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The Magic of Making a Fairy Garden

Fairy gardens are wonderful miniature gardens that are also creative and cute! They make excellent homes and dwellings for fairies. Here you can learn how to make one and where they may have originated.

Spirits have been a part of many ancient cultural stories. Many scholars have identified a transition from spirits to fairies in European literature since the 12th century. Gervase of Tilbury was one of the first to mention fairies. There has always been a connection between fairies and nature, with legends and tales of them living in woodland areas.

While fairies have an overall positive yet mystical reputation today, they were actually blamed for the misfortunes of people such as deaths from illness or famine. These issues were not yet explainable by science, so something essentially needed to take the blame. By pleasing the fairies with places to live, people could bring their homes good fortune. They’d also plant certain plants that kept the evil spirits away.

Read more about the folklore of fairies and fairy gardens here.

If you’d like to see how I’ve created my most recent fairy garden, since moving to Barrie, then watch this tutorial-style video.

In my fairy garden, I have the following six plants:

Baby Tears

This lush plant will cascade beautifully over the sides of containers. It has a reddish purple stem and bold green leaves. They also apparently pair well with my next plant.

Asparagus Fern

This bright plant adds some height to my garden and livens it up too. It will need a lot of trimming – these plants can grow up to two feet high and six feet long according to The Spruce. Due to their feather-light, lacy foliage, they don’t propagate well but will take over if left unattended.

Pixie Fern

This fern will be very delicate with the sun and will need an extra drink of mist every once in a while. It will expand and hang over the side of the planter as it grows. Ferns are typically easy to grow, but like moist soil. As long as you don’t abandon your fern then you should be good.

Arrowhead Pixie

My arrowhead plant adds volume to my garden. It has larger light-toned leaves that will fill up more space as it grows. Mine also has variegated foliage with white patterns to make it more interesting and pretty! It has a light pink stem and matching leaf veins.

Purple Velvet Plant

A soft and colourful plant, this one might be the coolest plant in the container. It will be sensitive to watering and, therefore, one of the top two plants to watch! The other would be the pixie fern, but they would show warning signs for opposite issues so a balance between them will be key to identify over the next month. I typically like to wait until I see the leaves drooping for all my plants before I water. Root rot is the true enemy. I’ll also be looking for flower buds – which need to be snipped quickly to avoid an apparent ghastly odour.

Silver Sicilian

Also called Tradescantia or the Wandering Jew, this plant will likely need propagation the quickest. A propagated plant can make an easy, affordable and sweet gift! It will add bushy-ness and volume like the arrowhead plant. The Silver Sicilian has deep purple patterned leaves with a silvery glow.

All Together Now

All of these plants like medium levels of water and medium-bright light. I’ve kept my fairy garden by the glass door in my basement. It faces North so there isn’t any direct light that could burn the plants’ leaves and the air is more humid down there. Mischief always seems to happen in basements too… perfect for sassy fairies.

I tried to keep a colour theme of ruby tones and purples in my plants to add a bit more richness and vibrancy to my garden. It adds an extra flair and dimension, preventing my garden from being visually flat.

As these plants grow, I’ll try my best to propagate them to keep my garden growing and alive. Being small and somewhat fragile plants, they can die after only a few years. Changing up the soil to replenish nutrients and using tropical or all-purpose indoor fertilizers can help them stay as strong as can be.

I’ll leave you with an anecdote:

The Peter Pan story, concept, character or however you want to describe it is one of my favourites since childhood. In many Peter Pan plays, they say clap if you believe in fairies as a great audience interaction moment. In Peter Pan (2003), they shout it to the sky to revive tinkerbell after she takes a poison meant to kill Peter Pan. Here’s a clip sharing this iconic scene.

Personally, other than the Disney version from 1953 that I ironically “grew up” with, my favourite Peter Pan film is Hook (1991). After you tend to your plants, take a break and relax with a fairy film tonight!

Check out my list of great themes to inspire you in your own fairy garden creation.


Published by sarahelletyler

I run Well-Grown Home, a plant blog, with passion. I'm additionally interested in public relations, video editing, painting, photography, makeup and communications.

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