Here at The Magic Onions, we LOVE Fairy Gardens. It has become our annual tradition to make a new Fairy Garden each Spring. We have an AMAZING Fairy Garden Page… be sure to visit it later to see all the magical Fairy Gardens we have made over the years.
How To Make A Fairy Garden that children will Love
Before you enjoy this awesome tutorial,
As you can see, Kitty’s Fairy Garden was looking a little worse for wear.
To clean it up, First, we cleaned out all the dead moss. We have used an old wine barrel for our Fairy Garden. Kitty loves the big size as she plays in it for hours but you can use a much smaller container such as a planter, a tin basin or even a salad bowl. You do, however, have to make sure that the container has a hole in the bottom for proper drainage. Drill a hole if your container doesn’t have one. You will be watering your Fairy Garden often and it is important that it can drain adequately.
Once you have picked out your container, fill it with potting soil, leaving it about 6 inches deep.
Next, plan how you want your Fairy or Gnome Garden to look. Kitty drew a detailed map, indicating where she wanted a hill and a valley, were the pond would go and even where she wanted the path to be placed.
We propped the plan up in the papyrus and got to work landscaping our garden. We created the hill on the left by mounding the soil and the valley in the middle by grooving the soil.
Mr T was in charge of finding earthworms in the veggie garden to put in the new Fairy Garden. He was very good at his job and found quite a few…
Earthworms are optional. They are great soil aerators and help for good soil drainage (plus, they give the little one something to do so that he doesn’t keep destroying the soil hill you have so carefully built…)
Now, it is time to plant your ‘trees’ and plants. When choosing plants for your Fairy Garden, be mindful of the scale you are after. You want it to look like a miniature garden. Moss is the main ground cover and too many other plants may detract from the mossy atmosphere. Let your imagination run wild as you choose plants that you think might attract the fairies in your neighborhood. We used an immature Tea Tree for our tree. We know that it will want to grow very big and we need to trim it often to keep it stunted. The tree sets the scale of the garden and makes for that miniature feeling. If your garden is in a smaller container, a shrub will have the same effect as a tree. Also, keep in mind the color combinations… silvers, light greens, dark greens, browns… we like as many colors as possible as it adds texture and interest to the Fairy Garden. Another consideration when choosing your plants is to make sure the combination you choose all like the same amount of sun and water. If you are going to be using moss, remember that moss likes sun to part shade and lots of water… make sure you choose other plants that like the same. If you are going for a desert garden appeal, pebbles, rocks and various cacti look wonderful, but do make sure that too many prickles won’t deter your little one from playing in his garden.
When your plants are in their place, set in your pond. Your pond can be any smaller container. We used a coconut shell but you can use a glass bowl, a porcelain bowl, a metal bowl… anything that lends itself to the magic and natural feel of your garden. Do not place your stones until you have planted the moss.
With the pond in place, it’s time to plant your moss. We used a whole moss flat that we bought from Home Depot. Carefully break off chunks of moss and contour it over the landscaped hill and valley, around the pond and the tree. Remember to leave space for your path.
Then set in your rocks and pebbles for your path. All at once, your Fairy Garden looks like the magical wonderland that it is.
Water your Fairy Garden well…
And then put all the little fairy and gnome bits and pieces in place…
Can you believe that we found all the above fairy furniture at various garage sales? If you have none, fret not as I am going to be showing you how to make fairy furniture over the next couple of weeks… a tiny table and chair, a fairy or gnome house and even an arbor. As we all know, things are much more magical and valued if we have made them ourselves!
Here are a few photos I couldn’t resist taking… can’t you just see the little fairy or gnome taking a skinny dip in the pond?
Resting comfortably on the moss?
K has been playing in her new Fairy Garden all day.
And we suspect that the fairies and gnomes will be playing in it all night!
I hope I’ve inspired you to make a Fairy Garden with your own little ones and enter it into our Fairy Garden Contest. Not only is it incredibly fun to make a miniature garden like this, but there are such AWESOME prizes to be won.
Be sure to check out the Fairy Garden links below…
Donni Webber is the mom behind the popular natural living Waldorf website and blog, The Magic Onions - where the magic of nature and the wonder of childhood collide to make each moment a precious gift. She is a photographer, writer, crafter, wife and mother of two inspiring young children. Her work has been featured in many popular publications, including HGTV, Better Homes and Gardens, Disney and Apartment Therapy.