Starting something new... | Daylily Blog on Fairy Gardens

Fads do not greatly influence me - they tend to do just the opposite.   If something happens to hit a tipping point where "everyone" seems to be doing something, I want to get as far away from it as I can and ignore its existence.  If "everyone" is wearing large, floppy hats in the garden, I want a compact, svelte bamboo fedora to shade me from the sun.  Bandwagons aren't my thing.  I do not always think that imitation is the best form of flattery, and I am a champion of people doing their "own thing." 

But.  I cannot resist any longer.

I am about to jump on a bandwagon that has been parading through my gardening life for a decade without attention from me and that is a miniature Fairy Garden.

Jot this date down, folks.  Nikki is doing something everyone else seems to be doing.

Several gardens on the recent AHS Region 2 Summer Meeting Tour had some form of a miniature fairy garden.  Some were in containers, some in re purposed bird baths, some under trees, some on a grand scale and some just starting out - but they were all intriguing and interesting and innovative.  A fairy garden creates the impression of a tiny world, of the sort and size that fairies might inhabit.  I'm getting the sense that it's an art combining dollhouses, fantasy role-playing, rock gardens and growing bonsai.  Four things I currently have no experience in doing well.  Not a good start.  Maybe I should just stick to daylilies and photography.

Seeing several really good examples of mini wonderlands this past weekend really changed my mind and energized me to embark on something new.  There will be lots of research and lots of shopping and lots of talking to others before I get to installing anything, but I already have a dry shade spot that has been screaming for purpose for about a year.  It is a space under a Box Elder tree and is the perfect spot to build a tiny world.  This requires me to return to my childlike beliefs for a spell and be enchanted in the dirt with my son.  (This also requires me to 'think small,' which, for those of you who know me, know that I rarely do anything small.) 

A new project in a completely new vein is exciting and scary.  I want to do it right the first time, so I will now kick in full research-o girl mode (miss you, ellen...) and discover what style is mine and in which direction this new inspiration will take me.  I turned to Google, of course.  A Google search for "fairy garden design" returns 2.9 million+ results. 


Apparently the plants I use are important because the fairies need clothes and often use the blooms as clothing, adornments and bedding.  I also must provide water and gold for the wee folk.  Fairies also apparently get naughty if they are bored, so I need tiny entertainment, too.  And I musn't forget a mirror for good luck and chimes for them to dance to...  Wow.  This is complicated already.  I wonder if there is an Ikea for fairy furniture.

Knowing that there are as many ways to do a fairy garden as there are fairies in the world is enough to give me the creative courage to dive right in with my inquisitive five year old to build a playground for garden fairies. 

I am sure that my son's Lego mini-men will invade the tiny fairy playground now and again, but that's just adding diversity, right?


Anonymous said...


Love the fairy garden idea. I'm not much of a conformist either...but I have fallen in love with miniature gardens and miniature Hosta...and fairies...who can resist? I'm surprised you held off this long. Knowing you, it will be the best little fairy garden around.

Hope I get to see it.

If anyone likes miniature Hosta, check out Cedar Hedge Gardens in Interlochen, Michigan. If you want to know about her garden of Hostas and wonderful Asian influences, check out MY blog on Cedar Hedge Gardens(listed under the month of May) at

A nice cooler day to pick weeds and deadhead today!

Sandie Parrott

El said...

don't forget that gazing balls are also known as fairy catchers. If you look really deep inside a gazing ball, you can see your own special fairy looking back at you. She'll look very familiar.

I miss you, too.


Becki Pavlik said...

My love affair with flower fairies began when I made the mistake of making up a good bedtime story for my granddaughters about fairies that lived in my garden. of course, the next morning, they wanted to know exactly where they lived. :)
With a quickly made up story about them being away on vacation, we began to brainstorm about where we could make a special place for them to hang out and live when they returned. We lashed together some teepee type structures and chairs with twigs and embroidery floss and hodge-podged a makeshift garden for the fairies THAT day, but I began my search immediately for fairy figures, houses, chairs, and all sorts of fairy 'things'. it seems like most of the garden centers and nurseries around here are all gearing up for flower fairies, so there are lots of fun things out there to work with. I think the finishing touches to my Flower Fairy Garden that provides the most talked about aspect, are the plants in it and their blooms and or foliage that are scaled down to flower fairy size.

Nikki Schmith said...

Im back at Fairy Gardening again this year. Etsy seems to be the best place to find some handmade, one of a kind fairy "stuff." I especially like the houses they have out there.
Enjoy! Its great to hear from you!


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