A Trip to the Tiny Seaside

It is officially that time of year again. The sunshine is starting to warm the air, the flowers and miniature plants are thriving, and memories of frozen days are being left behind. As the weeks go on and spring gathers momentum, I begin to get the “itch” for a trip to the seaside. Does this happen to you? Every spring, like clockwork, I start to crave the warm sand on my toes, the taste of salt on my tongue, and even the sounds of surfer rock drifting out of boardwalk shops. I am overdue for some time by the water!

It may not be time to pack up the car and head to the coast quite yet, but I can certainly get a head start in the miniature garden. Beach-themed gardens, with their simple design and imaginative features, have always been some of my favorites. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Sand Beach

When you think of classic fairy gardens, you probably picture rich soil, groundcover plants, and plenty of leafy miniature trees. But there are so many other ways to cultivate and decorate a miniature garden! Start with sand. Some soft craft sand can be the perfect base for a teeny-tiny seaside getaway. Just remember to use a shallow dish, because sand can be quite heavy when poured into a traditional garden container.

On a sand beach, instead of miniature plants, you could decorate with a camper or seaside cottage. Brightly colored chairs, tables, and beachballs help set the scene. Finally, think about all the different ways you could create water. Blue sand, beads, glass, pebbles, recycled materials, tile, and fabric are just a few of the many options.

If you do want to incorporate some miniature plants, consider some small cacti or succulents. The right miniature plants will not overwhelm your beach scene, but add to it. Consider planting a couple of miniature trees or shrubs at one end of the garden, and setting them off from the sand with a white picket fence. This will also help keep the sand and soil from mixing.  

Mermaid Escape

For an extra-magical marine twist on the fairy garden, create a fairy escape! Some well-placed stones on the miniature beach (yes, from your backyard) are the perfect spot for mermaids to sun themselves by the water. They also appreciate umbrellas and miniature plants that provide some shade from the sun. And after a long day of swimming, they might like to stay in a fairy cottage constructed just for them. You can easily make one out of a large or medium-sized shell. Just “plant” it securely in the sand. You can hot-glue a door, windows, or sequins for even more sparkle.  

Fishing Fun

Perhaps your ideal beach day involves less swimming and more angling. “Fishing Trip” is another great theme for the seaside fairy garden, and I think small container versions can make great gifts. Start with your basic beach scene, but add a small boat, oars, and a fishing rod. A bait shop, dock, bench, and welcome sign are the finishing touches. If you like to go fishing on camping trips, consider adding a tent or small faux campfire. Fishing trip fairy gardens are also a great place to plant groundcovers, shrubs, and miniature trees, as fishing is often done in wooded areas.  

Once you get started creating your seaside miniature garden, a whole coastal creation will come to life! I cannot wait to hear more about the plans you are dreaming up for your own miniature garden. While we wait for a “real” vacation, a beach day in the fairy garden will do the trick. Happy Gardening!

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