Building a fairy garden is a delightful way to explore an imaginary world with your children. With just a few household and gardening items — and a belief in the magic of fairies — together, you can create a unique, whimsical fairy garden.
A fairy garden can be thought of as a tiny safe oasis for fairies — a place they can use when they’re through with their busy day of doing good deeds. If you have kids who aren’t really into fairies, build a dragon or dinosaur garden. The garden will ignite your children’s imaginations by giving them the opportunity to build, be creative, learn about nature, tell a story and just have some fun getting their hands dirty outside. The best part is it is so simple to build.
Plan the fairy garden landscape
Start by helping your kids make a plan for their garden. It can be as large or as small as you want. Ask your kids what they think the fairies would like. Then, begin to collect items you already have. A mix of new and old weathered objects gives the garden a charming appeal. Old broken pots work well for a fairy garden. You will need a container with holes for drainage, soil, moss, small plants and rocks. Use small rocks to create a path or walkway leading to the fairy’s home.Does your fairy want shade or sun? Would she like a chair or a swing? Does she need a house or does she live in the forest? Small fairy houses and other accessories can be purchased at a local garden center. Your child may have plenty of small toys to use as well.
Start the garden
After planning your garden, put some potting soil in a container and let your kids begin building it. Plant small plants as landscape and then decorate as you please.
Keep in mind if your fairy garden is going to be kept in the sun or the shade, choose plants accordingly. If you keep your garden inside it will need to be watered every few days or so, but if you keep your garden outside it may need to be watered every day. Just have your kids stick their fingers in the soil to see if it is dry and needs to be watered.
Let your children’s imaginations go wild
The magic of fairy gardens is the child’s story behind it. Ask your kids where they think the fairies go when they are not in the fairy house. How will the fairies use their special place?
Taking care of your fairy garden
Keep tabs on the fairy garden. You may need to cut and move plants as they grow. Your garden may also be affected by nature’s elements, so you may need to “remodel” the fairy garden from time to time. Make it a tradition to let your children choose a new item with each season. The beauty of fairy gardens is that they are flexible.
Enjoy your fairy garden. It is truly a magical learning experience to share with your kids and grow their interest in gardening. If you want to learn more before getting started, local greenhouses offer fairy garden classes.
This post, written by staff at Gulley Greenhouse, was originally published as an article in The Coloradoan, 03/28/14.