Fairy gardens are a variation of the miniature gardens which have been creating quite a buzz for a couple of years now. Fairy gardens seem to look best in a container of some sort although of course it’s also possible to create one as part of your main garden or as a feature in an existing area. You can buy a beautiful tub, half barrel or similar, or get creative with Belfast sinks, tin bathtubs, old tyres or large flower pots- there’s no right or wrong container!
What makes up a fairy garden? It’s really only limited by your imagination, but in general a fairy garden will consist of a container, miniature plants either in pots or planted, moss, crystals, stones/pebbles, and perhaps a fairy house or two. It’s also possible to incorporate ponds, rivers, and accessories- there are manufacturers producing a wide range of amazing items to fully accessorize your garden, from stepping stones and seats to swings and garden implements. Generally speaking the more unique the better- try beachcombing or countryside walks to find unusual objects, wood, rocks, fossils etc which might come in useful.
It’s a good idea to have everything ready near where you will site your garden before you start so you don’t have to carry your creation to its new home after you have made it- depending on the construction they can be quite heavy!
If you are using a deep container, you can half fill it with polystyrene chips. They will aid drainage and stop it being too heavy. Then you need a layer of good qualify potting compost almost up to the top of the container, but gently packed down as you will be planting into this. Bear in mind that if you’re using polystyrene it will sink a little under the weight of the garden so bulk it up higher than you would expect.
I usually select low growing plants, such as creeping thymes, aubrietia, alpine dianthus, London pride, stone plants, creeping rock plants etc. A good hunt around the alpine and herb section of your local garden centre will help- ask a member of staff for help if you’re unsure, but plants which do well in thin soil will often be a good bet.