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Magically Creative Outdoor Fairy Garden Ideas

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, there’s something truly magical about creating a tiny, enchanted world right in your backyard. Fairy gardens have become a whimsical trend, captivating the hearts and imaginations of people young and old. These miniature landscapes, adorned with tiny fairies, gnomes, and charming accessories, offer a delightful escape into a realm of creativity and wonder.

I’m so excited to share with you some new fairy garden ideas and photographs that you haven’t seen before. The pictures in this post are some I’ve collected from Gingham Gardens’ readers and friends, as well as from my miniature gardens.

Fairy gardens are more than just tiny plants and miniature figurines; they are an expression of creativity and a way to bring a touch of magic into our lives and the lives of visitors to our gardens.

Fairy Garden in a Wheelbarrow

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These miniature landscapes are the perfect way to draw children into the garden and a fun gardening activity for them to participate in. My grandchildren love setting up the fairy gardens and playing with the little figurines.

Along with the pictures, we will also highlight many ideas that you can use to create your own magical fairy or miniature gardens.

Tips for Creating a Fairy Garden

Collecting miniature pieces for your fairy garden can become a hobby (or an addiction) in and of itself. Start small with a mini garden and just add a few tiny houses, accessories, and fairies or gnomes. If you decide you love it, you can add on each year. 

Decide where you want to place your fairy garden. Whether or not your fairy garden gets full sun, part sun or shade will determine the kinds of plants you buy for your garden.

Whether you’re creating a fairy garden inground or in a container, plant your flowers and plants first, and then add your fairies and accessories.

Do you want to create a fairy garden in a container? Or in the ground? If you want a container garden, you can use a terra cotta pot, a galvanized tub, an old wagon, a wheelbarrow, or whatever you can plant in. Remember, whenever plants are involved, containers must have drainage holes. Use your imagination and be creative!

Fairy Garden Container Ideas

Creating a container garden just for your fairies takes miniature gardening to an entirely new level. Get ready for an overload of creativity. Don’t miss a thing! Take a few minutes to enlarge the pictures and look at all the details.

Using Upcycled Junk in Your Fairy Gardens

Here at Gingham Gardens, we’re all about using upcycled vintage items in our gardens. Using upcycled junk to make a fairy garden ups the charm factor at least 100 times!

Old Wheelbarrows are the perfect thing to create a fairyland. Notice the little farm animals. So cute! Idea: Use small toys like dinosaurs, farm animals, farm equipment, etc. to add creativity to your fairy gardens. A little imagination goes a long way!

Fairy garden in a wheelbarrow.

Old wagons make adorable fairy garden containers. Idea: Use pea gravel or aquarium stones to create paths in your fairy gardens. Colored aquarium gravel can be used to create a faux pond. Use larger stones to create sections.

Idea: It’s fun to make your fairy gardens different themes – like the camping theme below.

Fairy garden in an old wagon.

Another old wagon fairy garden container. Idea: Upcycle an old wagon that’s no longer in shape to be used as a toy.

Fairy garden in an old radio flyer wagon.

My friend, Denise, upcycled an old bistro set into the most creative fairy garden village.

An old bistro set made into a fairy garden.

Do you have an old birdbath that leaks? Jeanne turned hers into a fairy garden.

Fairy Garden in an old bird bath.

I’ve always said that I would never use old tires in my gardens, but I may eat my words after seeing this idea. This tire teacup fairy garden is just plain adorable!

An old tire painted blue and made into a fairy garden.,

Think outside the box and use the junk you have in your yard for your fairy gardens. Idea: an old, hollowed-out log will make the perfect container for a fairy garden.

A rotten log used as a fairy garden container.

Fairy Gardens in Flower Pots

If you’re just getting started with Fairy Gardens, one of the easiest ways to start is to simply use a flower pot that you already have.

Fairy garden in a cobalt blue flower pot.

Either old or new galvanized containers are great for fairy gardens. A reminder to select pots with good drainage or drill holes in the bottom of your containers.

Fairy garden in a galvanized flower pot.

Take a few minutes to check out the details in this tiered planter fairy village.

Fairy gardens in a tiered planter.

Dollar Store Fairy Garden Accessories

If your timing is right, you can outfit a complete fairy garden (except plants) at The Dollar Tree. In spring they have the cutest tiny fairies and accessories, but they do sell out quickly. My friend, Holly, put together this super cute fairy garden with Dollar Tree items.

Fairy garden in a terra cotta colored planter.

Here’s another sweet fairy planter using Dollar Tree accessories.

Fairy garden in a terra cotta colored planter.

Easy Fairy Garden Ideas for Flower Gardens

You don’t need to come up with anything fancy. Idea: you can create a little area in your existing flower beds for your fairies to hang out. I toured the gardens of one of my master gardener friends and her fairy gardens were like nothing I’ve ever seen. They drew me in with their charm and creativity. 

Pink flowering plant surrounded by fairy garden accessories.

Idea: Creating a little fairy scene within your flower gardens is a smart way to fill empty space. It also takes your ordinary flower garden to a magical world that draws visitors in.

Fairy garden accessories in a garden.
As I strolled through this magical garden, I was able to capture several of these little scenes. I realize it’s not the same as seeing them in person in the garden, but I think you can get the idea.

Fairy garden accessories in a flower garden.

On another garden tour, Jeanne tucked this sweet little miniature vignette in amongst her plants. How cute is that little, chubby mushroom fairy?

Fairy garden accessories in a flower garden.

Miniature Gnome Gardens

We have an area between our house and the patio that is the perfect spot for a miniature garden. For this one, we choose little gnomes. Idea: look for small places in your landscape where you can tuck in a miniature garden.

Miniature gnomes and accessories in a shade garden.

Another scene from our tiny gnome land.

Miniature fairy garden accessories in a shade garden.

Decaying wood is good for your garden soil. Idea: leave old logs in your garden and enhance them with fairy garden accessories.

An old lot with fairy garden accessories.

Our neighbor created a fairy village around the base of a tree trunk. The detail is so stinkin’ CUTE! Just by using moss, twigs, small rocks, pinecones, stir sticks, and some accessories from her craft stash, she was able to add so much character to this otherwise nondescript area. I love the tiny fairy windows and fairy doors. Notice the little kitty sleeping by the door.

A fairy garden at the bottom of a tree.

Here is the other side of the tree. Idea: use twigs, pinecones, rocks, moss, or other natural materials in your fairy gardens that you can find in your backyard.

A fairy garden scene around the bottom of a tree.

Whimsical Fairy Garden Village

Do you have an area in your yard that you just aren’t sure what to do with? We have a random area in our backyard where we had a 4-trunk ash tree cut down. Initially, we wanted to have the stumps ground, level the area, and sow grass seed, but because the circle area is filled with landscape stones, the tree stumps cannot be ground. After trying different things, we decided to turn the full sun area into a fairy village. Yes, fairies like sunny gardens too!

First, we cleaned the area, dug out some of the landscaping rocks, and added fresh compost. Next, I used some of the small landscape rocks to create borders for paths. Then I added some plants. I wish I had planted more so that next spring I will fill in the bare spots. A fairy garden can never have too many plants. Idea: Sedum, moss roses, herbs, hens and chicks, and other succulents work well in sunny, dry fairy gardens.

Build a fairy garden in a circle around old tree trunks.

Next, I added pea gravel for the pathways and mulch around the plants. The old birdhouses we found at a flea market worked perfectly as fairy houses.  Idea: look for unconventional items like birdhouses, tea cups, broken clay pots, and anything else you can imagine to use for fairy houses. The next time you visit your local thrift store, keep an eye out for little things and tiny treasures you can use in your fairy garden.

Fairy garden in a circle around tree stumps.

Hubs also made a few rustic houses out of tree branches and bark. Idea: use small wood slices to create stepping stone paths.

Rustic log house with twig ladder in a fairy garden setting.

Then the fun part of creating the magic with all the little fairies and accessories we had collected. Idea: take pictures of your fairy gardens because when you look at them later, you will come up with more ideas. Case in point… next year I will add moss to the tree stumps.

Fairy garden scene with colorful flowers and fairy garden accessories.

Plants That Work Well In Fairy Gardens

I’m not going to give you endless lists of plants that will work in fairy gardens because you don’t need them. There are a few things to keep in mind though.

  • When you’re using a small container, use small plants that don’t have large root masses so they don’t become overcrowded. If you have no idea which plants have small root masses, go to your local garden center that has a fairy garden section and shop for plants there.
  • If you use a larger container, you don’t have to be as concerned about the plants becoming overcrowded.
  • Pay attention to the amount of sun or shade that your fairy garden receives and buy plants accordingly.
  • Look for miniature plants or plants with small leaves and flowers.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of plants.

Plants for a Fairy Garden in the Shade

  • Miniature hostas
  • Ferns
  • Impatiens
  • Irish Moss
  • Ivy
  • Polka dot plant
  • Lobelia
  • Viola
  • Oxalis

Check out Creative Ideas for Shade Containers for more plant ideas.

Plants for a Fairy Garden in Sun

  • Sedum
  • Hen & Chicks
  • Moss Roses
  • Calibrachoa
  • Verbena
  • Creeping Jenny
  • Herbs
  • Alyssum
  • Dianthus

The list is really endless here. I like to use a mix of small flowering plants, as well as plants that just have foliage like herbs.

Fairy Garden Maintenance

Planting and arranging a fairy garden is not a one-and-done deal. For it to last and look good all summer, it must be well maintained. Be sure to keep your gardens watered, especially those in containers. If your fairy garden plants start getting shaggy looking or growing too big, just give them a haircut or a trim. There are lots of great tips for Maintaining Your Container Gardens.

Shopping for Fairy Garden Accessories

If you are shopping online for fairy garden accessories, be sure to pay close attention to the size of the item you are purchasing. You don’t want to buy your fairy a house just to get it and realize it’s for a smaller fairy.

Be sure the miniature accessories you are purchasing are made for the outdoors. I’m not too worried about the fairies and little accessories, but I have noticed that some of the fairy lights say “indoor use only”.

Also, read reviews when purchasing online.

Great Places to Purchase Fairies and Their Accessories

Most of the craft stores like Joann’s, Michael’s, and Hobby Lobby have adorable fairy garden items. Watch for sales! Just a little tip about buying fairy garden items from Hobby Lobby. Theirs are in the floral section and are included in floral sales. Hobby Lobby also has a miniature section in the back of the store for craft items.

Many garden centers have fairy gardens and miniature gnome garden sections that include little plants.

Amazon has lots and lots of fairy garden accessories and fairy garden kits. Don’t forget to pay attention to sizes.

A Few Tips for DIY Fairy Garden Ideas

Some of the best fairy garden ideas involve DIYs. Creating decorative items for your fairy gardens is so fun and a great way to get one-of-a-kind things for your gardens. Although there are many good ideas for DIYs in this post, it hasn’t been the focus. I do want to offer a few general tips for gardening DIY projects from our experience.

  • Hot glue will not hold up outdoors, it will melt and your well-thought-out project will fall apart. Use E6000 or wood glue instead.
  • Popsicle sticks will not last in outdoor elements. If you’re okay with having your tiny creations last only one season, cheap wood is fine.
  • Use acrylic paints made for outdoor use to paint your garden DIYs.
  • Use an acrylic sealer to prolong the life of your outdoor projects.

In closing, I want to give a big shout-out to those who gave permission for me to include their ideas in this post. There’s Holly, my friend and neighbor, who I bounce garden ideas off of all the time. Denise, my friend and fellow master gardener. I met Jeanne when I toured her gardens. You can check out her amazing glass creations for your gardens at Happy Glass.

I hope you’re coming away with lots of creative ideas for adding delightful little touches of whimsy with these sweet outdoor fairy garden ideas. This really makes me want to create a few more fairy gardens. There are so many ideas swirling around in my head now. I hope the same is true for you! Do you have an idea to share with us from your own fairy garden? Tell us about it in the comments section below. Also before you leave, be sure to scroll back through and save some of your favorite ideas to Pinterest.

Happy Gardening, 

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