How to Create a Fairy Garden

Fairy Garden

Turn the right corner on a garden stroll, and you might discover a fairy garden – a tiny landscape complete with live plants and magical miniature decor. Sound like something out of a storybook? It doesn’t have to be. Read on to learn how to make a fairy garden right at home.

What is a fairy garden?

Fairy gardens are fantasy-inspired miniature gardens, often built in container gardens, terrariums, or small spaces. Typically, fairy gardens incorporate small plants, natural materials, and fairy garden accessories to create whimsical garden scenes. They’re great for gardening with kids, and can turn an unused part of your yard into a magical mini garden oasis.

Shady, secluded spots around trees, bushes, or stumps are great places for fairy gardens. Fairy houses, figurines, and other accessories can be purchased online and at garden centers, or made at home with a little creativity.

Planning your fairy garden

The two keys for planning a fairy garden are size and theme. Do you plan to nestle your fairy garden into a tiny nook, or let it sprawl out? Plotting out the area you plan to set up as a fairy garden will help you determine how to fill it with plants and garden features.

After you have an idea of your space, brainstorm what kind of scene you’d like to create in your fairy garden. Are you dreaming of a woodland village, or a fairy-sized estate? If you’re working with kids, talk to them about what kind of storyline they want to see. Let your imagination run wild!

What plants work well in a fairy garden?

Miniature plants are an obvious choice for a fairy garden, so search for ground cover plants, small succulents, and herbs to set the scene. Baby tears, miniature daisies, and Irish moss form a lush green bedding for your magical fairy garden, while dwarf conifer trees will lend it a woodland feel.

To maintain your fairy garden’s scale, you’ll need to tend to it regularly. Consider low-maintenance miniature options to keep it simple, and make sure you’re watering your plants appropriately and giving them enough light. This will prevent them from getting too leggy and losing that fairy-sized feel.

Looking to use your fairy garden to grow edible plants? Rosemary and lavender can be trimmed down to miniature size to resemble tiny trees, creating a tiny cottage garden harvest for you and your local fairies. And, if your fairy garden starts looking a little unruly, these plants can be transferred to a container garden or herb garden.

Tips for creating a fairy garden

After you’ve plotted out your garden space and picked out the perfect plants, it’s time to make your fairy garden come to life! These tips will help you craft the perfect fairy garden.

Get creative with containers

Container gardens provide both structure and flexibility for a fairy garden. They create a convenient area to bring to life, and they’re usually portable. This allows you to decide whether you want an indoor or outdoor fairy garden, as well as freeing you up to select the perfect placement for optimal light conditions and presentation.

If you decide to set up your fairy garden in a container, there are plenty of options. Terra cotta pots create a naturalistic feel, while more unique options like boxes, crates, and baskets can be lined with potting soil and given drainage holes for a creative touch.

Give your fairy garden a natural feel

To make your fairy garden inviting to local fairies, bring the yard around it into your design by incorporating natural materials. This will make your garden more eco-friendly and realistic to its environment, as well as less expensive.

Unsure where to start? The options are endless! Tree bark can be siding for fairy houses and sheds, acorns can be repurposed as fairy-sized trash and recycling bins, and even toadstools from a case of fairy ring can be transformed into miniature yard umbrellas.

Your garden, your style

Your fairy garden doesn’t have to stick to a whimsical woodland appearance. With the wide range of fairy garden supplies available, you can make it your own. Add a boho flair with this miniature camper trailer, or create a goth garden vibe with Victorian details like this black and red fairy door.

Personalize with DIY accessories

If you aren’t enchanted by online listings, making your fairy garden accessories yourself is a fun and thrifty way to add a personal touch to your fairy garden. With a few simple materials from the dollar store or craft store, it’s easy to make cozy fairy homes and miniature garden decor.

Looking for DIY fairy garden ideas? Try using overturned clay pots to build a tiny house for your fairies, or constructing a swing with jute twine and a piece of unfinished wood. You can even create a water feature with glass gems.

Populate your fairy garden with figurines

Miniature fairies aren’t just for dollhouses! Adding some little fairies or gnomes will complete its appearance and add extra excitement for those who stumble across your fairy garden. 

Intricately painted figurines are available for purchase online, and if you’re gardening with kids, this paint your own fairy kit is a fun and creative way to personalize your garden. Check your local garden store or favorite online retailer for options.

The final word

Fairy gardens are a fun way to add a little fantasy to your yard, but projects on a bigger scale will create a backyard wonderland that’s human-sized. If you’re eager to step into the enchanted garden of your dreams, our landscaping pros are ready to work their magic.

Main photo credit: RyanOverman | Shutterstock

Annie Parnell

Originally from the Washington, D.C., area, Annie Parnell is a freelance writer and audio producer based in Richmond, Virginia. She is passionate about gardening, outdoor recreation, sustainability, and all things music and pop culture.