Ideas for a Fairy Garden

You Can Make a Fairy Garden in One Afternoon

Jamie McIntosh

If your fairy garden is indoors, choose flowering houseplants that can take the low light conditions. Miniature African violets won’t grow larger than six inches in diameter and will produce tiny flowers constantly given the right light, moisture, and fertilizer. Like standard African violets, miniature plants appreciate bright indirect light or fluorescent light. Allow soil to dry out between watering, and never permit your plants to suffer from wet feet. Finally, fertilize the plants monthly with a special African violet food to keep the blossoms coming.

  • 01 of 11

    The Fairy Sitting Area

    Miniature garden furniture in Fairy Garden
    Jamie McIntosh

    In addition to miniature patio furniture, a tiny trellis complements the fairy garden. In lieu of a flowering vine, you can substitute a small creeping flowering plant, which you can train over the trellis as if it were a vine. Try wooly thyme, which sports pink blooms in the spring, or Mazus reptans, which comes in purple and white flowering varieties.

    Continue to 2 of 11 below.
  • 02 of 11

    Repurpose and Recycle

    Broken terracotta pots made into fairy garden.
    Jamie McIntosh

    Any flower gardener who uses terra cotta pottery regularly will probably end up with at least one cracked or broken piece, and this is a clever way to reuse it in the fairy garden. Chunks of broken rim become stairs, and tiny creeping plants and sphagnum moss stop erosion from ruining the effect. Plants like the pink polka dot plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) included in this garden will need to be pruned often to stay within bounds.

    Continue to 3 of 11 below.
  • 03 of 11

    Small Ponds

    Fairy Garden Ponds
    Jamie McIntosh

    A water feature in the fairy garden may need frequent cleaning, as you can’t install the pumps and filters that a standard pond would have. A drop of bleach will help keep the water fresh, discourage mosquitoes, and squelch algae growth, especially in sunny situations. If this adds too much maintenance to the garden, get the look of water with a small mirror or piece of blue-glazed ceramic.

    Continue to 4 of 11 below.
  • 04 of 11

    Pretty Pink Plants

    Fairy statue amongst Pink Garden Plants
    Jamie McIntosh

    Pink flowering kalanchoe plants are tropical succulents that thrive in high light and arid conditions, so combine them with plants that need similar growing conditions. The plants can handle some additional moisture provided you give them excellent drainage. The pink foliage plant growing alongside the kalanchoe is the succulent Setcreasea, a variant of the common wandering Jew plant.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    Fairy Garden Path

    Miniature house in fairy garden.
    Jamie McIntosh

    When designing a fairy garden, it’s common to overdo the tiny theme with an overabundance of miniature plants and accessories, but adding a few large items adds scale and perspective to a small landscape. Instead of a sprinkling of shiny pebbles, larger pieces of flagstone make a grand path leading up to the fairy garden house.

    Continue to 6 of 11 below.
  • 06 of 11

    Keep the Blooms Coming

    Fairy Garden House
    Jamie McIntosh

    Some popular fairy garden plants, like this kalanchoe, have a limited blooming time, leaving the garden without color for much of the season. Leave the focal plant in its pot, and switch out the container for a different plant when the flowers taper off. This also allows for seasonal themes like a Christmas fairy garden to be implemented.

    Continue to 7 of 11 below.
  • 07 of 11

    Bright Foliage

    Miniature bench and fairy statue among plants.
    Jamie McIntosh

    Chartreuse leaves work just as well a vivid foil against purple African daisy flowers in a fairy garden as they would in a standard garden. The small landscape of the fairy garden makes the color choice in garden design especially important, as too many colors in a small space can appear cluttered. Better to stick with two or three complementary colors, like pink and white, yellow and blue, or purple and green.

    Continue to 8 of 11 below.
  • 08 of 11

    Fairy Garden Accessories

    Miniature furniture in a fairy garden.
    Jamie McIntosh

    A periwinkle blue metal gazebo and matching bridge allow you to express your love for color in a way you might not do in a standard scale garden. Fairy garden accessories come in a wide range of materials, including resin, ceramic, metal, and stone. Invest in high-quality pieces that won’t crack or fade if your fairy garden will be permanently housed outdoors.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    Fairy Garden Decor

    Miniature house and furniture in fairy garden.
    Jamie McIntosh

    A stepping-stone for a standard-sized garden becomes an embellished patio in a fairy garden.

    Continue to 10 of 11 below.
  • 10 of 11

    A Tiny Lawn

    Miniature furniture and fairy statue in garden.
    Jamie McIntosh

    Although it would be nearly impossible to keep lawn grass in a pleasing shape for the fairy garden, Scotch moss makes a fine stand-in for a fairy lawn. As a bonus, this slow-spreading perennial produces dainty white flowers in the spring.

    Continue to 11 of 11 below.
  • 11 of 11

    Rustic Furniture

    Fairy Garden Furniture
    Jamie McIntosh

    If you’re a do-it-yourself gardener, or you just prefer natural garden materials to purchased ones, consider creating fairy garden furniture from twigs you collect.