They may look delicate with their dainty wings and ephemeral personalities, but don’t let fairies and their gardens fool you. With some weatherizing and a winter vacation indoors, you can tap into the fairy garden craze and enjoy your own miniature landscape no matter where you live.
Make your fairy’s home as sturdy as possible by protecting the container. Spray basket containers and those made of metal with several thin coats of spray paint. The paint helps baskets from cracking in the cold and the metal from rusting. To strengthen clay pots against the elements, spray with clay pot sealer.
While it is certainly possible to use all annuals in your fairy garden each growing season and restart again the following spring, you lose the opportunity to experience the look and feel of an established fairy garden by doing so. Mini “trees” and “shrub” like English boxwood and dwarf Hinoki cypress need time to mature and develop character.
When choosing plants for your fairy garden, keep in mind that some plants do better overwintering indoors than others. Conifers are a nice addition to the fairy garden, but they don’t always thrive indoors. Some easier plant selections for overwintering include Cuphea ‘La Chiquita’, houseplants like pink polka dot plant (Hypoestes `Pink Splash’), mini succulents and herbs like the many varieties of thyme.
Securing fairies and their accessories
The resin fairy figurines on the market are fairly weather resistant when it comes to cool, damp conditions, but it’s important to protect them from the wind, as they are breakable. In order to make sure that your fairy garden stays in place, use fast-acting glue to secure items such as tiny teacups to furniture and fairies to accessories like bicycles.
To keep the fairies in place within the garden, affix them to golf tees or nails with glue, and then insert the tee or nail into the soil.
To preserve your fairy garden until the weather thaws in spring, keep a few things in mind.
- Mimic perpetual spring indoors by locating the fairy garden in a cool area of the home, such as a basement or an unheated sunroom.
- Provide full-spectrum lighting, which can be found in tube and regular light bulbs. Place the plants within two to three inches of the lights for maximum effectiveness, but don’t let the plants touch the bulb.
- Proper watering is also critical to successful overwintering. Overly moist soil during the winter months will quickly lead to root rot. Water when the fairy garden plants are just about ready to go dry.
Come spring, place overwintered plants out into the natural sunlight as soon as possible. Harden the plants off slowly, putting them out for a short time starting at midday and then lengthening the time out each day, as weather permits. The plants can stay out once the danger of frost has passed and you’ve finished hardening them off.
As you can see, there’s really no magic involved in overwintering fairy gardens-although it’s best not to tell the fairies that.
Guest author Julie Bawden Davis is giving away one copy of her new book Fairy Gardening: Creating Your Own Magical Miniature Garden to a randomly selected commenter. If you would like to learn more about the miniature world of fairy gardening, leave a comment or question on this post to be entered into a drawing to win this book. One copy to be given away. Winner will be chosen randomly using Random.org. A valid email address is required for notification and recipient must have a valid U.S. or Canadian mailing address.The giveaway ends Monday, March 25 at midnight Eastern time and the winner will be notified the following day.Giveaway is over, sorry.
Want another chance to win? Visit Garden Therapy tomorrow, when the authors of Fairy Gardening will demonstrate how to make a Fairy Easter Basket. And be sure to visit Fairy Gardens for lots of miniature accessories and fairy gardening tips!