There’s a fun new trend in small-space gardening, and it’s perfect for the whole family: making fairy gardens and gnome homes! These can be grown indoors or outdoors and are great activities for kids of all ages. The best part? You can get as creative as you like! Here are some simple ways to get started on your own tiny backyard escape.
• Pick the perfect spot
Fairy gardens or gnome homes can be set up anywhere: at the base of an old tree, in a hollowed out stump, in a birdbath or anything that can house a terrarium. If you’re using a container or a log with its center cut out, make sure it has good drainage.
• Find materials
Visit local garden centers, craft stores and thrift shops to pick up tiny figurines, pieces of furniture, or decorative items. Check out the aquarium section of a pet store to find small bridges and other fun props.
• Doorway to magic
To create the illusion that a tree actually houses a family of fairies, make a small doorway out of pre-painted Popsicle sticks, scrap wood or anything that strikes your fancy. Add a walking path with gravel, twigs or acorns. Windows, which can run all the way up a tree trunk, can also be made with twigs or bits of mirrored glass.
• It’s all in the details
Place a flat rock in front of your doorway to create a patio, or create a winding stairway around your trunk that leads to a hidden door.
• Plant some dwarf specimens
Small plants, mosses, ground covers like ajuga, or ornamental grasses all work well.
• Have some fun
Pick up some blue sand, which hides the soil, making it look like water. Set up miniature tables, chairs, palm trees and doll-sized flip-flops for a casual beach scene.
• Drop in your fairies and gnomes
Don’t forget to populate your charming garden with whimsical inhabitants! Move them around and create evolving storylines with the kids!
Watch gardening guru and author Frank Ferragine (aka Frankie Flowers) create a fairy garden here: http://www.frankieflowers.com/fairy-gardens.
Share your fairy garden and gnome home photos with us!
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