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Springtime is upon us! Well, almost. There may still be snow on the ground and a chill in the air, but the signs of spring, at long last, are sure to appear like magic in the coming weeks. With the turning of the seasons comes the opportunity to return to the miniature gardens and fairy gardens that we love so much. Is your garden ready for a refresh? While you are waiting patiently (or not so patiently) for the weather to warm, you can get a head start on Mother Nature by readying your container-based fairy gardens. There is no need to wait, especially since miniature plants and fairy garden accessories can now be shipped all over the country.
So, where does one start? Fairy gardens are some of the most simple, elegant, and enjoyable features of any yard, patio, or other home space. First, you will want to choose a suitable container. From pots and planters to tubs, boxes, and tins, there is an entire world of variety to choose from when making decisions. Add potting soil to create a base for all the additions, such as miniature plants, fairy furniture, fairy houses, pebbles, moss, and so much more. When it comes to fairy gardens, the only limit is your imagination. When you are finished, children and adults will take joy in imagining the garden fairies, gnomes, trolls, pixies, and other forest friends adventuring through the garden. Miniature gardens allow us to build entirely new worlds and use our creativity boundlessly. What a treat!
Sketch It Out
Once you have chosen a container and filled it with the potting soil of your choice, you may want to “sketch out” your design for the fairy garden, either by drawing it out on paper or using your hands to create lines and divots in the soil to represent miniature garden features. You will want to pay close attention to scale, matching fairy houses with miniature plants and accessories that are scaled correctly, reducing any visual confusion. To learn more about scale read blog articles, especially information on the Minikin Scale. With a plan in mind, you are then ready to get planting!
Though the plants in your container may be small-scale, they can have outsized personalities. There is a whole world of miniature plants at your fingertips, from Zen-minded bonsai trees to desert succulents, creeping ground covers, and tiny shrubs. You can choose miniature trees that look just like their life-size counterparts, or search for fragrant flowers and alpine blooms that will add color and cheer. You can even match them to your garden, choosing a miniature hosta to match your large one, or adding cacti that are the spitting image of the tall ones in your desert garden. Just be sure to choose plants that need similar amounts of water and sunlight. If in your planning, you decide you want a miniature garden that does not need to be watered or watched whatsoever, you can choose faux plants instead of the real thing! These realistic-looking succulents, air plants, cacti, and trees add beauty and style without the need for a “green thumb.”
Landscaping Your Garden
Next, you can choose hardscape and other landscaping materials to add some pizazz to the miniature garden. Popular choices are fairy mulch, stepping stones, rustic pebbles, smooth glass pebbles, flat stones, and walkways. Create a walkway by using a mini path and patio mix with mosaic or porcelain stones. If you prefer a seaside, beach, or lakeside garden, you might consider using sand as a hardscape on top of the soil. Substitute blue glass pebbles for water, on which you might “float” a swan, inner tube, or even a miniature row boat!
Remember: before you add your hardscapes to the garden, it is wise to add garden fabric as a layer in between the soil and the hard material. Cut it to size, making holes to fit just around the living plants. This way, your soil and sand or pebbles will not naturally mix, but will instead stay tidy all season long.
Time to Accessorize
After building any paths, “water” features, or hardscaped areas, it is time to choose your fairy garden accessories. For some gardeners, this is the most enjoyable part of miniature gardening, as it adds flair and fun to an already gorgeous landscape. While it is not necessary to choose a theme, some do like to tie their fairy gardens together under a thematic umbrella. Here are just a few of our latest favorites:
• Magical Garden: Unicorns, wizards, castles
• Back to School: School bus, playground equipment, flag pole
• Birthday: Balloons, glitter, colorful flowers
• Wedding: Miniature church, fairy bride and groom, butterflies
• Wild West: Cowboy fairy house, bales of straw, cacti
No matter how you decide to decorate or theme your miniature garden, there are so many fairy garden accessories to choose from that you are sure to find minis that will be just the right fit! Miniature fairies, mermaids, dragons, animals, and other friends can add to the fun, too.
Once you have added soil, landscape materials, miniature plants, and miniature accessories, your container fairy garden is finished! Well, it is “finished” until you decide to mix it up, switch out the accessories, and build it anew. With miniature gardens, you can go back to the drawing board as often as you like, changing your themes to fit the season, a special occasion, or simply your mood. There is indeed no limit to the wondrous worlds, which can come to life in the magical miniature garden!
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