Make Your Own Fairy Garden Design

Make Your Own Fairy Garden Design
Design Beautiful Fairy Garden Spaces That Excite and Enchant.  Invite Garden Fairies In and Listen For Laughter And Joy.  If you are looking for something to guide you through your first Fairy Garden Design, I recommend this book.  Fairy Gardens: A Guide to Growing an Enchanted Miniature World

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Fairy Garden Design Introduction

Fairy garden design is currently one of the fastest growing gardening trends.  This new hobby is exploding all over the world.  Suddenly, those people who were unable to have gardens due to living restrictions are now able to create tiny indoor landscape gardens.  Inspiration can come from anywhere, however most gather design ideas from nature and apply them to fantasy places and times.

Indoor garden landscape can be quite rewarding.   Container gardening allows people to be creative and expressive simultaneously.  Container gardens can be any size and be made of many types of plants and accessories.  They can be built in any type of container, such as regular flower pots, troughs, buckets, old boots, antique bowls or even an old rusty coffee can.

Before beginning your container fairy garden design make sure you have an area to work that wont be hurt by a little mess.  It is also important to plan in advance the place you will be displaying your fairy garden.

To begin you will need to have decided on a container.  Next it will be necessary to sketch out the initial layout of your garden design and landscape.  Once you have a basic layout, next you will need to decide on soil.  Soil type will depend on how well you will need it to drain based on the plants you want.

Next, you will begin to choose your plants and accessories.  Your local nursery or greenhouse will be able to help you choose the right plants for your design and it placement within your house or patio.  When choosing plants, if you intend on keeping your fairy container garden outdoors you will need to know about hardiness zones.  These are areas that have the same types of climate.  You will need to check the plants and or seeds you choose to make sure that they will be able to thrive in your zone.

Finally, you may buy pre-made, “Fairy accents,” such as furniture, houses and tiny gardening accessories or you may decide to create your own.  Either method is acceptable, however you may find it more rewarding to create your own.  It is your choice.

Lets begin…..

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Choosing a Container for your Fairy Garden Landscape

Choosing a container for your Fairy Garden Design can set the theme for your miniature landscaping. It is important to choose something that will provide a unique foundation and a starting point for conversation in regard to the home you are creating for those magical fairies. When selecting your container, begin with something that drains well, otherwise you may end up with swamp fairies! I prefer to use shallow containers with a wide diameter. I find Bonsai pots and Penjing trays to work very well. Do not limit yourself to traditional pots. Any pot can be a good foundation for your fairy garden but it is best to be creative. Items such as rusted old containers, wagons, antique jars and bird baths make extremely attractive container gardens.

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Choosing Plants for your Fairy Garden Design

To begin, choose a good draining soil that will also support the garden landscape. I mix my own soil but rather than tell you what works best for me, I will direct you to your local nursery. There, they can help you choose a soil mixture that will work with your zone, the plants you will be including in your fairy garden design and also the location of the fairy garden. There are many varieties of plants that are suitable for container gardening however, dwarf plants or those that naturally have miniature foliage work best for fairy gardens. Also, some heirloom varieties add nostalgia to your fairy garden design. Using these types of plants however is not an unbreakable rule. If you find a plant you like and it can be worked into your fairy garden design, then use it. Many plants, including those used in Bonsai can be reduced or dwarfed by clipping buds and trimming roots. As stated before, your local nursery will be able to help you decide what works best. The following are example of plants often used in container gardening…
-Baby Tears
-Brass Buttons
-Blue Star Creeper
-Creeping Thyme
-Dwarf Conifers
-Dwarf Boxwood
-Irish Moss
-Mini African Violets
-Moss (There are approximately 1500+ species of moss. Feel free to use any or all of them.)
-Ornamental Strawberry
-Wooly Thyme
These are just a few of the many beautiful and unique plant options that can be successfully used in Fairy Gardening. Many plants used in Bonsai and Penjing can also be used. You are only limited by your imagination. I have had great success with the plants listed above. I have also strolled through the forest and collected many beautiful specimens, including rocks, rotting logs and wild mosses, resulting in magical fairy garden design.

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Working with Mosses Part 1

Mosses are a botanical division (phylum) of small, soft plants that are typically 1–10 cm (0.4–4 in) tall. They commonly grow close together in clumps or mats in damp or shady locations.  They do not have flowers or seeds, and their simple leaves cover the thin wiry stems.  At certain times mosses produce spore capsules which may appear as beak-like capsules borne aloft on thin stalks.  There are approximately 12,000 species of moss classified in the Bryophyta.  Having so many varieties to choose from, one can build a beautiful Fairy or Container garden with Moss alone.  One of the easiest ways to add moss to your Fairy Garden is to collect it yourself.  You can usually find several hundred species within walking distance of your home or workshop.  You may also decide to build your own large scale moss garden.  This can intern provide moss for your Fairy Garden.   Since moss gametophytes have no vascular system to transport water through the plant or waterproofing systems to prevent tissue water from evaporating, they must have a damp environment in which to grow, and a surrounding of liquid water to reproduce. Since mosses are autotrophic they require enough sunlight to conduct photosynthesis.  Shade tolerance varies by species, just as it does with higher plants.   In most areas, mosses grow chiefly in areas of dampness and shade, such as wooded areas and at the edges of streams; but they can grow anywhere in cool damp cloudy climates, and some species are adapted to sunny, seasonally dry areas like alpine rocks or stabilized sand dunes.

The following video shows how to design a full size moss garden, however the principles and many of the techniques can be applied to a miniature garden.

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Working with Mosses Part 2

In this article we will discuss moss propagation.  There are many techniques touted when it comes to growing moss.  Bottom line, moss grows when and where it wants.  There are many ways we can help it along but I have discovered the best course of action is not to push it.

To begin, soil type is not all that important.  Compositions such as loam, clay or potting soil all work fine.  Sand is probably the least desirable but that is due to movement.  Moss needs to be on a stable surface.    The smoothness of the soil is also important.  Moss grows across the surface of the soil and tends to follow the path of least resistance quicker than rockery sections of soil.  Many moss gardeners feel that adjusting the soils PH will help it to grow however, mosses grow in all varieties of PH levels.

Once your soil is prepared, next you will need to prepare your moss.  When growing mosses you cannot purchase seeds at your local hardware store.  You must begin with a selection of collected moss.  I find that collecting moss samples while hiking trough wooded areas is the most effective and most enjoyable.  It also sets you up for success because you will be gathering moss that thrives in your particular zone and is already suited to local climate, pollution and soil.  There are also several websites where you can purchase collected or farm raised mosses.  I encourage you to gather several different types and styles.  This allows you to use different colors and textures to created depth and beautiful aesthetics.

Once you have collected your moss samples, begin to arrange them in your fairy garden design.  Feel free to keep arranging them until you have created the desired look and feel.  At this point completely saturate the moss and soil.  Please take note of the moisture requirements for other plants you have planted in your garden, too much moisture for some plants can kill them.  Once the moss and soil are saturated, press firmly on the moss to help anchor it to the soil.  This will ensure strong growth.

There are some gardeners who suggest blending your moss with buttermilk or yogurt.  This is not effective and usually creates mold.  If you are working with one type of moss and you want it to appear a bit more natural, then you can blend the moss in a blender with water only, local rain water is most desirable.  Blend it lightly until you get a very watery paste.  You can then pour or paint with a brush, the areas you want the moss to grow.  To ensure the success of this technique make sure to keep the area moist by misting with a spray bottle and only allow indirect light.

Both ways of planting your mosses will be successful but remember, moss grows slowly and the environment must have some consistency.  If you are constantly adjusting light and moisture your moss will thrive poorly if at all.

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Enchanted Miniature Fairy Garden Accessories

A Great source for unique miniature fairy garden accessories and fairy gardening supplies.  You’ll find fairy garden miniatures, furniture, handcrafted … read more

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