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Garden Project — Real Men Build Fairy Gardens

When our DD was three years old, she was into Tinker Bell. Like, in a BIG way.

Well, truthfully she was into all things fairy. Her favourite blanket was a quilt featuring fabric prints of the The Flower Fairies of Cecily Mary Barker. And her absolute favourite movie (which she got from the Easter Bunny) was Sesame Street: Abby in Wonderland.

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So with a little extra garden space and an afternoon, what better way to surprise a little girl than with a fairy garden?

The original concept for this was much bigger, but after digging a hole for the square-foot garden and realizing how dense the root bed was in the sod; and how hefty the clay underneath it is; I elected to forgo renting the Bobcat for this season and try a little micro version of the idea, using the little garden bed at the front corner of the house.

The first thing was to prep the bed, and make sure that the soil was actually workable. It wasn’t too heavy, and while a little on the dry side was easily pepped up with some Miracle Grow later on. It really was just a play garden anyway.

(Yeah, I’ll admit I had fun with it…)

Next stop was the dollar store to find some fairy-ish stuff to put in the garden. As luck would have it, they had a little mushroom house, and a polyresin shoe with a drainage hole in the bottom. Can’t get much more Mother Goose than that (for a buck fifty each!). I also found some solar garden lights there for $2.00 each…when in doubt, buy a few and see if they work. Can’t beat that price.

Then it was off to the garden centre to pick up some flowers. I already had marigolds for the other garden, so those were easy. I also had a couple of (as yet) unidentified perennials and some day lilies I dug up from the backyard (why buy when you can dig?). So really I just needed some fairy-sized flowers to act as a ground cover.

I was lucky to find some pint-sized pink alyssum, a couple of yarrow, and a great campanula.

These campanula are actually my favourites, because unlike other bell flowers these ones have double blooms that look strikingly like tiny blue roses!

In the end, all I needed to complete the look of a little fairy garden was a broken flower pot and last year’s Christmas tree. No really…that’s the lumber you see in the pictures. From there, it was just a matter of doing some arranging and creating a little scene. With luck, those little plants will spread and create a nice carpet, and the bigger plants will turn into something like a forest. I didn’t have the lights in the ground when these pictures were taken, but they just rim the edge of the garden.

All the response I needed was when my daughter came home, and that little girl gasped and started petting the flowers…

…and said “good night” to the fairies in the fairy house before we went in.

As a matter of fact, for two years after that, whenever we came home from anywhere, or headed out to anywhere, she would spend about five minutes sitting there talking to the fairies. Here’s the bed a little more filled in after almost two weeks:



aDo you have any ideas, or photos from your own fairy garden? If so, let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

3 thoughts on “Garden Project — Real Men Build Fairy Gardens”

    1. The blue one is a campanula; a type of bell flower. I don’t know the exact variety but it shows up in the garden centre every year. If we find out we’ll let you know!

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