Why create a fairy garden?
It may not be something you’ve considered before, but there are plenty of great reasons to give it a try…
- A fairy garden ignites creativity and imagination: through designing and making the garden and talking about the little visitors who may come and use it.
- It's a project to do together: involve your grandchild in planning the garden and keep adding to it as time goes on.
- It introduces young children to gardening: and also gets them outdoors.
- You can recycle broken pots/old gardening stuff: a quick search online will give you lots of ideas to use old flower pots, lolly sticks and scraps of fabric.
- Different themes to appeal to all: it doesn’t have to be a fairy theme – think about gardens for hobbits, gnomes, baby dragons etc.
- Flexibility: if you don’t have a garden, why not create an indoor garden in large pots?
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Planning your fairy garden
Before you start, spend some time looking online for inspiration. Pinterest is a great place to get fairy garden ideas – just type in ‘fairy garden ideas’ and scroll through the images. Do this with your grandchildren to involve them in what you create.
Write down the things you both like (or save the Pins if you have a Pinterest account) and then draw out a loose design of how it will look. If your grandchild enjoys drawing, then this stage will be an enjoyable part of the process.
Once you have a design and a list, think about what you will need to create it. There are lots of websites selling ready-made kits, such as Fairy Gardens UK, or blogs, such as The Magic Onions, to offer DIY advice to create it from scratch.
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Attach small doors to the base of tree trunks to create little fairy houses.
What you will need
Here are some of the things that will come in handy:
- Old flower pots
- Paint - acrylic craft paints work well on terracotta
- Logs/pieces of tree trunk
- Old scraps of fabric
- Small, flat piece of wood for a fairy door
- Small plants
- Toy fairies/gnomes etc
- Dolls house accessories – search for these in charity shops
How to make your fairy garden
1. Look at each element of your design and plan out the bits that may be difficult or boring for your grandchild to do. For example, if you’re making a door yourselves you could cut the shape out without them and then paint it together.
2. If you are using containers, get them prepped for drainage by placing stones or broken crockery at the bottom and filling them up with soil.
3. Will you be planting anything? If so, find the best plants for the environment where your fairy garden will be.
4. Lay out the decorations, plants and ornaments loosely before properly planting or fixing anything securely.
Remember that you can keep adding to your garden – treat this as an ongoing project to do with your grandchild and make things when you get together. Try out miniature garden benches, made with painted lolly sticks, baby bunting with old scraps of fabric, clothes lines with little sticks and miniature pegs and toadstools made with painted pebbles. The ideas are limitless, so encourage your grandchild to think up lots of new ideas.
Creating a little extra magic
Have the fairies been to visit their new garden yet? Your grandchildren will be desperate to see, so spread a little magic with tiny footprints in the soil, trails of glitter and by moving things around. It will all be worth the effort when you see their faces light up with excitement!
Fairy gardens to visit
There are some beautiful examples of fairy gardens open to the public across the UK and they make wonderful days out with children.
Furzey Gardens, New Forest, www.furzey-gardens.org
Wookey Hole Mystic Fairy Garden, Somerset, www.wookey.co.uk/fairy-garden/
Trentham Estate, Staffordshire, www.trentham.co.uk
Gypsy Wood, Snowdonia, www.gypsywood.co.uk/
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