Here at Fifth Season Gardening we sell beer, wine and cheese-making supplies, hydroponic equipment, organic soils, amendments, seedlings, tropical plants and… fairies. We sell fairy figures, fairy friends, fairy decor and all the elements you will need to build a fairy garden. “Why fairies?”, you may ask. Well, building fairy gardens is certainly a delightful way to introduce children to the world of gardening and landscaping. Building a tiny garden is also a whimsical way to bring a touch of nature indoors during the winter months.
Although scientific proof of the existence of fairies is a bit scarce, to say the least, there is a long history behind the building of fairy gardens. Fairy folklore can be found throughout the British Isles, Germany, France and Scandinavia, where it has been well documented for centuries. Fairy folklore was and still is used in many places to explain the unexplainable, weather changes, health changes, and unusual natural phenomena.
In Ireland, fairy gardens are thought to be the gateway to the underground spirit world. It is believed that fairies are the original, magically powerful inhabitants of the British Isles that were driven underground by warring invaders. By creating a fairy garden, you can open a passageway for fairies to join the human world, bringing with them their magical powers and often a bit of mischief as well.
For more than half a century there has existed a community on the northeastern coast of Scotland called Findhorn. There they grow enormous fruits and vegetables. The inhabitants are world renowned for growing 40 lb cabbages and other unusually large produce in abundance. The founding of this commune was based upon their asking the fairies for guidance in nurturing the energetic spirit of everything they grow at the commune.
Building a fairy porthole garden can be as simple as creating a tiny garden in a bowl, an empty bird bath, a glass terrarium or outdoors in a secluded place in the garden. The idea is to build an environment where fairies will feel comfortable, safe, and still be a part of the natural world.
Broken pots can be used as houses, caves or castles. Fragments of broken terracotta or bark chips can be used for steppingstones, bridges or stairways. Twigs can be broken down and glued together to create ladders, fences, bridges, swings and doorways. Pinecones make perfect roofing slates. Use broken mirrors to create ponds and streams. Small pebbles will pave a road, stream bed or pathway. Preserved sheet moss makes an ideal grassy lawn.
A good quality hot melt glue gun is an essential tool for building your tiny fairy worlds. If you build your fairy garden in a dish two or more inches deep you can build the base of soil and incorporate small terrarium ferns or trailing plants into your landscape. If you are building your garden outdoors, you can landscape it with miniature steppable ground covers.
Every winter I delve into my massive stash of twigs, bark, pinecones and mossy bits to create a fairy garden on my dining room table. This tiny landscape brings a bit of nature and magical joy indoors while we navigate through the dark, cozy winter months.
Whether you are building fairy gardens to encourage a visit from other world spirits to help you with your gardening projects or sharing some magic making time with a child, Fifth Season has everything you need to build a whimsical wee world for fairies to frolic in.
Here’s is a video of Pam’s holiday fairy garden this year!