Fairy Gardens - How To Make Your Garden Into A Fairy Sanctuary

Fairy Garden Sanctuary
(Image credit: RyanOverman)

Fairy gardens are becoming increasingly popular in the home garden. For centuries, the world has been fascinated with the idea that "wee folk" live among us and have the power to spread magic and mischief throughout our homes and gardens. While evidence of the existence of fairies is slim, adding fairy gardens to our own gardens is a way of participating in this centuries old tradition of trying to please the spirits and gain their favor.

What are Fairy Gardens?

Fairy gardens are basically miniature gardens with added touches that give the appearance of a tiny creature residing in the garden. Many fairy gardens are planted in a small, almost secluded area in your garden, somewhere that someone will feel that they simply "stumbled" upon a magical location. Just as many miniature fairy gardens are planted in containers though. Fairy gardens are also normally filled with whimsical items to add to the feeling of magic.

Fairy Garden Ideas

Before you build your fairy garden, you should give some thought to what kind of fairy garden you would like to build. One popular idea is to build a woodland fairy garden. These miniature gardens are normally installed at the foot of a tree in a shaded part of the garden and incorporate forest themed items like tree leaves and a door on the trunk of the tree. Other fairy garden ideas include a flower fairy garden. In a flower fairy garden, you can expect to find a small cottage surrounded by flowers and grass with perhaps other miniature fairy garden décor added. One other fairy garden idea is to convert the edge of a water feature in your garden to a fairy dock. A small boat or raft tacked to the edge of your water feature with other fairy garden décor "clues" to indicate that the wee folk have come to live on your shores. Really, fairy garden ideas are only limited by your own imagination. Have fun with it.

Fairy Garden Designs

Once you have decided on what kind of fairy garden you would like, you need to decide on the design of your fairy garden. A fairy garden can either be installed right into your garden or it can be grown as a container garden. Both fairy garden designs have their advantages. Building a fairy garden right into your existing garden allows for the feeling that your miniature fairy garden is the genuine thing, that an actual fairy has moved right into your garden. The down side of fairy gardens placed right into the garden is that the elements will eventually destroy the fairy garden décor you put in the garden. Also, it may be harder for others to enjoy the fairy garden if it is not readily accessible. Many people choose to build their fairy gardens in large containers. This method allows the garden to be moved out of inclement weather and to also be enjoyed from wherever in the garden you choose. The down side of a container fairy garden is that it does not contain quite the same mystique as a fairy garden hidden in your own garden. However you decide to build your miniature fairy garden, whether it be a woodland fairy garden or a fairy garden of your own imagination, the important thing to remember is that fairy gardens are all about having fun. Get crazy, get silly, just keep it small and I guarantee that the fairies will appreciate (and reward) your efforts.

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.