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Bring the magic of a Pinterest-worthy fairy garden to life. Create, grow & maintain your own breathtaking garden at home with these steps.
The beauty of growing a miniature garden is that it’s an excellent practice in mindfulness and meditation for adults and children of all ages. Plus, you don’t even need a lot space to grow a fairy garden — making it the perfect housewarming gift for gardeners who’ve just downsized or left a garden they’ve nurtured behind. Did you know there are tons of other health benefits to miniature gardening too? Simply spending at least 30 minutes in the sunshine rearranging garden furniture, fairies, gnomes and other garden decor can lower the stress hormone called cortisol, improve sleep, increase vitamin D levels and more.
The first rule of green thumb is to remember that your fairy garden is only limited by your own imagination. Find something to contain your garden — something that will still provide enough drainage. A cracked bird bath, glass container, rusty wheelbarrow or hollowed-out tree stump, for example, are all excellent possibilities that add a unique and distressed look to your fairy garden. Start collecting any trinkets you want to include to accentuate the magic of your garden. Then be sure to choose a setting that provides some afternoon shade. Your fairies and plants will need some shade to thrive. We love the idea of creating an entire hidden village beneath the sweeping limbs of the pin oak tree!
For your garden in miniature, we recommend selecting perennials that are diminutive meaning unusually small as well as naturally slow-growing. Many succulents do a wonderful imitation of trees and shrubs, though it’s important to note they will not withstand a frost. We offer miniature trees and shrubs that grow as little as 1 inch per year. Even miniature trees and shrubs may require some upkeep though! Be prepared to spend some time trimming to keep your fairy garden up to fairy standards. If you’re planting your miniature garden directly into the ground, be sure to choose plants that are hardy to your zone. We’ll go into detail about that soon.
It’s essential you water your fairy garden whenever it needs it and never by the day of the week! Watering needs are dependent strictly on the amount of sun your garden receives, as well as the season, plant type, container size and whether the plant’s been newly repotted or extremely root bound. Hosta plants, for instance, like their soil to be evenly moist, but succulents like to dry out a bit in between watering. Stick your finger in the soil and if it’s dry an inch down, you need to water your plants. Make sure to water them thoroughly, so all the soil is moistened but not soggy. A drainage hole in your container is vital to proper watering. In the wintertime, watering requirements slow down and you never want the soil to freeze dry!
At Fairy Homes and Gardens, we like to use a slow-release fertilizer such as Osmocote in our miniature garden containers. If you intend to plant yours directly into the ground, it’s highly recommended you opt for a slow-release fertilizer that’s organic. Try to avoid the liquid fertilizers that recommend using them with every watering — they’re the ones that make the water blue and increase growth rate. The goal is to maintain a healthy yet slow growth rate. Leave the super-charged, lush growth fertilizers to the annual plants.
Watering should slow down in the winter. If possible, it’s best to bring your fairy gardens in for the winter and let nature take its course. If they’re in the ground, make sure you’ve selected plants for your plant hardiness zone. If your garden contains tender succulents, transfer it to an unheated sunny room that doesn’t exceed 50 degrees for overwintering — such as a garage, greenhouse or porch. Perennials, trees and shrubs prefer a cold, dormant period in the winter. Ideally, the best temperature to keep them stored at is approximately 32 to 50 degrees for optimum results.