By Michele Robert Poche

What do you get when you mix equal parts creativity, imagination, miniature vegetation and just a little pinch of magic?  If you guessed fairy garden, you’re correct.  Want to learn how to bring one of these tiny, interactive wonderlands to your very own backyard?  Read on.

1. Select your container. Whether baskets, terra cotta pots, wagons or even old bureau drawers, the important thing is that your receptacle has drainage holes to prevent soggy roots and mold.  The benefit to using a portable container is that your wee world can be brought indoors during inclement weather.

2. Create your layout. Design paths, seating areas, archways, fences and bridges to determine where you want your plants, furnishings and other accessories such as decorative stones or a small mirror that can serve as a reflecting pool.

3. Plant your foliage. Because they typically have smaller, daintier components, herbs like globe basil, creeping rosemary and Corsican mint work well and give off a nice fragrance.  Dwarf varieties of flowering plants such as snapdragons, marigolds and pansies can bring vibrant color to your diminutive community.

4. Furnish your garden. Garden centers, craft shops, aquarium stores and specialty websites can all be great sources of tiny garden furnishings.  You’ll find everything from birdhouses and tea party supplies to wheelbarrows and watering cans.  Or create your own (ex. birdbaths from seashells or stepping stones from buttons or bottlecaps).

5. “Invite” your guests. Getting one fairy for each member of the household is fun.  If you have boys, they may enjoy introducing a few gnomes and elves into the population.  Have a family pet?  A woodland creature would represent him or her nicely.

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