I find fairy gardens enchanting and work the fairy figures and petite plants into my miniature landscaping. Join me, it's lots of fun.
Recycle a Broken Pot for a Delightful Miniature Garden
Adding tiny plants, miniature garden elements and some imagination, one creates a fairy garden. If your planting space is limited, make the little garden in a planter or pot.
A variation on this is to use a large broken pot to make a fairy garden. You can call it a pixie or gnome garden if you want. It's a great project to do with a child. Actually the child is optional. Many grown-ups like making these imaginative little gardens.
This page focuses on the broken pot gardens. How they are made. How to accessorize them. What plants work well for them.
Get ready for some fun making one of these.
The Elements Used in Their Garden
Plants: kalenchoe (pink flowers), cockscomb (red and also yellow flowers), moss,
Other Elements: small gravel, fragments of the pot for steps, larger stones on each step, small painted mushrooms, a fairy house and two small fairy figures.
Here's Jenna's description of her project: "I got lots of ideas from Pinterest, And did my research first and loved the look of the broken pot gardens. I started with three terracotta pots:- the main large one, a medium for the front level, and a small one. I broke my pot kinda like cracking
I started with three terracotta pots:- the main large one, a medium-sized one for the front level, and a small one. I broke my pot kinda like cracking an egg, on the edge of some concrete. I smashed it way too hard but still managed to make use of all the pieces and the soil really holds it together, " just tap it lightly"!! All my moss was from a friend. They had found it for me under a leaking air conditioner, I spray it with water daily. I tried to use shrubbery to suit
All my moss was from a friend. They found it for me under a leaking air conditioner. I spray it with water daily. I tried to use shrubbery to suit my conditions, But did place a little palm in just because it was cute.
My fairy house and ornaments were from an online shop called Garden Sparkle. They have the most enchanting little pieces. My next project is to make a fairy waterhole with a fountain."
Here's a Bigger View of the Broken Pot Fairy Garden
Tell Me about Your Fairy Gardening Experience
Broken Pots Turned into Fairy Gardens - Lots of Examples
Do You Have a Broken Clay Pot?
The broken pot fairy gardens that I've seen use fairly large clay pots. These are plain, quite ordinary red clay pots.
I've seen some pretty ones done with colorful glazed pots. One was a brilliant blue.
Look around your garden shed or back porch to see if you happen to have a damaged pot already. Even one with a crack in it is a good excuse to grab it for your project.
No Broken Pot? - You Can Get One to Break for This Project
I'd suggest asking all your friends first and looking around at yard sales and thrift stores. Maybe you can find an inexpensive pot to break for your project. You never know what you'll find at Goodwill or the Salvation Army.
Yard sale prices are often just ten cents on the dollar. If you don't spot any right away, ask the seller if they have any flower pots. Here are my tips for Yard Sales.
If you can't find one, then you can buy a perfectly good pot to transform into a broken pot. You can even order one from Amazon if you want one delivered to your door.
How to Cut the Pot into Pieces
Cutting the pot is a job for the grown-up. The site below recommends soaking the pot before cutting with the special tool. Do this outside as there is a lot of dust. Read her article for more tips.
- Broken Pot Garden- Home for a Gnome! | The Garden Diaries
This professional gardener shows the steps for cutting a section out of the pot's side. She used a Dremel tool with a carbide tile cutting tip. Go to her page to see how she did this.
- The Realm of Fairy- Creating Fairy Gardens | The Garden Diaries
This is another page from that same gardener. She gives a great list of plants and materials to use with a fairy garden. Check out the tutorial for the tiny house with pine cone petals forming the roof.
Cut the Pot with a Rotary Tool - Like the Dremel Shown Here
I would think you could score along the line where you want the pot to break. Then tap it with a mallet to break along that scored line.
I noticed in one video that she was not bothering with a tool like this. She just put the pot on a soft surface and tapped with a hammer to break off smaller pieces to place where she wanted.
Be alert to sharp points on the shards of pottery, particularly if using a ceramic pot. You can sand these edges down with the rotary tool.
One Method for Cutting a Clay Pot with a Dremel
Dremel Tile Cutting Bit
Find Ideas on Pinterest
Look for Moss for the Miniature Garden
I'm fortunate that I have some great moss growing right in my own yard. Look around in shady areas, maybe you have some too. Check with your friends if they have any in their yards. It doesn't take much for this project.
If not, you can order some from Amazon. I don't have any luck finding it at local garden centers.
More Tips for Planting Moss in a Miniature Garden
- Almost every fairy garden that I've seen includes some moss. It's the perfect low-growing plant for a miniature garden. The plush moss is easy to care for and there are many kinds to choose from. Here's an article with more detail on this: Plant Moss In Your Fairy Garden.
Moss Suitable for a Miniature Garden
Demonstration of Placing the Parts of the Broken Pot and Planting It
Choose Some Succulents for the Mini Garden in Pot
Succulent plants are ones like hen-and-chicks. They come in a wonderful variety. The really tiny ones look great snuggled up next to a larger one in a fairy garden.
Some have thorns so I'd avoid the thorny ones if you're working with a child on this project. The collection shown here doesn't appear to have any thorns with it.
They send off shoots with new plants, so check with your gardening friends. They might have starts to give you.
You Can Order a Selection of Succulents Online
Check with Friends for Plant Starts
Notice the succulent shown below. It has babies all around it. If you have a gardening friend, they can probably give you a start from their plant.
Use Succulents for the Cracked Pot Garden
Cover all bare soil with plants, moss, or stones so the dirt won't wash away when you water.
Here's Another Succulent
Top Your Potted Fairy Garden with This Charming House - It's just the right size for the little people
Video Showing How to Make a Fairy Garden in a Broken Pot
Ways to Involve the Child with This Project
- Have them collect smooth pebbles to make a walkway up to the fairy garden. They can use the pebbles to make steps going up the side or to secure the soil between plants.
- If you need the pot broken down into smaller bits for steps or to bank the soil. Cover the broken piece of the pot with a rug and let the child pound on it a few times. The rug should keep shards from flying about.
- Have the child accompany you to a nursery and choose the right size plants for the project.
- Let them choose which plant to place where in the planter. If they are fairly dexterous show them how to situate the roots in the soft soil and to press the soil around the plant to hold it in place.
- Find odds and ends around the house that can be made into accessories for the fairy garden. They can glue together popsicle sticks to make a sign. Let them decide on the wording like "Fairies welcome" or "Mike's Garden." They can mark that on the sign with a medium point marker.
- Let them keep the plants green and healthy. Give them a plastic spray bottle (one is shown below) and show them how to fill it. Then let them mist the ferns and mosses and succulents to keep them thriving.
More Tips for Planting a Broken Pot Garden with Succulents
Invite a Fairy to Your Garden
More by Virginia Allain, the Fairy Garden Specialist
- Fairy Garden Plants And Ideas
One of the hottest gardening trends now is miniature gardens known as fairy gardens. Fun for adults and for children, these use small plants, mosses and tiny scenes created with houses, paths and more.
- Best Herbs For Fairy Gardens
Herbs are a natural for the miniature landscape. Entice fairies and elves to visit and live in your garden by planting the right herbs to appeal to them.
- Fairy Gardening for Creative Kids
Fairy Gardens are popular with all ages. Introduce a child to gardening in a fun way with a tiny garden just right for fairies. They will get hours of entertainment adding to their own mini-garden.
- Unique Containers for Fairy Gardens
People create fairy gardens in their yard or in containers to enjoy on their porch or inside. Some are quite creative in the choice of containers. Need some ideas? Here are some.
Be on the Lookout for Miniature Pieces to Use in the Fairy Garden
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 Virginia Allain
Tell Me Your Ideas for a Fairy Garden
peachy from Home Sweet Home on July 08, 2015:
i have never thought of using broken flower pots, clever idea
firstname.lastname@example.org on March 18, 2015:
Amazing, what you can do with broken pots
seegreen on July 29, 2014:
Really great idea. I probably have a broken pot at the back of my overgrown yard. Maybe I will even find a fairy there!
Susanna Duffy from Melbourne Australia on July 27, 2014:
beautiful! and what wonderful ideas for broken pots!
gottaloveit2 on June 05, 2014:
Such great ideas. Thanks! I can do some of these with my pottery.
Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on April 12, 2014:
Such a cute idea and a fun way to introduce children to container gardening. I can see using some trailers, such as purple sweet alyssum, in the taller sections of the largest pot to give the garden a colorful bouquet of hair.
Virginia Allain (author) from Central Florida on July 31, 2013:
@hntrssthmpsn: Brilliant idea. Please let me know when you post it so I can come see it.
hntrssthmpsn on July 31, 2013:
These are too cute! I do most of my gardening with the help of a boisterous dog, so I have about 40 broken clay pots. I found a cute tutorial a while back on pinterest for doing little "haunted" scenes in bottles, and I'm tempted to merge it with this idea for Halloween... dark little fairy gardens lining the path to the house would be just too perfect.
Virginia Allain (author) from Central Florida on July 23, 2013:
@anonymous: Have fun with it!
anonymous on July 23, 2013:
Great tips and compilation of ideas. I have a pot that is mid-split and has a fairy garden destiny.
Itaya Lightbourne from Topeka, KS on July 23, 2013:
What a lovely idea to make use of your broken pots! So cute. :)
Elyn MacInnis from Shanghai, China on July 23, 2013:
What a great idea. I can see using different sorts of pots and coming out with really different looks.
DebW07 on July 22, 2013:
I really like this idea. What a fun way to use a broken flower pot.
poppy mercer from London on July 22, 2013:
These ideas are really lovely. I'm inspired to make one myself.
Scott A McCray on July 21, 2013:
Cool idea...now for some time. *sigh*
Anthony Altorenna from Connecticut on July 20, 2013:
Great idea! There always seems to be another cracked terracotta pot lying around, and this is fun way to re-purpose the broken pieces.
Michelle Mafra from Corona CA on July 20, 2013:
NC Shepherd on July 20, 2013:
I love these little gardens! Just what I need for my doorstep.
Angela F from Seattle, WA on July 19, 2013:
June Campbell from North Vancouver, BC, Canada on July 19, 2013:
This is a totally wonderful idea. I LOVE the little fairy gardens. Perfect for a balcony,.
burntchestnut on July 14, 2013:
What a cool idea! I've seen art projects using broken china or glass, but not garden pots.
Virginia Allain (author) from Central Florida on July 14, 2013:
@anitabreeze: when you see a pin you like, click on the picture and it should take you to the original site (blog or web page) and hopefully they have more instructions there.
anitabreeze on July 14, 2013:
I have some of those same broken pot gardens on my pin boards as well! I have been wondering how to go about making one. Thanks for the inspiration!
Dianeyp LM on July 13, 2013:
I love the spiral step one, these are cute!
Rose Jones on July 10, 2013:
This is amazing! I had no idea you could do so much with a broken pot. Fairies need some place nice to live.
ChristyZ on July 10, 2013:
Very cute and creative!