A fairy garden by design is a miniature garden complete with structure, accessories and living plants. It's a nice tiny space designed to lure in good luck through visits from fairies and pixies.
There are as many ways to design a fairy garden as there are gardeners to design them. Designs can include anything from Classical, Gypsy, Country, Fantasy, Gothic, anything you can dream up.
Mini and small hostas continue to be a popular staple in the fairy garden. They perfectly fit the bill as great fairy garden plants for a number of reasons including:
- They're perennial plants. They can give you years of enjoyment instead of just one season.
- They're easy to maintain. Hostas are well known for their toughness as well as their beauty.
- They grow slowly so there's no need to switch them out yearly unless you want to.
- There are small-leafed varieties that complement the small accessories used in fairy gardens.
- They're low growing. Mini hostas are hostas less than 8" at mature height and small hostas are hostas that grow between 9" and15" in mature height.
Here are some basic steps for designing a fairy garden that is beautiful, easy to maintain and one that fairies will want to visit to bring you good luck.
Although you can create a fairy garden straight into your garden area or under a tree, a raised container will allow viewers to see the small details up close.
Choosing a Container
Countless objects have been used to create a fairy garden. The above-pictured tire is an awesome idea!
Other ideas include wooden boxes, teacups, large hypertufa (concrete) planters, birdbaths, large round tins, half barrels.
Again, the choices are only limited by your imagination.
The general guideline: Remember that the size of the accessories dictates the scale, not the plants!
For a container 10" in diameter and larger, use accessories on a 1” scale.
For smaller pots, 10" in diameter and under, use accessories of 1/2" scale
- Small birdhouses can be used as houses.
- Paths can be made of pea gravel.
- Small rocks can be used to create a bridge or wishing well.
- Water in a small clay saucer can simulate a pond or lake.
- Fences can be made from toothpicks
- Ladders out of sticks.
- A welcoming door in a tree can be made of carved wood scraps.
- A seashell upside down filled with water can look like a refreshing pool or lake.
- Decks or a boardwalk can be made out of popsicle sticks or craft twigs.
- Got extra fabric? Make a Swinging hammock or maybe a clothesline.
And don't forget the classic toadstool!
Filling the Container
- Make sure the container has several drainage holes.
- Spread a half-inch layer of pea-sized gravel at the bottom for drainage.
- Add the soil. For any mini garden, the soil is crucial for keeping the plants healthy. The soil you use will depend on the plants you use but any soil you use needs to be very porous. You can add some bits of bark to look more natural. If you're using mini or small hostas, any fertile well-draining soil will do.
- No landscape is completely flat, so give the ground some hills and valleys
Before you add the plants, it's time to choose your location; shade or sun or half and half.
Deciding whether your fairy garden will be in shade or sun is the first order of business. This will determine the types of plants you can plant there and may also help you with deciding on a theme.
Choosing plants that have the same or similar needs for water and sun is ideal. If you view the fairy garden from the front, plant the taller plants in the back.
If you can view it from all sides, taller in the middle is very appealing. Many people feel adding at least one tree-like item will make it appear like a more natural landscape.
Let's start with the shade to part shade. Hostas are perfect!
Here at Sunset Hosta Farm, we grow and sell many hostas that fit the bill for fairy gardens. All of the hostas listed below can take some direct morning sun with afternoon full or dappled shade. The more sun they receive, though, the more water they will need.
Click on the name for more pictures.
Mighty Mouse 8"
Cherry Tart 10"
Maui Buttercups 10"
Tick Tock 10"
Other plant choices for shade include Irish Moss, Veronica, Mini Violets and angel vines for climbers or low-growing moss for grass.
Plant choices for sunnier spots include Lamium, Corsican Mint, French Thyme ground cover, Alyssum, Ajuga.
Any low-growing sedum like Elizabeth, Dragons Blood, Blue Star Creeper, Hens & Chicks, Small ornamental grasses like Little Bunny.
Fairy gardens continue to be a popular feature in gardens, and mini and small hostas are a great addition to them!
Where to go next!