I will bet that you didn’t know that fairy gardens are not a new phenomenon. It is hard to believe that they had their beginnings in the US in 1893! It is reputed that they began as bonsai dish gardens which were on display at the Japanese Pavilion in the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Soon thereafter, the New York Times featured these miniature creations in an article and the rest, as they say, is history. So, fairies had their start that long ago, and they are still as popular as ever.
Who Enjoys Fairy Gardens?
Fairy gardens are for both adults and kids. Adults have them inside in their homes and offices, many times in terrariums or in the soil of an existing plant or tree. Families enjoy fairy gardens in and around the garden or patio. Kids can enjoy them in their rooms, just as they would a doll house. With fairy gardens, you are only limited by your imagination. The more the innovative you can be in selecting the location or ‘container’ for your fairy garden, the more fun you will have with it. Outside, for instance, an old, broken wheelbarrow or flower pot can be a great choice and a conversation piece, and can only add to the whimsy of your fairy garden.
How Do I Get Started?
There is no average age for our fairy garden customers. Many are kids trying to start their fairy garden or picking up some items to add to their existing fairy garden. Some adult customers come into our store with excited, but puzzled, looks on their face. Their comments are something like this, “I love these, but how do you get started?” They could mean for their child or for themselves. The great thing about fairy gardens is that you can get started with a ‘favorite’ fairy, a little house to live in, one or more pets to keep the fairy company, and perhaps a friend so that the fairy doesn’t get lonely. For those who need a little help getting started, we have starter sets at the Bee & Thistle that can be a big help.
How Do I Improve My Fairy Garden?
Then, as you may have done with a doll house, you will probably need more things for the fairies to use. These can include furniture, a sandbox, a wishing well, a gazing ball (fairies love to make wishes), and more. There are so many fairy garden web sites that it is easy to get confused. Our suggestion is to be patient, let it grow gradually. As you find the right things for your fairies, gnomes, and sprites, your fairy garden will gradually grow into a wonderful, magical place.
Outside vs. Inside?
If the fairy garden is inside, it is easy to treat it like a doll house. At the Bee & Thistle, we have ‘fairy boxes’ for just this purpose. They come with preserved moss that acts like grass, and with this you have a ready-made starting point for your fairy garden. If you decide to move it outside, I would suggest using the plants around the patio. It is close, convenient, and will make an attractive backdrop for your fairy garden. Most of the items for fairy gardens are waterproof, but they will weather like anything else you have around the patio. It is recommended that you consider eventually moving the fairy garden indoors after the summer.
Ready to start your project? We’d love to hear all about it! Please feel free to stop in and talk to Eileen or John about your ideas about what comes next. Good luck!