Dusting of imagination: How to design a fairy garden
by Karen Garland
August 08, 2013 10:45 PM | 1366 views | 1 1 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Fairy gardening is a trend in gardening that is gaining popularity with all age groups.

For centuries the world has been fascinated with the thought that pixies live among us with the power to spread magic and mischief throughout our homes and gardens. While evidence of the existence of fairies is slim, adding a fairy garden to your own garden is an amusing way to participate in this centuries old tradition of trying to please the spirits and gain their favor. The good news is that you do not have to believe in fairies to have a garden brimming with charm and intrigue. You only have to have imagination, creativity, and the desire to have fun!

The basic idea of fairy gardening is gardening in miniature, creating the appearance that tiny pixies have taken up residence in your garden. Creating this type of garden is also a great opportunity to connect with children, by having them be a part of the process. They will find pleasure in planting and caring for these miniature havens brimming with charm and intrigue.

The best place to create a fairy garden is where someone will feel that they have simply “stumbled” upon or discovered a magical location. At first glance, someone might not see the little details that make your flowerbed or herb garden so special. Thus, take advantage of your natural landscape and create your fairy garden near the base of a tree or nestled against a hill, rock outcropping, or stump to protect it from the elements.

3 Steps to a Successful Fairy Garden

Step 1: Planning Your Garden

Before you begin, you should give some thought to the type or theme you would like to build. These gardens can be any size or shape ranging from an expansive flowerbed to a patio flowerpot. Gardens types to consider include woodland, flower, herb, placement near a water feature, or moon garden, since many fairies are nocturnal.

Step 2: Choosing Plants

Most fairy gardens have a combination of flowering plants, herbs, and ornamental grasses. Additionally, they should be eco-friendly, organic, and a great habitat for native wildlife too. In fact, most of the plants that are rumored to attract fairies also attract birds, butterflies and bees. Use small or low growing plants, keeping in mind scale and proportion.

These are just a few of the flowers and plants that can be used in fairy gardens.

Colorful flowers, including fairy rose, coneflowers, coral bells, daisies, poppies, and calendula.

Herbs, such as lavender, oregano, thyme, savory, sage, scented geranium, chives and rosemary

Trees, including apple, holly, ash, hawthorne, elder, and oak

Mosses, ferns, and ornamental grasses

Step 3: Planting and Creating Your Garden

It may be useful to section off an area for your fairy gardens with some type of border, miniature fencing, or rocks. However, try to avoid being overly organized, as fairy gardens should appear natural and as “wild” as possible. Once the desired living elements are in place, consider adding fun additions that make the garden appear as if it is inhabited.

Add a small house that encourages fairies to make their homes in your garden. Craft one out of rocks, twigs, and bark.

Create meandering paths with stones, gravel, or bark that will give it a storybook feel.

Consider adding a small pond in your garden, placing a tiny boat tied off the shore made from bark.

Flat stones are popular additions to garden areas. Myths say that fairies like to sit on them to sun themselves and dry the morning dew from their wings.

Wind chimes are a welcome addition. They add an inviting sound to the area.

Unleash your imagination and fill your garden with magical, tiny details, including furniture, such as beds, tables, and chairs made of natural materials. The possibilities are limitless!

Information about Extension Solutions for Homes and Gardens can be found on the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension website, www.caes.uga.

edu/extension/cherokee ; or contact the Cherokee County Extension Office, 100 North St., Suite G21, Canton, GA, 770-479-0418. The Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program is a volunteer training program offered through county offices of the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

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Joanne Crosby
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January 13, 2014
Your article has made itsway through my family via fridge posting at the holidaze and will soon be given to a neighbor as part of her b'day gift. Thx. Joanne
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