Friday, May 17, 2013

How To Build A Container Fairy Garden

Not sure where to start? Here is a step by step tutorial with a few extra tips for creating a unique, beautiful, and affordable miniature garden!


Step 1: Find A Location

Choose where you want to display your fairy garden. In a container, directly in your garden, or against a tree? Inside or outside location? Make sure you have enough room for the plants, miniatures, and room to grow if you want expand. Some examples:
  • Wine Barrels, or any other unique rustic planter
  • Low dish style planters that are wide, around 12"-16". You can even use the base of a tall planter only, and they only cost between $5-$10!
  • The base of a tree
  • An area up against a shed or fence
  • A spot in your garden near a stream or water feature
  • A rock garden area
  • Really though, any container will do - as long as you choose the right plants and miniatures to decorate with!

For this tutorial we will focus on container planting. For making little landscapes to display our newer products, I chose a 14" terra cotta planting dish.

Step 2- Choose Your Plants and Landscape materials

Based on how big your fairy garden will be, you want to create distinct areas or "scenes" to set up your miniatures. Plants play an important role in this. Choose plants based on size, location, & climate. If you are using a shallow container, such as the one I did, three small plants will do . I selected a small basil plant that will grow up instead of spread out, a sedum (which are awesome for miniature gardens because they require so little care), and petunias.

You will also want to include paths, maybe a stream, walkways, and areas for your miniatures, so having a few different landscaping materials on hand is useful, as well as soil. You can find most at the Dollar Store: small river rocks, sea glass, glass gems, gravel, or even crushed glass. A mixed bag of moss will be nice as well, which you can find at any craft store.

Step 3: Start Planting!

Put a thin layer of soil in your planter and mound the areas you want to plant. It may help to lay your plants out first and see which set up works best. Do you want it to have a definite front, where you can see everything? Or so you want to create areas that can be seen from all sides, with your miniatures separated from each other?

This fairy garden needed to be more forward facing, since it would be photographed and eventually placed in a located viewed from the front only. So I added soil, a long strip of fencing along the back, and started playing with plant designs.  Creating different heights adds interest and options for your miniatures as well.
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Add a foundation layer of soil, and optional fence.
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Start adding plants, mounding the soil into different heights as you plant them.
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Decide where you want your paths, walkways, and streams. Leave room to place your miniatures!

Step 4: Add landscape materials and moss, build your paths

Create your paths and streams by adding various landscaping materials. Gravel, river rocks, and pebbles make great paths and walkways from one area to another. Sea glass, glass gems, and even sand would be neat ways to create water type features.

I used white round marbles to create a forest stream, and mixed pebbles from the Dollar Store to line the stream and create and area for my miniature bench, as well as a path connecting them. I then started adding various moss to the plants to create texture, and give this a forested look. The final touch was adding mulch, which really (in my opinion!) gave this a woodsy feel. 
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Create paths, streams, and areas for your garden miniatures with a variety of materials.
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Finish it off with mosses and mulch.

Step 5: Add Your Garden Miniatures!

This is the really fun part! Time to add your miniatures. If you have purchased one of our fairy garden kits, you should have everything you need to create a miniature land of magical enchantment. I am using the Forest Fairy Garden Kit in these pictures.

I start by finding a prime location for the fairy/gnome door. Somewhere that leads to a path, and is visible. The is the focal point for the garden, so choose the spot carefully! Then fill in other areas in whatever way that will make you and your new fae friends happy :)

Below is a picture gallery of the end result of this fairy garden. I moved things around and rearranged quite a bit before deciding on a final landscape.

I hope this was helpful and gets you started making your own unique and fun miniature landscape!
--Claire

1 comment:

Claire Martin said...

You are so creative! Such eye candy is both delight and daunting!