How to set up a spring fairy Garden with Pictures

I just realized both of my posts this week are about gardening. Can you tell I’m itching to get out there and play in the dirt? Here we don’t plant most stuff until Mother’s Day and I’m dying. Most years, I get suckered into planting something sooner than that, and then one last ugly snowstorm hits in early May and kills it dead. You think I’d learn…

So fairy gardens are great, because you can plant in containers. Put the container outside on nice days so the kids can play in the warmth and sunshine, bring ’em in if there’s a storm or frost forecast so nothing freezes over (you can’t leave the fairies out in the snow! Oh, the humanity!)

Because we wanted these to be portable, the containers are smaller than the one we used last fall. These are plastic bowls from the dollar store. And that’s the beauty of fairy gardens — you don’t have to overthink them. Use what you have on-hand, or what the kids can find in their toy boxes or backyards.

We wrote on the rocks with a Sharpie paint pen, and after a winter outside, they still look pretty good. And we added a few glass rocks as well.

To start your own fairy garden you need:

  • a container (if it’s going to be indoors, it can be small. Maybe a bowl like ours — I’ve even seen teacup fairy gardens)
  • dirt or rocks to fill it
  • fairies or other figures to go in it (the kids can even use toy figurines, or plastic animals — use your imagination!)

And then fill it up with tiny things! We put in some early blooming flowers (hyacinth blossoms) to decorate, and made a cave for the troll with a tealight candleholder turned on its side. We’ve also had good luck finding knick-knacks at thrift stores — we’ve found houses and other little items there. Don’t be discouraged by strange paint colors, it takes 5 minutes to spray paint them white. Or you can have the kids paint them with temperas as part of your project.

You can also put little plants in there — we bought one that was “officially” for fairy gardens (it said so), but usually those are just herbs. You could just plant herbs like rosemary for trees or sage for bushes.

I’m always amazed by how fascinated the kids are with their gardens. They can play for hours, setting things up and making new items, and playing with the fairies and gnomes. It’s a way to bring a little outdoors in when it’s still too cold to go out.

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