What is a Fairy Garden?
A fairy garden is a garden, or section of a garden, with miniature houses, furniture, or accessories. It creates the impression of a tiny world, of the sort and size that fairies might inhabit. At first glance, someone might not see the little details that make your window runner or herb garden so special, but for anyone who looks twice, they provide an intriguing outlet for the imagination. They're a great conversation starter, make thoughtful gifts, and are a fun and engaging hobby to practice with children.
How to Make a Fairy Garden
When making fairy gardens, there are a few decisions you need to make upfront. First, you need to decide whether you are going to have your garden outdoors or indoors. Outdoor gardens provide a lot more room for your fairy world to expand, but it may limit the accessories you can use, as some may be damaged by weather. Indoor gardens are easier to maintain, but are limited as far as the space they can take up. Another issue you'll want to think about ahead of time is how much you want to leave to the imagination. Some people choose to put actual miniature fairy statues in their gardens, but many people prefer to leave it simply at furniture and ornaments, and hope (or imagine) that some real fairies come to stay!
Once you've made those first decisions, it's time to pick your specific location. If you are outdoors, it can be overwhelming to try to pick the perfect spot, but you have the advantage that there are probably already plants in set places, which can narrow it down a little. Fairy gardens work best alongside plants that are smaller in scale, with fine detail. If you have an herb garden, for example, that would be a great place to make your fairy garden.
If are making an indoor fairy garden, choose a container. Window runners or large terra cotta pots work well. Alternatively, you can use a series of small pots in a row on a sill or countertop. This is also fun because you can easily rearrange the garden or add an extra pot to expand your fairy's world. You also get to decide what plants to incorporate. As I said above, herbs work especially well, and on a practical note, they're handy to have around in the kitchen. Herbs smell fresh and green, too, so they add a more full sensory experience.
Some plant suggestions include:
These are a just a jumping-off point. Go to your local nursery and browse, and I guarantee you you'll start seeing possibilities everywhere.
Fairy Garden Ideas
The next task is to start finding miniature fairy garden supplies. You can find fairy garden sets, but I think it's more fun to choose your pieces individually.
The plants you choose may inspire you--for example, curly chives or creeping savory can be used to form a hedge, so if you've picked up one of those, perhaps you want to look for a fairy house. Small pebbles and stones can create a pathway or a stone wall. Craft stores and collector's shops have any number of miniature accessories. You can also use high-quality wooden doll furniture (or make it, if you've got someone handy in the house), but only in an indoor garden, since most fine doll furniture is not built to handle the outdoor elements.
Fairy, Fairy, Quite Contrary, How Does Your Garden Grow?
If your garden doesn't come together all at once, don't worry about it. Part of the fun of making a fairy garden is finding the pieces to create the perfect scene. Once you start thinking about it, you'll see everything in a new light. A rock from the park becomes the perfect piece to finish your garden border. A bit of sea glass will add some dimension to your walkway. Soon, your fairy garden will become more than just a fun hobby or an activity with the kids. It takes on more meaning as it starts to map out a timeline of happy memories. And maybe those memories end up the inhabitants of your small world... more important than any fairy.
hello on March 24, 2013:
You've gotta get some beech tree saplings for trees i got mine from B&Q as hedge saplings they are super great. You've also gotta include some heather (winter & summer flowering) as a hedge. I absolutely positively love gardening since i was 2-3 i am now 13.
Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on September 09, 2012:
I have a fairy garden I should take pictures of it.. I love your hub.. I have the benches and cement girl on the bench and my fairy that i love .. I WILL TAKE PICTURES.. Great idea.. I am excited.. lol
.. BLESSINGS AND so good to meet you
Shasta Matova from USA on September 07, 2012:
I would love to make a fairy garden - it just sounds so sweet. When I was taking a walk yesterday, I found some mushrooms that looked like a miniature fairy village! I am going to have to see about how I cam make the little fairies welcome in my garden.
amber cain on August 13, 2012:
educational and informative. To know more about the http://garden-fountains.com. For more information on what to put in your outdoor lawn.
hello on August 10, 2012:
You gotta check out Miniature Garden Shoppe its amazing.
Hello on April 21, 2012:
I have this little dog called Lucky and thought I would share my fairy garden with my dog so I put box hedge in so my dog could not get out it is not that high only as high as a DVD case but it has small leaves and makes a great fairy hedge I also bought some wire edging and used it as an arch also lobelia makes a lovely matt of colour and its small so try it.
shona seare on March 09, 2012:
i think ereyone need a fairy garend for all the little ones
Maddie Ruud (author) from Oakland, CA on March 07, 2012:
Shoot! I took some a long time ago and forgot to update! Thanks for the reminder!
Eileen Goodall from Buckinghamshire, England on March 07, 2012:
Oh, I was hoping to see some photographs of what'd you done, are there any forthcoming?
roly on December 28, 2011:
promised my 10 year old daughter 2 convert a 45 m/2 corner of granys garden in 2 a Fairy Garden ! started 2day. thanx guys 4 your ideas,roly
hello on December 17, 2011:
it is gr8 i am creating one and have only got an empty trough and think pansie would be gr8
Martha on October 19, 2011:
The TickleMe Plant is the one plant that everyone should grow in their Fairy garden. In it you can easily grow that real house plant that Moves,closes itse leaves and lowers its branches when Tickled. My fans love it
lini on October 19, 2011:
loved your ideas.will try with my kids.they will love it better than our new house.
saif113sb on August 20, 2011:
Thanks for the great information ideas.And very informative hub. This should work well.
leann2800 on July 31, 2011:
This is awesome! I have just started making a fairy garden. i hadn't thought of using herbs but that's perfect. That would be cute and useful.Maybe the fairies won't mind sharing?
timonweller on July 09, 2011:
Nice idea for a garden.
laine harrison on May 04, 2011:
now, i like to have one, great idea here. voted this one up.
gardensinger48 on March 05, 2011:
I attended a garden symposium today where a couple of wonderful ladies had a presentation on Fairy gardens.
My wheels started turning, and I have already purchased some things to get started....it will take shape this spring and summer, and I look forward to sharing it with my granddaughter...who is just about to turn 1....
Fluffy77 from Enterprise, OR on February 19, 2011:
This is so very lovely, I have a big interest in fairies and always have would love to do this one day. Thanks for the good advise.
Mrs. J. B. from Southern California on February 15, 2011:
I love the fairy garden idea. I am going to make mine outdoors in the backyard by the pool. I am excited.
Louise Tutton on February 15, 2011:
I've just started my fairy garden a few weeks ago and was amazed at my family's response. Every body's collecting and giving advice. My little granddaughter is 7 months old and I can't wait to share it with her! The glitter trails are a very good idea to create memories. Thanks for sharing it!
Gigi Thibodeau on February 15, 2011:
What a sweet hub! I'm planning to turn my sunporch into a fairy garden this spring with my niece. Just hope the fairies show up! :)
frances on February 14, 2011:
My son is the one with the green thumb. I am learing from him I think gardening is so pretty.
Pixel-Alchemist from Waitakere Auckland : New Zealand on January 25, 2011:
a great Hub. I linked an article I just wrote to your hub.
missAWESOME12 on December 26, 2010:
i am starting to make fairy garden now with my friend its going to look beautiful
missAWESOME12 on December 26, 2010:
I LOVE FAIRIES, AND IT WOULD JUST BE AN HOUNER TO MAKE A GARDEN FOR THEM THANKS A HEEP THIS ADVISE IS GREAT
fairylover2 on December 20, 2010:
i made a fary garden with my older cousins. It's fab! thanks
iamageniuster on December 18, 2010:
I love gardening. This is a great idea.
samantha on December 16, 2010:
marisuewrites from USA on November 23, 2010:
Hi Maddie, I've got to do this with my little granddaughter, and well, I confess....for me too!! Thanks and I'll be back to get more info this Spring, I bet I can start collecting things now...
Reminds me of Tinker Bell, what a great theme!!
Morgan F from USA on September 18, 2010:
I used to build faery houses when I was little, this hub brought back great memories :)
lovweat on September 13, 2010:
wow this is great stuff. but are you sure it will workk?
well i believe in fairies i do i do i do
Mary Ann (oswego,ny) on August 26, 2010:
I have had a fairy garden for about 15 years. My granddaughter ( 6 years old) absolutely loves it! I hide "fairy jewels" (fake gem stones) around the garden at times to her delight. I have a wide variety of fairy plants but her favorite is fox gloves. She knows that fairies drink out of the flowers. It is the perfect size for drinking cups. :) I have also tucked away several little fairies that can only be seen by the eyes of children. Under my snowball tree is a little tea set that is set up for a tea party for the fairies too. It is a magical place and many of my friends have brought their children here to explore. I can't even begin to tell you the pleasure that I feel to see children laughing with excitement.
MarianG on August 21, 2010:
I definitely want to do this! I love your ideas! So cute!
JOe Carres on July 11, 2010:
My kids loved it when we grew TickleMe Plant in our fairy Garden, It is the faeries favorite plant! The leaves instantly close and even the branches droop when Tickled. Now I am part of the TickleMe Plant Craze as I love my TickleMe Plant. Thought you would too. Just google Tickle Me Plant.
L M Reid from Ireland on July 08, 2010:
I love gardening and the idea of creating a fairy garden never even entered my head. What a wondeful idea. I am certainly going to create one this year. Thank you for the inspiration
Norah Casey on June 30, 2010:
I'm making two!
joanne on June 14, 2010:
i am a childminder, and im going to create a garden with the children for our summer project! Thanks
lauren on June 12, 2010:
wow! it atually works!!!!!!
Denise Handlon from North Carolina on June 12, 2010:
what a great hub. You've given me an idea for my young granddaughter who went to her first 'fairy tea party' last summer. Thanks.
Hip Hop Beats on May 16, 2010:
Great Hub. You are a true Hubber... keep it up
dealrocker from California on May 15, 2010:
Love this hub. What a concept! Liked your other hubs too. Joining your fanclub and would like to invite you to join mine. :)
claudia on May 10, 2010:
In our magical fairy garden, I created a walkway with large round stones and it takes her along a magical path filled with fairies, statues, flowers and herbs. At the end of the path, where there is a bench to rest, sits a huge tree that had a hole at the base of it. I made a little door to cover the hole, and she believes that only fairies enter there, as it is small and we cannot open it. She loves the fairy garden and only shares it with special friends. I love the garden as it is a quiet place to rest and relax, as well as take in the wonderful smells of the herbs, flowers and the beautiful outdoors itself! www.iboplus.com/wit
Paul4552 from Salisbury, Maryland on May 09, 2010:
Your desription of where to place your fairey garden outdoors was very helpful. I like the idea of placng it next to an herb garden. Thanks for the info.
Sergiosranch on May 08, 2010:
I love to start learning about fairies, my daughter love them, and she pass away, just two week ago, she was only 12 since that fairies are part of my life.... miss her a lot, a hope =fairies keep me close too her...
Custom Gates on April 26, 2010:
Since I was young, I always dream to be in a fairy land! So what I did in my garden is I put tons of Fairy figurines on it! and put a mini falls.. it's like just a secret garden and everyone adores it! :)
Kay Creates from Ohio on April 23, 2010:
This is such a charming idea.
jean williams on April 23, 2010:
i have a small section in my garden that i would love to make into a fairey garden cannt wait for tomorrow to go to the garden center
kat on April 08, 2010:
this is awesome!im making one for my sister and im sure shell loooove it1thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
sweetKitten from England on April 04, 2010:
very nice, Maddie. I'd love to make a fairy garden!
now, I don't read that much that is not in books, but once I started reading your hub, I couldn't stop!
love the little resin fairy
jayjay40 from Bristol England on March 29, 2010:
Love this hub, what a great idea, thanks for sharing
Grace on March 20, 2010:
Patticat on February 02, 2010:
love the idea of a fairy garden. Since it's just the beginning of Feb. I'll have time to plan and start making and collecting things. Thx for all the info.
SOAWESOMEITHURTS on January 31, 2010:
THAT IS COOL A NICE THING TO DO WITH MY NEIGHBORS KIDS!
Renee S from Virginia on January 29, 2010:
What a great idea.
GartenGrl on January 28, 2010:
These are really fun ideas-me and my boyfriend want to get a kit to build fairy doors...see how it goes...seems like a fun project:)
Nicks on January 11, 2010:
A rather nice idea! I tend to think that many really lovely gardens surprise you as you walk around by having different themes. This is one that is rather sweet...
Karen Ellis from Central Oregon on January 06, 2010:
I love this idea. I'll start collecting things now, for a garden in the spring. Thanks.
Andrew from Italy on December 15, 2009:
Wonderful hub. I'll soon write a hub about happiness and if you let me I'll put a link to this hub. I've never thought about it but it's a great idea.
Fairyrade on December 15, 2009:
Love the idea that much i've made loads of wee fairy doors :)
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 01, 2009:
What a cute idea! I had never heard of doing this. Most of the fairies in my imagination dance around lit fires in the forested areas at night. Now let me think how I can begin to entice them into my garden... :-)
silvia on September 28, 2009:
this was really interesting im already imagining my garden in my head i will definitely make one..
obviously i do believe in fairies :)
vetriselvi from chennai on September 11, 2009:
you have posted a wonderful hub. it was interesting to read .
Tiddledeewinks on July 13, 2009:
A fairy garden sounds nice! I don't have one yet. I just have a regular vegetable and flower garden.
Rebecca Graf from Wisconsin on July 11, 2009:
This sounds wonderful. I might have to create a couple of them. they sound so relaxing.
ValL on July 01, 2009:
I can't wait to have a fairy garden when I finally stop moving around and settle somewhere! Magic!
Dori S Matte from Hillsborough on June 29, 2009:
that sounds beautifu!
advisor4qb from On New Footing on June 29, 2009:
I love this hub!
Watch Tower from New Zealand on June 29, 2009:
I have no room out doors for a garden, Though I was able to create a potted plant garden, I call it my Magic Garden as it has an array of little details, fairy, unicorns castles dragons, and a few other "magical" ornaments each potted plant has its own little world. My nieces and Nephews love it. I been meaning to do a hub on this as, so many live in cities. So when I do I shall link it to your hub here
ratnaveera from Cumbum on June 28, 2009:
Lavendar gives me a special freshness with its beautiful colors. You have posted very useful information about indoor gardening!
Christoph Reilly from St. Louis on June 28, 2009:
My Faeries have been pestering me for some remodeling. Now I know what to do. Thanks!
RVDaniels from Athens, GA on June 26, 2009:
What a truly charming idea.
Maddie Ruud (author) from Oakland, CA on June 26, 2009:
Great ideas, Candie. Lily of the Valley has wonderfully delicate, fairy-like flowers.
Candie V from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure! on June 26, 2009:
Fun Hub!! You gotta include lilly of the valley in a fairy garden!! And maybe a large hosta to protect little fairy homes!
Nancy's Niche on June 26, 2009:
Maddie, this is a wonderful blog and I will pass it on to my daughter. This is something her and my two grandsons would enjoy doing together. Thanks for sharing...
Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on June 26, 2009:
Jerilee! - What a wonderful grandma you are! This is a fantastically good memory to have and to share with your granddaughter and it still makes her smile.
Maddie Ruud (author) from Oakland, CA on June 26, 2009:
Such a sweet story, Jerilee! What a creative idea!
Jerilee Wei from United States on June 26, 2009:
I did this with my granddaughter when she was about five years old. Bought some glitter and each night I'd sprinkle a trail from the little fairy statues into the house. She believed for the longest time that when she slept they came to visit and turned back into statues by day. She's twelve now and we laugh about this but it is a very fond memory for her and was worth every time I had to vacuum up the fairy "dust."
vibe on June 26, 2009:
Thanks for the great ideas. This should work well.
Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on June 26, 2009:
This would be a lot of fun to create - and I could smell the lavender and herbs as I read the page. Thumbs up!
Melinda Winner from Mississippi on June 26, 2009: