Ready to bring a little magic to your backyard? Look no further than a fairy garden! This screen-free, ‘no wi-fi required’ outdoor-activity will enchant your children (and perhaps even your inner-child). From fairytales to tailgates, the themes around these mini-gardens can be as unique and diverse as their creators! If your child favors turtles over fairies, make a turtle garden! If your family bleeds orange, make a ‘Go Big Orange’ VOL tailgate garden! The fairy-garden possibilities are truly endless (and the supplies don’t have to cost you an ‘arm and a wing’).
Location, Location, Location
Finding a spot for your fairy garden is an activity in itself and fun for the entire family! It’s really up to your personal tastes where you’d like it to live (and depending on your skills, how visible you want it to be to the neighbors).
Here are a few helpful tips for consideration when selecting the location of your fairy garden:
- Be aware of any surrounding vegetation, and careful to avoid areas prone to poison ivy growth, or extra-appealing to snakes and insects.
- Select an area padded by grass or mulch, so your children can easily sit and spread out while playing.
- If you have a toddler, they will turn into Godzilla fast (stomp, stomp, stomp). If that matters to you and you want to keep the garden intact, select an area where the garden can be against something vertically, like a wall, so they don’t have a 360-degree of attack!
- If your garden is more elaborate and you want to protect it from the elements, remember there are no rules! Try building your garden inside a planter box with a cover for safe-keeping!
- If you have toddlers, be careful with your accessory selections. Small pieces as we all know = choking hazards!
A quick internet search will offer up endless (and often intimidating) ideas to get you started, but remember as a beginner that a little creativity goes a long way. A simple scavenger hunt around your home and yard for supplies will often get you a lot further than one might think (without ever having to pull out your wallet).
A few easy-to find items around your home and yard include:
- River rocks, leftover pavers, and bricks: Borrow a few from your landscaping pile to create some interesting levels to your garden, to prop up tiny doors on the base of a tree, or to create a walking path to and from fairy homes.
- Tree and ground moss: Moss makes an enchanting addition to any fairy garden, and can be found right in your backyard for free. Grab a handful, pull apart, and place randomly throughout your garden as filler.
- Faux-floral arrangements: Grab a few of the “ugly wreaths” from your basement and pluck off some greenery and a few flowers. Or, use vase fillers (succulents, wine corks, decorative balls, etc.) to add whimsy to your fairy garden.
- Seashells and sea glass: Find the seashells you collected on your last beach trip and use them to create a mini-beach for your fairies! Use sea glass and crafting stones to create colorful patterns and waterscapes! Complete the scene with a tiny cocktail-umbrella, and sand made from ground cereal in your kitchen!
- Ceramic Planters: Planters and potters make for adorable fairy garden dwellings! Try placing them on their sides and fill them with flowers, succulents and colorful rocks to create a ‘pouring-out effect.’ Be sure to sand or bury any exposed cracks or sharp edges.
Local Inspiration and Supplies
Ready to take your garden up a notch with a few store-bought supplies, miniature figurines and more?
Check out these local Knoxville area suppliers for all your fairy garden needs:
- Stanley’s Greenhouse: Stanley’s offers fairy garden workshops! Check out their Facebook page for their next event and to register
- Mayo Garden Center: Boast their own signature line of fairy garden supplies by Woodland Knoll, including a wide range of furniture, stone sets, fairy homes, fences and more.
- Just Garden Supplies, Inc.: Offering a variety of themed gardens, this is a must visit! From their licensed ‘Go Big Orange’ VOL tailgate garden kit (pictured), to a Smokies and even pop-up camper kit, this is the go-to local supplier for the kitschy and theme-loving fairy garden creators!