Create a fairy garden

We all need a little magic and whimsy in our gardens.

With the mix of materials available to gardeners today, landscapes need not be boring.

They may, in fact, be fanciful – at least in part.

Certainly elaborate, water-consuming landscapes are not wise, given today’s dry conditions.

Rather than restricting us, however, the drought is forcing gardeners to be more resourceful and creative.

Increasingly, gardeners are meeting this challenge by turning to theme gardening.

It is one way to inject creativity and individualism into a landscape while wisely managing resources.

Fairy gardens, for instance, are especially popular with children – or adults who retain a child-like imagination.

They invoke the magic of animated movies where colorful little worlds are created especially for creatures such as tiny Tinkerbell.

In fairy gardens, plants and natural elements are selected to provide for the fairies’ many needs.

For example, lamb’s ear foliage may serve as warm blankets.

Rose blooms may provide velvety soft fairy shelter.

And pinecones may form fairy village walls or hedges.

Whole fairy towns are especially easy to maintain when installed in containers and kept where conditions are appropriate for the plants – and for the people who want to keep an eye on fairy life.

The Internet is a good source for fairy lore, including legends about the plants that they favor.

The idea is to discover what traits these particular plants have that make them attractive to fairies.

Then substitute plants with similar traits that are most likely to grow and fare well in your garden or container.

For instance, any cup-shaped flower that traps water can serve as a fairy bathtub.

Berry-producing plants, such as hollies, produce “balls” that fairies may use to play catch.

Here’s another tip.

Fairies have needs that must be continuously met just like humans!

If you are planning a fairy garden that will be left outside all year, use a mix of plant materials that create seasonal interest, such as evergreens, spring bulbs, summer bloomers, fall color and winter annuals.

Small succulents make excellent plants for containerized fairy gardens.

The containers may be moved to protect them from weather extremes.

Many garden centers stock items for miniature gardens, such as tiny furniture and lively fairies.

For more about fairy gardens, visit:

Lake Granbury Master Gardener website http://www.hoodcountymastergardeners.org and request a newsletter. The April edition contains additional fairy garden tips and planting suggestions.

For answers to your horticulture questions, please call the Texas Cooperative Extension, Hood County at 817-579-3280 and ask to speak to a Master Gardener or visit the website at hoodcountymastergardeners.org.