How to Grow a Garden Fairy Ring

Learn how to plant a fairy ring, creating a garden space that kids of all ages will enjoy.

Grow a secret fairy ring in a hidden spot at the bottom of the yard. You never know, you might attract some fairies! A circle of ornamental grasses, along with delicate, sweet-smelling flowers, looks magical and makes a great place to play or have a picnic. Don't forget treats for the fairies! This project takes one day to complete.

Materials Needed:

  • plant stake
  • string
  • shovel
  • potting soil
  • ornamental grasses and a selection of unusually shaped flowers
  • watering can
  • jars and glass paints or household paint and varnish
  • tea light candles or solar nightlights (adult supervision required)

1. Create a Circular Area

Make a circular area by sticking a plant stake where you'd like the middle of the ring to be. Tie a piece of string to this, and tie another stake to the other end and use this to mark the edge. Walk round, dragging the stick hard into the ground to mark the edge of the circle (Image 1).

Use a shovel to dig out a deep trench around the edge of the circle (Image 2). Sprinkle some potting soil into the base. Put the turf that you have taken out onto a compost heap.

2. Begin Planting

Gently remove each plant from its pot and place it into the trench. Fill soil around the plant's roots, pressing the soil down firmly to keep it upright. Reuse the soil that was removed when digging the trench or use fresh soil.

Arrange Plants Around Raised Bed

Arrange Plants Around Raised Bed

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Ready Set Grow!

DK - Ready Set Grow!, © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

3. Water

Water all the plants well and add decorative mulch if you wish. Continue to water the plants well during the first few weeks.

4. Make Lanterns

Make pretty lanterns by painting jars. Use special glass paint (or household paint and a layer of varnish). You can paint black fairy silhouettes on your lanterns, too.

Painted Fairy Ring Lanterns

Painted Fairy Ring Lanterns

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Ready Set Grow!

DK - Ready Set Grow!, © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

5. Light the Lanterns

Place tea light candles inside the jars. Ask an adult to light them in the evening. You could also add sparkly solar nightlights to light the fairy ring. They come on automatically at dusk. When it rains, cover the jars with plastic.

6. Look for Fairy Rings

Look for mushroom fairy rings in nature. You can also create your own with small flowers.

Mushroom Fairy Rings

Mushroom Fairy Rings

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Ready Set Grow!

DK - Ready Set Grow!, © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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