By Air Polnam-in Davis from Charming Succulents
How to make a succulent fairy garden
I’ve always loved fairy gardening and everything miniature. I’m also obsessed with succulents! I absolutely adore them! I propagate succulents from leaves and found that they grow quite slowly. There are so many varieties of succulents to choose from, so many different colours and textures which are perfect for miniature fairy gardening. So I collaborated with Fairy Kate from Garden Sparkle as an experiment to see how long the fairy garden would last and how fast the plants would grow. If you scroll down to the bottom of the post you will see the growth after three months. The succulents didn’t grow much because I used smaller succulents varieties and young ones. I also planted them close together and limited the watering.
So let’s get started
Step 1: Prepare
What sized pot/container will you use?
Use containers that you desire. I recommend shallow containers to limit the growth of the plants (just as bonsai plants are potted.) In this project I used a big ceramic birdbath for the base and drilled holes in it for drainage. I chose a tall medium pot and a small shallow ceramic to be arranged inside the big bird bath to create different levels and for a cascading effect. I recommend choosing pots with different heights and diameter to create interest and variation.
It is important to consider where you’d like to place your fairy garden. Succulents grow well in brightly lit areas. Morning sun is best. It helps them to maintain their bright colours. Positioning your fairy garden on a patio that receives morning sun would be perfect or if indoors in a sunny window sill.
Fairy Garden Plants
Use any succulents you can find. Small succulents are best. You can purchase them online or from your local markets or nursery. You can also propagate your own succulent pups from cuttings. Learn how to do that here:
I chose many different varieties of succulents for this project as I propagate my own and have a large collection to work with however you don’t need to use so many different varieties. I do recommend choosing varying heights, colours and texture though.
Fairy garden accessories
I chose beautiful accessories from Garden Sparkle. Some items were limited edition at the time.
I had an idea of the different scenes I wanted to create when choosing my items e.g. an eating area (table and chair set with tea set), an area with a decorative water feature (pond which could be filled with water), a peaceful reading spot in the garden (reading frog ornament plus bird bath) and an entrance into the garden (mail box and stepping stones). I added some extra decorative items such as the lamp post and mini pots. Of course I had to choose a fairy.
- Cacti and Succulents potting mix
- Disposable medical gloves (as they are so thin it makes it easier to handle tiny little plants)
- Gardening trowel/or substitute
- Spray bottle with water
- A collection of interesting rocks and different coloured pebbles
- Wooden craft/popsicle stick or a chop stick (To help dig tiny holes for the roots of tiny succulents)
- Music (not necessary but it’s very important to me when I create piece of art)
Step 2. Plan out landscaping
You can draw a rough plan on paper if you like or do as I prefer and just play around with arranging pots and fairy garden accessories in different positions until satisfied with the composition. Imagine you are the tiny fairy that’s going to enjoy the fairy garden. It can help you to plan the lay out and the different scenes.
For the potting process, I filled the birdbath half way with potting mix then nestled the two smaller pots in place (medium pot to the left , then small pot to the back right) and topped up with potting mix around them until the bird bath was full. I filled the small pots with potting mix. Then I added some of the main fairy garden accessories to make it easier to decide which succulent to plant and where.
Step 3. Planting
For the planting process I started off with the small pot on the right. I imagined that this section of the garden would have a beautiful view over the fish pond and a quiet and peaceful spot for the frog to sit under the tree and read his book.
I started by planting the ‘big tree’ at the back of the pot. I added small succulents under the tree and around the pot leaving the middle free for fairy activities. I used a Chain of Heart plant to cascade over the front edge and down the the front pot to the pond on the bottom level. (Any cascading succulents will be perfect for this.)
I filled in the empty space with pebbles and added small rocks amongst the plants.
At the very back of the birdbath I also planted medium size succulent trees to fill the gap at the back and create cozy feeling in the garden.
I then focused on planting the outdoor eating section of the garden in the medium shallow pot. I removed the table setting to make planting easier. I added succulent trees of varying heights and textures at the back and a section of succulent garden at the left. I planted the mini pots too. They are so adorable. I filled the empty space with pebbles. I used black pebbles at the back to help the white table stand out.
Then I moved on to the bottom level. I removed the pond to make planting easy. I planted small succulents around the base of the tall pot then put pond back in. I added ground cover succulents around the front, leaving space for a path.
Lastly I planted a succulent garden near the fairy mail box, leaving empty space at the base of mailbox so that the fairy could have easy access to it. I filled this are in with pebbles and stepping stones.
Then I used a spray bottle of water to clean any excess soil off the plants and also give them a drink of water. The remainder of the fairy garden accessories were added to complete the project.
Tadaaa! Completed succulent fairy garden!
Here are a few close ups of each section…moments captured in my succulent fairy garden.
After three months I took this photo so you can see the minimal growth. All that is required is a little trimming.
Thank you for reading. Happy fairy gardening with succulents!