Fairy Garden

After a loooooong day of visiting the doctor, driving 90 miles to San Francisco for an expedited passport, a trip to the garden store, and an active playdate with friends, we treated ourselves to a relaxing evening of Fairy Garden Planting. Because, ya know, that’s what some people do after a marathon day. We just got it started and our Fairy Garden will no doubt go through multiple iterations, but I think we’re off to a pretty good start and I wanted to share the results.

At the garden store, my daughter and I spent a lot of time discussing the need to choose small-scale plants, and we worked together to select moss and mini cacti to fill in our tub.  And when we finally got home last night, the enthusiasm for setting the garden up had mounted to such a level that bedtime was delayed by almost an hour!

The Moss — sooooo pretty.  I love this stuff.

Getting Ready to Plant — It’s all about the knee pads.

A Magical View

Completed Fairy Garden

But why?

Imaginative play holds an enormous place in the lives of toddlers and preschoolers, and it seemed like a great idea to bring dollhouse-style play outdoors. For today, we had fun designing and building the garden (a worthy goal in and of itself), and my long-term hope is that my daughter and her friends will find themselves immersed in the magical miniature garden for countless hours of play.  After we set the little garden up, it occurred to me that we could easily extend the garden into other areas of our yard, giving our fairies loads of places to hide and play.

The scale of this garden naturally lends itself to planters and tiny containers, and the Fairy Garden is also a fabulous route to go if you want to set up a gardening experience for your child and you’re short on outdoor space.

Fairy Garden Resources

I’m not sure where I first got the idea to make a fairy garden, but I’ve since found a TON of creative people who’ve made and documented their magical wonderlands for all to enjoy.  Here are some of my favorites:

The Magic Onions: How to make a Fairy Garden:  Fabulous photos of an inspiring oak barrel garden.

Martha Stewart and Julie Andrews make an Indoor Fairyland (Text and 19 minute Video):  This is not a hands-on garden, but seeing Martha and Julie work side-by-side is a pretty rare treat.

Flickr Group: Miniature Backyard Fairy Gardens: Holy cow, there’s a Flickr group dedicated to this very concept.  Loads of ideas here.

Comments

  1. TD says

    These garden stories are wonderful. Even a non-artiste Grandfather like me can envision how I would take a little one through this activity.
    TD

    • says

      Awesome, TD! It’s so important to keep in mind that creativity is about much, much more than making art. Look forward to seeing your own fairy garden :)

  2. says

    WOW. what a day and you both kept going, but i see why. Your fairy garden is amazing! Simone and i are back to our gardening ways and i know she will LOVE this idea. Thank you for another inspiring idea. I think instead of fairies, we’ll make a bug garden. I know they already live in the garden but Simone is prone to finding bugs, especially caterpillars and then killing them in her hiding spots. This is a great solution to a tragic happening.

    • says

      I know, we sometimes have epic days since being a parent is all about keeping the entertainment going, right? I love the bug garden idea, especially in that it could solve Simone’s bug-killing fascination. I can’t wait to see it. Please send pictures.

      • danielle says

        we did it! simone’s bug garden is perfect. I have to take a photo because it cracks me up. she collected items from the park all the way home.
        a worm
        a stick
        a petco tag (no cats and dogs aloud)
        two pine cones
        a dead worm
        a dead cockroach (“don’t pick that up Simone!!!!)

  3. Sarah Hopkins says

    I think we are going to make ours today! I may try to do it in the actual garden, instead of in a container… will keep you posted on developments!

    • says

      Yay — this makes me so happy. I’m sure your girls will LOVE it, and integrating it into the actual garden is a super idea. I look forward to seeing what emerges!

  4. Aleksandra says

    What a beautiful finished product, and it looks like it was lots of fun to make too! Max has gotten really good at helping me with weeding and seem to recognize weeds from desirable plants, at least in our garden, but now we’ll have to try creating something imaginative ourselves. Great inspiration!

    • says

      Lucky you to have a weeding helper! Kind of like my little dishwasher :) With your green thumb and masters in landscape architecture, I know you’ll have fun with this, and I’m excited to see what you come up with.

  5. Anonymous says

    Just found your blog, lovely post Rachelle. I have been running a nature arts and crafts summer camp featuring my book characters The Little Humbugs. Each camp the children get to build a Butterfly Girl Fairy Home. I love to watch their imaginations run wild, little stones become seats, leaves become pillows, every little treasure they find in nature becomes a feature for the home or a gift for the Butterfly Girls.
    Imaginative play is so important in a child’s life.
    I look forward to reading more of your fabulous posts.

  6. says

    Just found your blog, lovely post Rachelle. I have been running a nature arts and crafts summer camp featuring my book characters The Little Humbugs. Each camp the children get to build a Butterfly Girl Fairy Home. I love to watch their imaginations run wild, little stones become seats, leaves become pillows, every little treasure they find in nature becomes a feature for the home or a gift for the Butterfly Girls.
    Imaginative play is so important in a child’s life.
    I look forward to reading more of your fabulous posts.

    • says

      Hi Marghanita,
      Yay, I’m so glad you found me. Your camp sounds like a great time, and bet the kids love it. You’re so right – imaginative play sets the stage for all kinds of great things like problem-solving, independent thinking, and creativity. I see you have a website, and I look forward to checking out your LIttle Humbugs characters.
      Cheers, R

  7. says

    Lovely design. Love the barrel container and the house in the design. The moss definitely gives it the little fairy touch. Very pretty! I am inspired to start my own this weekend. I’ll need my grandsons help of course. ;)
    Thanks
    ~ Mare

  8. says

    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this excellent blog!
    I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to fresh updates and will talk about this
    blog with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *