Fairy Garden Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

Create your own miniature landscape and fantasy land with a fairy garden. You don’t need a lot of space for one of these playful and imaginative gardens!

Fairy gardens fire the imagination and allow you to create a fantasy land anywhere, even on a tabletop. And fairy gardens are the perfect opportunity to give kids a taste of gardening in a fun and playful way.

Check out this collection of fairy gardens to give your imagination and creativity a head start.

Fairy Garden Ideas

A fairy garden is small, but how small is up to you. Some fairy gardens are planted in tea cups! Others take up a bit more real estate—say, in a hallowed-out tree stump, wheelbarrow, birdbath or whiskey barrel planter. The larger the fairy garden, the more options when it comes to incorporating hills, valleys, water features and multiple settings. While a small fairy garden might be limited to a small hobbit house, a larger one could include a whole neighborhood. Small fairy gardens have at least two advantages: they’re cheap to put together and portable enough to take in the house as indoor planters, if desired.

What are the Best Plants for a Fairy Garden?

Really, the best plants for a fairy garden are any that look like miniature versions of full-size plants. Bonsai are a natural and you can buy them inexpensively at big box stores rather than having to create one from scratch over the course of several years. Other options include calibrachoa, sedum, ageratum, gomphrena, Irish or Scotch moss, blue lobelia, sweet alyssum, dwarf conifers and a host of smaller sedums such as Angelina. Look for small plants that mimic the shapes of landscape plants: a round shrub, an upright tree. You can even use bare twigs to represent deciduous trees that have shed their leaves.

How Do You Water a Fairy Garden?

Once the fairy garden is planted, water plants deeply, ensuring excess water drains away. After that, you’ll probably have to water every other day, provided your miniature garden isn’t in all-day sunlight. In that case, daily watering will be necessary. Because of their small size, fairy gardens dry out quickly, so consider using a soilless potting mix containing a slow-release fertilizer and water-holding crystals to lessen maintenance. Keep the garden where it gets afternoon shade.

What is a Fairy Garden Kit?

If you’re not sure where to start, a fairy garden kit is a good option. It can be simple, inexpensive and kid-friendly, like this fairy garden house, or more extravagant, like this fairy garden village.

Once you have the structures in place, you can add small plants and paths, streams, picket a fence, arbor and, of course, a whimsical fairy or two. Fairy gardens have gone mainstream, so you can find kits and accessories on Amazon, eBay and Etsy, as well as crafts stores, big box stores and discount stores. Of course, half the fun is making your own creation with repurposed items (like a birdhouse turned into a fairy house). And often those items can be found in your garage, odds and ends drawer, craft supplies or at a thrift store or rummage sale.

Get Help

For more ideas on starting a fairy garden, visit independent garden centers, garden clubs and state fair displays. You can also learn more from The Miniature Garden Society.

Here are 10 of our favorite fairy garden accessories.

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Luke Miller
Luke Miller is an award-winning garden editor with 25 years' experience in horticultural communications, including editing a national magazine and creating print and online gardening content for a national retailer. He grew up across the street from a park arboretum and has a lifelong passion for gardening in general and trees in particular. In addition to his journalism degree, he has studied horticulture and is a Master Gardener.