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How to Create a Fairy Garden in a Container

What fairy could resist resting her wings on a cozy bench beneath a tree, with moss at her feet and dainty flowers to admire? Create a miniature container garden that the fairies are sure to call home.

Spike Gillespie

Create a magical miniature container garden that will enthrall your kids. In this make-believe landscape, a pint-sized bush is a large tree, twigs and leaves turn into furniture, and tiny woodland sprites are as close as your imagination. Arranging plants just-so can create the effect of a little forest, a mossy lawn and other scaled-down echoes of Mother Nature's grander schemes. Then start imagining the fairies that visit late at night when the world is asleep.

Materials Needed:

  • container with drainage hole
  • high-quality potting soil
  • plants (used here: boxwood, lithodora, Irish moss, living-rock plants)
  • "furniture" (fairies generally prefer natural materials, including bark, twigs and leaves)
  • pebbles
  • decor and fairy figurines
  • water

Create the Garden Bed

Fill the container or planter with potting soil.

Plan the Design

Using a stick, "sketch" out the design in the potting soil. Decide where the tree will go and the best places for the other plants, the bench and any other decorative items.

Install the Plants

Remove enough potting soil from the container (Image 1) to accommodate the boxwood (or other "tree") so that, when planted, the top of the root ball is about an inch from the top of the pot. Gently tease the roots apart (Image 2), and plant and firm the soil around the roots (Image 3). Plant the moss (Image 4) and other plants (Image 5).

Add Stones, Furniture and Decor

Dribble small pebbles onto the soil to make a path (Image 1).

Create furniture out of natural materials, such as a piece of bark, four sticks and a leaf for a bench (Image 2). Use a mini "bird's nest" (crafting supply) and sticks to create a papasan chair (Image 3). You can also construct a little bench by stacking a larger rock on top of two smaller rocks. Your kids will love imagining and creating the various furnishings and decor.

Note: If you want to include a fairy house in your fairy garden, consider making each wall from different materials. Vertical twigs placed closely together can be used for one side, with small stacked rocks for another. Three walls are better than four, since leaving the fairy house open allows you to decorate the inside. Twigs or bark work nicely for a roof.

Inside the house you can add stone "tiles," a leaf "carpet" or a bark "hardwood" floor. Flower petals or scraps of fabric can be placed on top of flat rock "beds." You can even build a play area out back for fairy children — make a swing using twigs, string and a bit of fabric.

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