Fairy Garden Ideas: A Quick Guide

A fairy garden combines playtime with garden time. Usually a small portable structure, such as a container, it's filled with living plants as well as small figurines and decorative objects. Although the stated goal of a fairy garden is to attract fairies and good luck to your home, you can create one simply for its good looks. If you aren't sure where to start or how to put one together, these fairy garden ideas can give you some inspiration.

Birdbath Fairy Garden

fairy garden ideas

Photo by Carrie A. licensed under CC BY 2.0

When's the last time birds actually came by and splashed about in your bird bath? Transforming a neglected bird bath into a fairy garden is a good way to brighten up a corner of your yard and to make use of something that would otherwise just rot away.

The fairy garden pictured here features a mix of succulent and other miniature plants. The fairies who "live" in the garden have a small house as well as an outdoor seating area to play about in. While some fairy gardens are designed to go indoors in colder weather, the weight of a concrete bird bath can make moving it particularly challenging. If you're going to create your own, make sure to choose plants that can survive outdoors all year round.

Beach Party Fairy Garden

Your fairy garden doesn't have to have a woodland theme. In the video above from Garden Answer, she shows you how to create a beach-themed fairy garden, using mermaid and crab figurines, as well as a sprinkling of sand. Perhaps the coolest feature in the fairy garden is the little waterfall she made, using a collection of different sized rocks and a water pump.

For the garden's plants, she chose a mix of succulents as well as drought-tolerant house or tropical plants, such as snake plant and a type of palm. No matter what type of plants you choose for your garden, it's important that you pick varieties that have the same basic needs. You don't want to plant water-loving plants with succulents or plants that prefer wet conditions with those that need dry soil to thrive.

Multi Story Fairy Garden

Here's a space-saving idea for a fairy garden. You can stack several containers one on top of the other to create a large fairy garden with a small footprint. Stacking the containers allows you to add visual interest to your fairy garden, thanks to the little ladders that extend from one pot to the next.

To make the stacked fairy garden, choose at least three pots. The biggest pot should be at least twice as wide as the next largest and the smallest pot should be about half the size of the middle pot. Fill the containers up with soil, then push the second largest into the soil of the biggest container, then the smallest container into the soil of the middle pot.

Drape small ladders over the edges of the containers, to tie the three stacked pots together visually, or find another way to link them together. In the garden shown, it looks as though a fairy is fishing from the edge of the middle pot into the pond on the lowest pot.

Fairy Garden Village

The video above from ClutterBug shows you what you can do with a handful of empty garden containers, some thrift store finds, and a few annual flowers. She and her kids transformed an unused, weed-filled area behind their garden shed into a magical fairy garden in just a few hours.

The project shown is ideal if you have kids or a group of people who want to work together to make a garden. Each of the kids in the video chose the layout and design of the pots, so the project is simple enough for even young children to work on with some help from their parents or an adult friend.

Broken Fairy Garden

Don't be alarmed. The fairy garden shown above isn't "broken." Instead, it's made out of busted terra cotta pots.

Unglazed terra cotta containers might be classics in the garden. But they also tend to be much more fragile than most containers. Freezing temperatures can cause them to break.

So if you find yourself with a broken terra cotta pot or two, the best thing you can do is turn it into a fairy garden. Fill the broken pot with soil, then use the broken pieces to create what look like retaining walls or ledges inside the garden. You can plant tiny fairy plants or moss between each piece of the container or add rows of decorative stones.

Fairy Garden in a Teacup

A fairy garden doesn't have to be very large. If you have a small teacup or mug, you can easily create a miniature, miniature garden. Fill the cup with a bit of potting mix and choose one or two small plants for it.

Remember that less is more when you're working with a small mug or teacup. A few accessories, such as a rock or gem and one figurine should be the perfect amount for your mini fairy garden. You can cover up the the soil in the cup with a bit of sand, as shown, or used crushed rocks or pebbles.

Basket Case Garden

Part of the joy of making a fairy garden is repurposing materials. Here, you can transform an old wicker basket (perhaps an old Easter basket) into a tabletop garden. The handle of the basket is perfect for hanging up a fairy-sized swing or for hanging a fairy ladder.

To keep the soil from falling out of the spaces between the basket's weave, the fairy garden is lined with black plastic. You can use landscaping fabric from a garden center or cut up a garbage bag to fit in the basket.

Some moss, rocks and a few plastic mushrooms transform the basket into a magical woodland scene.

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