If you have younger kids in your home and you love container gardens, one good way to give them the gardening bug is to help them plant a fairy garden. A fairy garden is a miniature garden setting planted in either containers or directly in the ground. When you help your kids plant a fairy garden in containers, you have the advantage of moving it through the season as sunlight and shade patterns change.
Planting a potted fairy garden is like decorating the rooms of a house. First select your pot and some dirt. Good containers for a fairy garden should be well-drained.
Pick out your hardscapes such as decorative marbles or mulch to make a path. Then add furniture, such as a doll’s park bench, a miniature gazebo or even a tiny little house for the fairy to live in. Although you can find many tiny garden accessories in craft stores, it’s also fun to make your own. Some examples of great-looking homemade items include mini bent-twig fences and shell birdbaths.
Lastly, add tiny plants. If you combine several plants in a pot, they should all have the same lighting and water requirements. Good plants for a fairy garden are miniature plants, plants with a slow growing habit and plants that attract butterflies such as purple coneflower. Some other good plants include:
Herbs- Dill attracts butterflies, thyme is slow growing. Mint has a good fragrance. Chamomile has tiny, apple-scented flowers. Rosemary has a pine scent and tiny white flowers. Lavender produces tiny purple flowers on tall spikes.
Succulents – Hens and chicks is a tiny, squat plant that produces daughter plants from basal offshoots. Creeping sedum provides an unusual trailing appearance.
Flowers – Ajuga ‘Chocolate Chip’ is a dark, arching plant that produces unusual blue flower spikes. Petunias are trailing plants with trumpet-shaped flowers that are easy to care for. Miniature sunflowers and miniature roses provide the beauty of full-sized plants without the height. Foxglove was once known as “fairy glove,” for its unusual flower shape. Cosmos come in perfectly shaped flowers that have a variety of colors. Hollyhocks have blossoms with an unusual bell shape.
Grass- Blue fescue grows in ball shaped tufts that look unusual in container gardens.
Shade – Fairies love shady, damp locations. Containers planted here have a secret garden quality about them. For shady containers, select moss, bleeding hearts, ferns and impatiens.