Bonding activities with your children fosters growth and cultivates deeper relationships. It can be as simple as reading with them at night or engaging them in creative play. If your child is into fairytales and fairies, why not indulge her belief by creating fairy gardens in your backyard?
What are Fairy Gardens?
Fairy gardens are basically a new take on the old favorite: terrariums. They are tiny worlds complete with miniature furnishings, fairy-scale plants and plenty of mystical effects and flowers.
Fairy gardens are tiny gardens, usually complete with miniature houses and furniture, just the right size for fairies to take up residence when you are not looking. A fairy garden can be as small as a large flowerpot or as big as a plot of ground.
If you decide to build one, you will find the only limitations are your budget and your imagination. You can take on this activity with your children.
Your children would love the idea of making a home for fairies in your house, making it possible for them to actually “see” one.
Let them be involved with the process of deciding which flowers and plants will go into the fairy garden and the actual planting. Most kids love to dig in the dirt. You can also let your child help pick out the fairy home and perhaps assemble and paint it. You may be surprised at some of the creative ideas they come up with. Take a look at your local hobby or craft store in the miniatures aisle, or look online for items that will help bring your vision to life.
If you decide to make the fairy garden a family project, create new accessories periodically to replace ones that won’t last for the season. And if your child selects plants that don’t end up being suitable for the fairy garden you are building, use the opportunity to teach about plants’ different needs.
Creating Fairy Gardens
Make sure you have everything picked out before you tackle the project with your kids.
1. Make sure the location is conducive for growth yet can protect your miniature garden from harsh rain, sun or winds. Mini gardens can thrive in many spaces, as long as you choose the right plants for the location. For a shady nook, consider miniature ferns, vines or mosses. In a sunny spot, opt for dwarf conifers and herbs.
2. Discuss the theme with your children. Pick a motif—be it a garden that’s formal, rustic or inhabited by forest fairies.
3. Choose a container to make your miniature garden exclusive and portable. You can use about anything as a container, as long as it holds potting soil and offers sufficient drainage from the bottom. If it doesn’t have drain holes, make sure you can drill some.
4. Pick the right soil mixture: Try an all-purpose, lightweight potting soil. Spreading pea gravel on top will hold soil in place and give the garden a finished look.
5. Choose plants well. Plants that stay small, grow slowly or are easy to cut back work best. Consider flowering vines, mini-ferns and ground covers.
About the Author: Martha Blythe took an interest in miniature gardens after watching videos from Miniature-Gardening.com. She is now planning her first miniature garden with the help from her daughter.