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Step-by-step: Fairy Gardens and Miniature Landscapes

IMG_2883Always wanted to make your own fairy garden, but need a little help getting started?  Take a look at this step-by-step demo on making a fairy garden! This one was created with the materials attendees will receive at our upcoming make-and-take workshop scheduled for 10am on Saturday, August 16th–just look what you can create with a little personalization!

You’ll start your new Fairy home with a 12 inch terra cotta pot. This type of pot is porous and allows oxygen to get to plants roots better. Remember that when planted with tropical plants your garden should remain inside near a bright, sunny window that is not in direct sunlight. During the warm part of the year your garden can reside outside, say on a patio in bright shade.

IMG_2836Let’s get started! There is a drainage hole at the bottom so that water may get out of the pot easily. In order to keep the soil from washing out, we’ll be covering it with a small 6 inch piece of coconut coir fiber basket liner. Place this over the drainage hole in the bottom.

IMG_2843Now, begin to fill your container.  I'm using Vital Earth Potting Soil, an excellent all-around soil mix for most indoor plants. 

Keep adding and gently firming the soil until you reach a level about an inch above the line — about where the pot gets wider.

You can lay out your Fairy Garden design idea on a surface nearby, as I did, so you’ll know how to plant your eventual tiny landscape. When you’re ready, begin setting your plants on top of the soil. This will leave room for soil to be easily placed between plants, and you’ll end up with a soil level just below the rim of the pot, allowing you to water easily.

IMG_2850In our workshop, you’ll have 5 plants to choose from, similar to those pictured. I chose each one to have a different size, color, or shape of leaf than the other for greater variety. I like to begin with the tallest plants that will serve as ‘trees’ to the Fairies. Since I’ve decided my garden will have a front and therefore be viewed from one side, I’ve elected to put these in the back.

IMG_2852Gently remove the plants from their pots, and if there are any roots tightly wound around themselves, carefully separate a few without disturbing the soil unnecessarily. Remember, Fairy plants are delicate!

Continue to place your plants around the garden according to your personal design. I’ve deliberately put some taller plants in the front so that my finished project will have some variety in it and look more naturalistic. At the same time, I’ve allowed some plants to trail over the edge of the pot by placing them close to the edge. This softens the arrangement and makes it appear as though it’s been growing awhile already. 

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After all your plants are placed, add additional soil around each one. It’s okay if you get soil on the leaves; we’ll wash that off when we water next. Make sure to carefully firm the soil as you go.

IMG_2865Using a small spouted watering can, slowly water all your plants into their new home. Should the soil sink too much in spots, you can add additional soil as needed and continue to water.

 

 

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Now begins the fun of accessorizing your garden with features of stones, moss, and branches. First, I used the branches to gain some additional height at the back of my garden, as though they were old standing dead trees. Then, I grouped some stones of varying sizes under plants nestled up to their edges so that they look like they sprouted there.  You can also wait and add your stones on top of the moss later.

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Next, begin to cover your soil with sheet moss. Place it so that it comes right up to the edge of the pot, and close to each plant. You can save space here at this step for later accessories, if you’d like.

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Want to make your own?
Come and be a part of a fun Fairy Garden Workshop on Saturday, August 16th! You’ll receive the setup as shown above, and then customize it to be uniquely yours.

And you’re done! Except…where are the Fairies? Now comes the really exciting part where you can use your imagination to construct a complete world for your little friends. Along with the Fairies, you can add more plants, stones, different kinds and colors of mosses, furniture, and many other accessories. The possibilities are endless! 

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You’ll find many kinds of fairies, along with their accessories, garden elements, furniture, and other cool things at NHG. As always, our plants and accessories may vary throughout the year, but there's always something fun and unique for your creation and to keep the Fairies visiting your garden. Have fun creating your own world in miniature!

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When you’re an expert Fairy Landscape Creator, you’ll be able to explore all things Fairy by entering your creation in our annual Fairy Garden Contest, held his year on Saturday, October 11th.  Bring your entries in starting at 9am.

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