Top Ten Reasons to Grow a Fairy Garden

Everyone loves a top ten list.*

If you’ve been on the fence about starting a fairy garden, read on. By the end of my top ten, I hope you’re ready to let your creative juices take flight.

Lets dig in.


Fescue yurt and an orange peel umbrella

Fescue yurt and an orange peel umbrella

Fairy gardens are a short cut to our inner child. Not the cranky, I-don’t-want-to-take-a-bath-and-go-to-bed inner child but the child that loves digging in the dirt with a spoon.  Remember chasing butterflies and dandelion fluff on a warm summer day? Fairy gardens are a wonderful way to express that carefree joy once again.


Replanted Fairy Garden, The Long View

Fairy Garden on the Deck

You don’t need a lot of space to grow a fairy garden. You can plant in a pot on your patio or fill an old wheelbarrow in your back yard. Grow your tiny garden indoors or out. Let your imagination be your guide.


fairy garden lavender bed

Lavender mattress frame

Fairy gardening is affordable…or free. You don’t need to buy a thing. A traditional fairy garden might live under a shrub or near the forest floor. Smooth stones make wonderful seats and twigs are perfect for fences, walkways and four-poster beds.  Fairies enjoy resting on the soft side of a flower petal with a blanket fashioned from a sprig of fern.


One spooky Halloween night

One spooky Halloween night

Decorating on a dime. If you love decorating but have run out of money or rooms, this is the hobby for you. You can switch out the decor of your tiny garden as often as you like. It’s fun to put up lights for the holidays or lay down green stones for St. Patrick’s Day. The sky’s the limit, without the price tag.


fairy garden chairs and tableFairy gardens are a fun way to up-cycle household items. I’ve used wine corks, empty tea light holders, scraps of ribbon and the cap from a bottle of champagne, pictured above. You can use up old paint, or give a second life to a discarded toy. I love the challenge of using things I have on hand.


Fallen Log Bridge

Fallen Log Bridge

Scavenging for your fairy garden is a great way to spend time outdoors. I brought home a tiny “log” from one of my hikes and turned it into a bridge. I used broken twigs from a pine tree to make a small rope ladder. One year I fashioned a hammock from the soft petal of a magnolia. Using nature’s discards is fun.


fairy garden birthday

Celebrating birthdays in the fairy garden

At a loss for words? Fairy gardens are wonderful conversation starters for guests five through 105. People always have questions or comments when they see my fairy garden. Chatting about fairies is a terrific icebreaker.


Fairy House

This fairy house roof line is decorated with straps from an old pair of sandals, a bottle cap and a bit of glitter. The door is cut from the tough bark of a large fern with a seed for a door handle.

Fairy gardening is a unique way to express thoughts and emotions that are hard to put into words. Creative endeavors help lower stress and anxiety. An hour in your fairy garden can help you feel calmer and happier. It allows you to create something uniquely yours which in turn can bring you a sense of pleasure.


fairy garden sign and hammock

Tiny garden gifts from friends: a wee little welcome sign, a small hammock and a woodland chair

Your friends will join in the fun. A few of my friends started their own fairy garden. Several others send me wonderful little garden treasures in the mail. I’ve found a few anonymous surprises on my doorstep and even more in the garden. My neighbor’s daycare children add flowers and the odd sticker to let me know they’ve stopped by. It’s fun to be a part of this not-so-secret society of fairy lovers.


fairy garden rope ladder

This way to the fairy garden

Designing and tending a fairy garden allows your imagination to soar. There are no rules, no guidelines and no restrictions. Creative endeavors relax the mind and feed the soul. Even the busiest among us can carve out time to tend to a wee garden. In exchange, the tiny garden will tend you.

Stay tuned for my latest fairy garden creation: time at the lake.

*There’s a website called ListVerse that publishes top ten lists. According to their About page: “We publish lists that intrigue and educate, specializing in the bizarre or lesser-known trivia.”

When Six-Year-Old’s Decorate the Fairy Garden

Christmas Fairy Garden

Christmas Fairy Garden

The neighborhood kids were off from school last week, and a few of them came looking for the fairy garden. I moved my miniature garden to the back patio in December to make room for Christmas decor. I never moved it back.

My son helped me carry it back to the front deck and the little ones got to work.

fairy garden with azaleas

Aliens and Azaleas: The Magic of Being Six

fairy garden detail

Check out the detail work

finishing touches

Finishing touches


When I was six, our street ended where a field began. A nursery operated on the other side, so we enjoyed an expansive view. Across the street was a vacant lot that filled with weeds after the rain.  With the freedom to roam that we had in those days, I remember gathering milk weed and clover and spending hours day dreaming while weaving creations with those glorious, green weeds.

It’s been years since I thought about that field, but it may explain my love of fairy gardening. Creating in miniature carries you back in time. It’s part wanderlust and a generous helping of nostalgia, but also a connection to a simpler time, of days spent belly down in a field of greens lost in thought until my mother called me home for supper.

ontario, canada

With my younger sister in our back yard, Ontario, Canada, early 1960’s

Pages: Fairy Garden Frivolity

Muselet Cafe Chairs Fit for a Garden Fairy

fairy garden chair museletI’ve learned all sorts of things this week, including the proper name for the ‘cage’ on champagne bottles: muselet.  I’m dusting off my high school French and letting the word roll off my tongue.  It’s also been great fun fashioning tiny cafe chairs from what we heretofore  referred to as ‘that wire thingy that holds the cork in place.’

Here’s how it all started. I fell in love with the idea of fairy gardens when volunteering at my son’s school.  The idea is to fashion a miniature garden using bits of this and that, along with rocks, twigs, flowers and leaves.  Originality is key to attracting mythical fairies.  I try to fashion my fairy garden with living plants, rocks and twigs, as well as items I would otherwise toss or recycle.

Fairy tables throughout the years include wine corks, an empty spool of thread, rocks and a muselet.  My neighbor and fellow gardener, Ruth stopped by, took one look at the fairy birthday garden table, and told me about the cafe chairs.  Be still my heart!

She loaned me the charming red chair pictured here so I could create one of my own.  It was easy and fun.  Since I’m Organized at Heart, I twisted the back of mine into an organic heart shape, but really, the skies the limit.

Next time you’re at a party, you can wow your host by leaving behind a tiny chair at the end of the evening. You could also put a bug in the ear of the caterer at a wedding and offer to take the muselet off their hands.  Once home, you can fashion a pair of chairs for the bride and groom as an unexpected anniversary gift.  These would make cute gift toppers as well.  Who needs a bow when you can attach a cafe chair instead?

Specials thanks to Ruth for the inspiration and the loan of her chair.

Here’s a quick visual tutorial:

Muselet Cafe Chairs tutorial

Muselet Cafe Chair tutorial: 1. Remove from bottle, 2. untwist and lay flat; 3. remove the long steel wire piece from the base; and 4. twist into shape and attach along the back of the chair legs.

Muselet Cafe Chairs

Muselet Cafe Chairs

  • I found this great blog on all things muselet. (Sorry…I can’t stop saying that…muselet, muselet, muselet). Did you know about the six turns? Check it out!
  • Fellow blogger Greenhousing is making Elderflower Champagne in her garden. You can follow along here. Doesn’t that look tasty?
  • For the truly inspired, check out L’art du muselet.  These are stunning artisan miniatures.

Please drink responsibly.

Sweet 16 in the Fairy Garden

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, Sweet 16

No one is more shocked than I am.  My oldest son turned 16 today.  He’s grown into a tall, charming and kind young man, nice enough to compliment me on the fairy garden, even though the idea of one is long past its prime.

We’re serving birthday cake down among the moss-covered stones.  It would be lovely if you stopped by for a wee slice.

fairy sized birthday cake

Fairy-sized birthday cake

Happy birthday, C!!!

cat proofing

Thwarting the curious cat: small links attach to the bench, keeping the fairy garden upright.

My fairy garden decor is often a mix of ‘this and that.’  It’s fun challenging myself to use what I can find.

  • The garden table base is the metal cap from a wine bottle, topped with a scrap of paper and a geranium leaf.
  • The birthday banner uses scraps of paper and string
  • I re-painted the chairs, featured in last year’s fairy garden, in my ‘June Bugs’ favorite colors.
  • The table and chairs rest on part of a broken fountain.
  • I purchased the tiny cake from my friend Donna’s booth at antique colony.  They once belonged to her young daughter.  They’re making the rounds.
Tile Chairs

Tile Chairs for my “June Bugs” born 6/4 and 6/18

Look Ma, No Ads!

A little housekeeping was in order at gardeningnirvana.  First up, no more ads!  When I started this blog I had two to five “hits” a day, so I guess WordPress couldn’t be bothered.  Then my following grew.  Hurray and thank you. At some point, ads magically appeared at the end of each post. I never saw the ads, and didn’t know they were there until a friend pointed them out.

I hope you enjoy the ad-free experience.

Next up, I created a new page featuring my various iterations of a fairy garden.  I started one on a whim, and had so much fun, that I’ve kept it up all year.  It’s a terrific creative outlet.  It’s also a way to garden on a smaller scale.  If time or space is limited, you might want to give it a go. You can see photos of the miniature garden evolution at Fairy Garden Frivolity.

Thanks for reading, commenting and liking my posts. I look forward to logging on every day.

Fairy Garden Collage

Breaking Ground in Fairyland

Breaking Ground

I’ve been gathering materials for my fairy garden and today broke ground on the site.  It was amazingly simple: I didn’t need a permit, a contractor, a surveyor or an inspector.  No bank loans, points, appraisals or hassles.  Life is good.

I unearthed a few tiny bulbs and was happy to see a worm or two as I dug right in.  After removing the remaining bulbs and rocks I sifted the soil, saving the rocks for a small border.

Last Christmas we received a flowering bulb planted in a wide-mouthed drinking glass with clay-like pebbles.  Now that the bulb is dormant, I removed it from the glass and  lined the walkway with the miniature clay balls.  We also received a  plant that resembles a miniature pine tree, perfectly proportioned for the tiny garden.

Lindy Approves

"Towering" Pine

When I shared my plans for a fairy garden, my friend Susan said the following:

“This reminds me of ‘spirit houses‘ built for the spirits disrupted when the break ground to build a new (human) house. You’re supposedly supposed to built a small house (a miniature the size of a bird house, maybe) and place it on a pole or post at the front corner of the yard. If you don’t build this spirit house for the little beings you’ve dislodged from their homes in the soil (or in the foliage?) in acknowledgment of them, they can get angry and bring bad luck to your home.”

I love the idea of making amends with the earth, much as Native Americans did whenever they took from the land.

I can’t wait to get back outdoors again tomorrow.  Meanwhile I’m pondering a variety of ideas, including a woven lavender rug and an archway built with pine cones.  More tomorrow.

Porous Clay "Pebbles"

Fanciful Fairy Gardens: Available for the Child Within

Future Site of Homes for Fairies and Gnomes

I’m mesmerized by the idea of a fairy garden, a place among the flowers and trees designed to attract “fairies and garden gnomes.”

I was surprised to find entire websites dedicated to this pursuit.  You can buy  hand-carved furniture and tiny fences for your upscale fairy, or you can gather rocks, twigs and leaves and design a starter miniature garden.  I like the creative challenge of using items found in nature.  I could outfit a beautiful pot or corner with purchased items, but I’ll have more fun creating something from scratch.

Two large boulders and a little patch of dirt are within my sights out back, a lovely place for fairies to take up residence.  If you build it, they will come.

Building Materials

Further Fairy Garden Inspiration:

Ask the Party Fairy

The Feathered Nest

The Magic Onions

The Mini Garden Guru