a financial requirement due to our vertical nature.

There are many fairy gardens on ground level, but if you are doing a standard small stature fairy garden and want any part of your it at or around eye level, you will need either a A Fairy Garden with Plants Stump Statuetall/larger planter, or some other type of surface for the fairy garden to rest upon.

Old tree stumps are perfect for this! They play on the whimsical nature loving facet of fairies, and also can transform an eyesore into a fun, creative accent!

Knowing how big your container will be will also have a bearing on which plants you choose to use. The next item to consider on this checklist has to do with plant selection in a big way!

Garden Maintenance

Knowing how much time, money, and energy you want to invest into your project long term will pay off significantly! Some plants need no actual watering- only a good misting every so often. Others plants have very specific time and temperature needs. A Fairy Garden with Plants Plan SuccessYou don’t want to put two plants together that have drastically different maintenance routines. For more information on some different types of low, medium and high maintenance plants (including examples of each) check out this piece.

Learn about the care instructions for each plant you will be putting in your fairy garden. Then learn to know how they will grow. A Fairy Garden with Plants Growth RateSome plants can grow consistently throughout the year, and some go into a mild winter/dormant stage, even if kept at relatively stable temperatures. Some grow explosively right in spring, just filling out the rest of the year. Others grow at a more steady pace.

Plan your garden so that it’s not too overcrowded in a year, but not looking sparse or bedraggled either!

 

The Benefits!

Putting just a bit of planning into this fun project of creating your own fairy garden (with plants of course!) can make the execution of it seem a breeze! Throughout the planning process, you may realize some ideas you were entertaining would have been disastrous in execution.

Benjamin Franklin is credited with the rather well-known saying, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. With this in mind, you can adjust your plans and continuously until you’re ready to start making your own projects.

There are so many reasons to want a fairy garden… with plants! Real plants that is.  I hope this has helped to make it easier for you to get started on your very own gardening adventure! Now go find your reason and start creating!

Gratefully,

Randi

P.S. Feel free to send me a picture of your fairy garden and I will add it to this site!

14 thoughts on “Fairy Garden with Plants – Bring Your Creations to Life!

  1. I really love gardening. I spend at least half an hour every day to maintain my garden even if it is a busy day. Your article on Fairy Garden really offered me some great ideas.

    Thank you very much.

    1. That is wonderful! Gardening can be strenuous like a workout if you are doing any heavy lifting, but I like to think of it as a workout for your soul. It connects you to the Earth in a way nothing else can, and I love to see others enjoying and thriving! Keep it up!
      I’m so glad I was able to provide a little inspiration for you! Please share pictures of your garden with us!
      Thank you!
      -Randi-

  2. This is a super informative article, thank you for all the great tips Randi! And there are so many other helpful sites included.
    One thing I loved also is the idea to take a tree stump and make it something more beautiful. It’s perfect for me because there just so happens to be one right in the front yard! So I’m going to be working on that 🙂

    Thanks again for the help!
    Danny

    1. Oh Danny, I’m so glad you were able to get an idea from this! Stumps are often considered an annoyance, but I think they are just shouting to be used to bring a bit of fancy and magic to our lives. Please include a picture of your finished product!

  3. I like gardening very much but I have never thought about putting up a fairy garden. My next project is to start growing herbs, and maybe some other plants also, at our roof terrace. Why not make it more interesting and combine the herbs with fairies!

    1. Of course! Herb gardens are wonderful for fairies, and because they are usually on a smaller scale, the fairy decorations will be more “to scale” for a small forest-like environment. That sounds like a wonderfully fun project. Please feel free to share your pictures too! Thank you

  4. This article is very detailed and informative. I never owned a garden ever, but after reading this I might consider investing in an indoor garden of my own. Especially since I’m going to be switching to a vegan diet soon. Thank you for this information!

    1. I am so glad you’re considering getting started on your very first garden! They are wonderful ways to supplement your diet. Do you have any questions or concerns that I might be able to help with? Please let me know. Happy gardening!

  5. I have the most experience with low maintenance plants. My favorite are the succulents. I like that they just need some mist and they’re happy. I’d love to do a fairy themed garden full of them. That would be a lovely garden. I’m glad I came across your page, I came up with some nice ideas because of it. Thanks for a great article.

  6. Hi Randi,
    first I really liked reading this article, we plant a lot of flowers and they are beautiful but to me, it seems like they don’t flow like there are some flowers here some over there oh and lets put a few up here.

    This year I really want to have some flow or design and you have given me some good ideas, I cant wait to read some more of your articles for help with my gardening.

    I first heard about fairy gardens from my daughter and really didn’t see what she was describing and she still hasn’t actually put her fairy garden together so I will also be directing her to your site for some help.

    Thank you

    1. I am so glad you found some inspiration here, and please feel free to ask any questions you come up with! I would love to hear from your daughter as well. Fairy gardens are so much fun! I hope I answer any questions she has and would love to see her final product!
      Thank you!

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