Miniature & Fairy Gardening

Create your own little world!

Fairies have long been fixtures in fables, myths and ancient folklore.  They are believed to bring good luck, prosperity and good health to those who own the gardens they inhabit.

Fairies are shy, yet playful creatures that frolic in the garden when you’re not looking.  You may even wake up to your garden in disarray from their night of mischievous partying and dancing.  You can welcome these fairies to your garden by setting up a miniature garden full of plants, furniture, houses and other whimsical features.

You may think that creating a fairy garden is a daunting task.  However, it is easier to do than ever as many garden centers, hobby and craft stores are catering to their customers’ obsession of miniature items. A project like this is for the young and old alike!  Both adults and children will enjoy the delightful surprises they bring at each turn. But we will forewarn you, miniature gardens can be highly addicting!

Containers, Construction & Location

Be sure to select a location for your miniature garden that protects your garden travelers from the elements, including human foot traffic, by taking advantage of the natural landscape.  Install your garden in the shade of a tree, garden bed or stump in a location with enough sun to meet the needs of your plant material.  Most plants prefer several hours of bright light per day. Some plants tolerate shade, but most will do better with plenty of sun.

Fairy gardens can not only be installed in the ground but also in containers such as flower pots, bowls, garden carts, wheelbarrows, whiskey barrels, suitcases or any other container large enough to fit your desired plants and accessories. Proper drainage is necessary to prevent soggy plant roots.  If your container does not have drainage holes, be sure to drill holes to help with drainage.

Before beginning the project, we suggest sketching your new garden on a sheet of paper to help mark where each plant and accessory is to go


If using a container, fill it with a good quality potting soil.  If planting in the ground, amend the soil to provide much needed nutrients for the plants.

If planting a garden to include hardy miniature trees, shrubs and perennials, use a planting mix such as 1/2 peat moss and 1/2 pine bark mulch

Miniature Plants

Just about any type of miniature or slow growing tree, shrub, perennial or flower can be incorporated into your fairy garden.  Be sure to select plants to fit the needs of the growing environment.  Many garden centers have a complete line of specified fairy plants but do not forget to shop the ground cover, alpine plant and herb sections of the nursery as well.

Herbs are always a smart choice because they start small and stay small with just a little trimming and offer abundant fragrance.  Thyme, creeping savory, oregano, marjoram, rosemary and sage are all good choices.

Be sure to also choose one or two plants to serve as tiny trees to set the scale for your garden.  Rosemary, sage, miniature evergreens and privet are good choices as they can be shaped and maintained into trees.

Dwarf grasses, ferns, succulents, lavender, miniature roses, miniature daisies, African violets, dianthus, coral bells, hosta and sweet flag can all serve as shrubbery while plants such as Iris moss, ivy, sedum, sweet woodruff, thyme, bugleweed and baby tears can serve as ground covers.

To plant, lower the plant’s roots into a hole then cover with potting mix, pressing gently with your hands.  Water the plants well until the soil feels damp.  Water again when the top inch of soil feels dry


Your fairies or other miniature garden dwellers will need homes to provide an outlet and hiding spot from humans.  This house can be any type of miniature dwelling including those you purchase as a fairy house or create one on your own. No matter what it is, the fairies will appreciate you for it

Fairies & Other Garden Dwellers

Fairies can be found at garden centers, craft stores and online sources in thousands of different shapes, sizes and colors. 

Miniature gardens are not just for fairies.  Garden gnomes can also find shelter in your fairy display.  Boys tend to prefer unconventional miniature garden beings such as dinosaurs, turtles, action figures and general farming


Adding accessories is what really brings your miniature garden to life!

Accessories can be either store-bought or homemade.  When you are out shopping, keep your miniature garden in mind.  Discover new items at garden centers, thrift stores, dollars stores and craft stores.  The dollhouse aisle of craft stores is a treasure trove of supplies!

Homemade items could include a house made from popsicle sticks, a twig arbor, acorn lids as plates and the use of leaves as placemats or blankets.  Moss can also be transformed into rugs.  Seashells can be used as birdbaths.  Buttons and bottle caps can be used as stepping stones.  A pretty marble affixed to a golf tee can represent a gazing ball.  Just let your imagination run wild!

Add some paths and streams out of colored stones and mirrors to resemble ponds and reflecting pools.

Benches, picnic tables and toadstools can all sever as seating.  To make your own toadstools, paint wooden drawer knobs found at hardware stores red (or any other color) and add white dots on the top.

Miniature fences, bridges, swings, signs, a mailbox or wishing well really can add to your gardens appeal.

The fairies will also be thankful for some pots and garden tools as well as a tiny watering can and a bundle of twigs to use as firewood.

Don’t forget the fairy dust!  Add a sprinkle of this magical dust to capture traces of the fairies as they travel through your garden

Care of Your Miniature Garden

Fairy gardens are ever growing, changing and evolving so general maintenance is required.  Be sure to water your garden regularly and gently prune any plantings that are getting unruly.  Feel free to change up your display or plantings at any time

Ready, Set, Go!

Now it’s time to get started.  Fill your magical gardens with homemade or store bought accessories and unleash your imagination , the possibilities are endless!