Interactive fairy gardens are a magical space for children to play and a lovely addition to any garden. Making one is quite simple and quick, but will bring hours of family enjoyment. The real imagination and magic comes alive when choosing the small details to place in your garden...with so many fantastic possibilities your garden will always be changing and evolving!
Start with a box for your garden - we used this gorgeous old wood reclaimed from a demolished home. Isn't the detail and character in this wood amazing?! Get creative with your box - old drawers, shelving units, and many other items are perfect to repurpose into your fairy garden!
Next, add your dirt! This step is especially fun if you have a house full of dirt and digging obsessed boys like I do!
Start laying out your plants (we used a mix of mosses, grass, alyssum and succulents) and getting a general feel of how you want your garden to look. We decided on a "treasure cave" in the back corner, so I partially buried a 2" pot and covered it with dirt.
Be prepared for fairy garden making to be an all-day-long project! Playing in the dirt and arranging and rearraging the layout a hundred times is a big part of the fun!
Friends and neighbors might even come over to get in on the garden-making-action. It's super fun! You can make a pond with a small saucer, a pathway with gravel (colored aquarium gravel would be really fun!), fairy houses and castles, a dining area, a dancing space...anything you can imagine!
All finished! Well, phase one, at least!
This garden has meandering pathways - one that takes you past the wishing well and gazing ball (hidden behind the wishing well) to a small bench and resting area (where Gnomeo is currently hanging out!); the other takes you to the hidden treasure cave. Along the way, glass gems are hidden throughout the moss. The boys love placing them in and out of the cave in hopes that the fairies might delight in their found treasure.
My 5 and 6-year-olds put this garden together completely on their own (with help from their little friends, of course!). The back right corner has been deemed the "rock desert," the stacked pots in the back are a fairy castle (that will soon be painted to look like a real castle), and the front is a butterfly garden. You can see bumblebee Super Mario has stopped to rest in a nest in the "big bush." ;)
The magic of a fairy garden is in the addition of all those teeny details! At Sawyer's insistance, our wishing well is filled with blue glass gems to resemble water. If you look closely you can see the fairy's gazing ball peeking out in the background. Make your own by gluing a swirly glass marble on to a wooden golf tee.
The boys' rock desert has its own silver gazing ball, glass gem stepping stones, a roadrunner, and a wheelbarrow full of garden tools. You know, for when the fairies feel like tending to the rocks or clipping the moss grass. That holey rock in the back corner is from our last trip to the beach, and the boys love that the holes are still filled with teeny tiny seashells.
A mama quail (Sawyer's favorite bird these days) sits on a nest in the flower field next to a brightly painted wooden toadstool.
I love that the different plants resemble grass, bushes and trees. It really creates an inviting place for the boys (and the fairies, naturally!) to come and play.
We added a few additional touches to our fairy garden area - this planted teacup is one of several that sit upon a built-out shelf on the fence near our fairy gardens. I love repurposing old things that have been sitting around the house unused into something fun and pretty!
|All that's missing is our garden prayer flags over the fairy gardens...more to come on those later!|
Hubby built this bench at a perfect height to allow our big boys to play in the gardens while still being tall enough to keep the curious toddler from destroying them. We still let the little guy play in there with supervision, but it doesn't last long before he wants to start throwing rocks and stealing glass gems from the wishing well. Maybe next year!
The big guys can't seem to stay away from the gardens though. I find them out there all the time moving butterflies around, hiding treasures and setting up places for the fairies to sleep and play. I love that it has really sparked their imagination, and we have big plans for lots more special fairy garden additions to come!