Eh do you really mean…? Well, yes sort of. Taking care of and tending a garden, big or small, is a wonderful challenge. Planting plants that nurture all the visitors, that during the seasons pass through and inhabit 'our' space, is not to be taken lightly. When done with the right attitude, it creates beauty and in beauty lies magic and that is what we here translate to mean 'fairies'.
There are so many more things going on in our gardens than most of us realize. Beyond the superficial glance we most often cast while passing through, it has a life of its own. Because of the recent focus on the decline of bees and butterflies like the Monarch and the hazards we know birds experience navigating their migration routes, the interest in planting butterfly, bee and why not fairy friendly gardens has risen.
We can all do our part by treating the gardens that we have with the respect they deserve. Place bird houses around the yard for the various birds you want to attract and retain. Fit in a birdbath here and there for the birds and the butterflies. Hold off on pesticides and learn to live with a certain amount of 'damage'. The garden is not a static place, it changes and renews itself constantly. A leaf made into a brocade of little holes will grow back again and in the process some creature had its meal.
Some perennials that attract and feed the butterflies, bees and the birds include: monarda, asclepias, asters and coneflowers. These are all wonderful plants. All very hardy, easy to grow and pretty plants that will attract wildlife and maybe, just maybe, some garden fairies as well.
The Lay of the Land
Send some kids out in a garden and within no time they will have found magic. Underneath a large leaved plant, 'Who is living here?' they will wonder? By an old tree stump they might ask 'Maybe the garden fairies are living here?'
Wander out there with them and they will show you where your fairy garden shall be planted.
Plants in Small Fairy Garden Containers
It can be a bit daunting to choose what to plant in a fairy garden or terrarium. To help you pick the right plants, and succeed, we planted up some containers with similar plant types, grouped the way you use them. Our favorite long blooming plants, plants that are great for a ground cover/lawn etc. These are some of our top performing plants at miniature-gardening.
Take a look in the video gallery. It features close up's of the individual plants with the plant name right on the picture for easy identification.
Terrarium Plants – for the Fairy Garden or Terrarium
Plants that can tolerate or prefer medium to low light indoor conditions and likes the humidity of an enclosed space.
Asparagus setaceus, Asparagus Plumosa, Plumosa Fern (not pictured). Super fine green foliage that adds height and texture in a planter. Needs full to part shade and moist soil. Trim off occasional tall shoots. It has thorns so please be careful.
Hypoestes phyllostachya, Confetti, Polka Dot Plant. A wonderful plant with bright pink leaves featuring a dark pattern. Part shade to full shade. Moist soil. Needs to be trimmed back when it starts blooming/bolting.
Pilea glauca, Red Stem Pilea, Silver Sprinkles. Easy to grow, low to mounding growth habit. Silver blue foliage with short red stems in between. Can be grown in full sun as well as shade.
Ficus pumila, Variegated, Creeping Fig. Vigorous vining plant. Can grow up against a wall with its suction cup like growth. Moist soil. Easy.
Ficus pumila, Creeping Fig Vine. Vigorous vining plant. Can grow up against a wall with its suction cup like growth. Moist soil. Easy.
Pilea microphylla variegata, Tricolor, Artillery Fern. Looks like a succulent but requires moist soil. Almost white succulent looking foliage with pink hues. Easy to trim back if it grows too tall.
Selaginella kraussiana, Spikemoss. Can't make a terrarium without planting moss! Needs moist soil and part to full shade to thrive.
Fittonia argyroneura, Mosaic Plant. Tropical, creeping perennial. Discontinued.
Soleirolia soleirolii, Baby Tears, Green. Sweet plant grown on its own in a pot. Easy. Likes moist soil and shade. If getting too moundy cut it back hard, and it will quickly grow back.
Low Growing Sedums – for the Fairy Garden
Most, but not all of this selection, are hardy sedums that can be used in the larger outdoor fairy garden.
Sedum japonicum, Tokyo Sun, Stonecrop. Non hardy. Can be used in smaller containers. Full sun and good drainage. Makes cute little mounds. Can be trimmed back if it gets too tall for its particular spot.
Sedum cyaneum, Rosenteppich, Stonecrop. Full sun, well drained soil. Excellent foliage and beautiful rosy-pink flowers in mid to late summer.
Sedum, Little Missy, Stonecrop. A lovely small variegated sedum. Full sun and good drainage.
Sedum makinoi, Ogon, Stonecrop. Non hardy. Zone 7. This one can be used in a fairy garden container as well. The golden ground hugging habit is excellent for many uses. Full sun and good drainage is required.
Sedum spathulifolium, Cape Blanco, Stonecrop. Well behaved and slow spreading. Lovely small yellow flowers in summer. Full sun and good drainage.
Sedum rupestre, Angelina, Stonecrop. Takes on wonderful orange tones in the fall and after the winter. Great ground cover. Full sun and good drainage. Spreads rapidly. Should be used in an outdoor fairy garden or as a ground cover. It is too big for a small container. Hardy.
Sedum spurium, Fuldaglut, Stonecrop. Pink flowers in June. Great ground cover. Full sun and good drainage. Spreads rapidly. Should be used in an outdoor fairy garden or as a ground cover. It is too big for a small container.
Sedum dasyphyllum, Blue Surprise, Stonecrop. Great blue color. Full sun and good drainage.
Lawn/Ground Cover Type Plants for the Fairy Garden
When planting a fairy garden you need a plant that can be a stand in for the lawn area you would find in a common yard. These plants work well for that purpose.
Thymus serpyllum, Elfin, Thyme. Very fine lawn substitute. Full sun. Spreads. Medium grower.
Leptinella squalida, Platt's Black, Brass Buttons. Looks like tiny dark ferns. Used as a ground cover more than a lawn due to the color. Very vigorous. Just pull out some of it if it gets a bit out of control. Easy. Grow in medium to moist soil in full to part shade.
Mentha requienii, Mint Corsican. Grow moist. Not edible but has a very strong mint fragrance. Ground hugging. Spreads vigorously.
Sagina subulata, Irish Moss. Green moss like growth but for full sun. Hardy. Will reseed between flag stones and pavers. Grow outside. Will get leggy if grown in a fairy garden inside without enough light.
Sagina subulata, Aurea, Scotch Moss. The chartreuse version of Irish Moss. Same growing condition.
Leptinella gruveri, Fairy Fern. Same requirements as Platt's Black but this one is green and perfect for a lawn application.
Sedum mentha requienii, Miniature Stonecrop. The smallest sedum we have ever seen. Very low growing. Needs regular waterings or it might get dark little brown wilt close to the main stems.
Lysimachia japonica, Minutissima, Tiny Moneywort. Golden flowers on this tiny plant. Good lawn substitute. Needs moisture. Medium grower.
Thymus pseudolanuginosus, Wooly, Thyme. Silvery, fragrant foliage. Full sun. Hardy.
Hen and Chicks – for the Fairy Garden
Who doesn't love these easy to care for, and super hardy perennials? The babies or chicks can be broken off and used in small fairy garden containers. They are useful in so many ways, planted in a topiary moss animal, picture frames or used in any container really. Because hen and chicks thrive in little soil, and literally no attention at all during the season, the applications are endless. These are our favorite picks. They display a range of colors and all perform well.
Sempervivum, Montfort, Hens and Chicks. Our most popular hen and chick. Excellent coloring. Plant in sandy to gritty and well drained soil and in full sun is needed.
Jovibarba Hirta, Borealis Red, Jovibarba. Very small chicks fall off and start new families. Sandy to gritty and well drained soil in full sun.
Sempervivum tectorum, Oddity, Hen and Chicks. Unusual thin tube or toe like appearance. Full sun and grow in sandy soil.
Sempervivum, Ineke, Hen and Chicks. Desert plant. Requires gritty, fast-draining soil and thrives in full hot sun. The neat rosettes multiply freely by runners that form dense colonies. Quite frost resistant.
Sempervivum Chick Charms, Gold Nugget, Hen and Chicks. The newest plant for the fairy garden. This is the first bright gold hen and chick on the marked. Will have the most color in the cooler temperatures of early spring and fall. Likes sandy to gritty and well drained soil in full sun.
Sempervivum arachnoideum, Cobweb, Hen and Chicks. Webbing across the top of the rosettes. Sandy to gritty and well drained soil in full sun.
Sempervivum, Sir William Lawrence, Hens and Chicks. Great coloring with red markings on the tips. Sandy to gritty and well drained soil in full sun.
Sempervivum, Red Nails, Hen and Chicks. Red rosettes that change color when the temperature cools. Easy to grow in full sun to partial shade. Do best in coarse, sandy soil. Tolerates frosty conditions.
Sempervivum arachnoideum, Tiniest of Tiny, Cobweb Hen and Chicks. Darlings of today's xeriscape, trough and rooftop gardens. Really a desert plant. Wants sharply draining, gritty soil and full hot sun. The neat rosettes multiply freely by runners that form dense colonies.
Sempervivum, Plastic, Hen and Chicks. A unique, thick texture. Plant in sandy to gritty, well drained soil. Full sun. Discontinued.
Sempervivum, Fairy Glow, Hen and Chicks (not pictured). Green with red tips. Grow in well drained soil.
Long Blooming Plants – for the Fairy Garden
Plants that bloom is often the first consideration when planning a fairy garden. To choose a plant that continues to bloom all summer is a big plus. You thereby avoid having to disturb the carefully matured landscape of a fairy garden. Some plants bloom longer than others. The plants we describe here are all long blooming plants, that will grow well for you, if planted and cared for according to the needs of the plant.
Erodium x variabile, Flora Plena, Heron's Bill. This is a blooming machine. Small lavender flowers keep being produced. Most of them double. Grow in well drained soil. Medium moist.
Erodium variabile, Bishop Form, Heron's Bill. Larger plant and flowers than Flora Plena but same habit and growing conditions.
Oxalis Plum Crazy, Shamrock. Features yellow flowers but is grown more for the pretty pink shamrock foliage. It occasionally makes dark brown shoots that needs to be pinched off to keep the pink look. Easy to grow and easy to trim back if it out grows its placement.
Ageratum, Hawaii Blue, Floss Flower. Use this one as a blue hydrangea in the fairy garden. Easy to grow. Dead head a couple times during the summer.
Cuphea hyssopifolia, Tiny Elfin Herb, Mexican Heather. A much smaller version of the common Mexican Heather. This also features darker flowers that cover the plant for most of the season.
Cuphea hyssopifolia, Mexican Heather. Old fashioned plant with lavender flower on a bushy plant. Nice shiny foliage.
Lindernia grandiflora, Blue Moneywort. Vigorous ground cover that might need to be trimmed occasionally. Full sun. Semi aquatic and needs to be kept well watered.
Bellium minutum, Miniature Daisy. Pretty much covered in small daisy flowers on tall stems all year. Very easy to grow. Full sun and keep moist.
Isotoma fluviatillis, Blue Star Creeper. Cute little creeping perennial. Starry, soft-blue flowers all summer. Full sun. Can be ripped apart into small pieces to make new plantings.