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Add a bit of magic to your house or garden by creating your own miniature landscape for sprites, fairies, nymphs or other otherworldly creatures. Choosing plants that stay small while adding color and texture to a terrarium, container or dish is the key to putting together a garden any fairy would be proud to call home. Great gifts for a child’s birthday or retirement party, these do-it-yourself tips will help you get started building your very own fairy garden.
Fairies are remarkably flexible as to the choice of container they will inhabit. A long, low terracotta pot (or even the large saucer of a pot) can be used. While you would never normally pot up any plant in a container without drainage holes on the bottom, if you find an old cooking dish or other container you like that doesn’t have holes (and you don’t want to bother drilling them), simply line the dish with gravel and then a bit of sand before adding potting soil to allow pore space for water to drain. This works great for fairy gardens you will bring indoors, but if you can’t regulate the flow of water (for example, if you put it outside and it gets watered by rain), it’s best to use something with drainage holes.
Add a bit of rocks or gravel to the bottom and a bit of sand, if it’s handy. You can usually find this at a garden shop, but it’s also fine to just scoop some up from outside and give them a quick rinse. Top off your container with a good potting soil mix that is light and fluffy.
Here’s the fun part! The best plant choices for fairy gardens tend to come from several families of tropical houseplants which are easy to grow and do well in a crowded space. Here are several good choices:
Pink-polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya)– is a short, small-leafed plant with splashed of white and pink.
Friendship Plant (Pilea involucrata)– has crinkly-textured leaves in bright greens.
Baby’s Tears (Soleirolia soleirolii)- almost looks like moss with tiny little leaves and occasional white flowers.
Aluminum Plant (Pilea cadierei)- adds a bit of bling to your fairy garden with silvery-stripped leaves
After a long day of flying around, your fairies will want a place to relax and unwind. The best way to quickly furnish your garden is to pick up some dollhouse furniture at your local thrift store or toy store. Add a garden path with pretty rocks or shells or a water feature with some shiny sea glass. With the growing popularity of these whimsical gardens, many florist and garden shops now have areas in their store with everything you need to create these magical landscapes. Just be sure to check references before letting any fairies move in.