Enchanting miniature ‘tree’ gardens
10 Step by Step ‘Recipes’ for fairy gardens you can create around any tree in your garden, plus, a look into the deep foresty world of fairy house maker, Sally Smith and a fascinating video of how she works! If you have a tree in your garden, you can create a little fairy magic all your own!
- 1 Fairy, sitting on a mushroom
- 4 Gnomes on 4 stones
- 3 Blue star creeper and a few Hosta
- Two or three succulents and 1 Coral bells
- Several flat rocks
Arrange the rocks around the tree to form some planting pockets and a flat spot for the figurines, tuck in the hosta and other plants around the roots of a tree, adding soil when necessary. Set up the gnomes and fairy in a flat central area. You’re done!
- 7 large rocks
- 6 Hosta
- 1 bag of Soil
- An adorable fairy house
- Crescent moon plaque
Hang moon plaque, arrange rocks in a semi-circle and pour soil within that circle. Plant the Host and nestle in the fairy house next to the tree. Magic!
Allison Reagan, cleared an area around her tree and filled in with soil and mulch…it a blank slate!
First decide on a tree, then clear a spot, doing a little ‘house keeping.’ Rake leaves away and arrange some rocks if you have them. The plants by Mary Ann Matzer’s tree re primarily around the back side forming a background for her fairy village. Add smaller and smaller scaled plants as they get closet to your fairy house and accessories.
Sherry added detail upon detail to her fairy tree project. See how she did it, here: Sherry’s terrific miniature tree house
If you already have a fabulously mossy tree stump in your garden, do what Barbara Stanley did and add a wire fence, an adorable arbor and a fairy house, all in miniature. She planted lush Epimedium, common name ‘Fairy Wings,’ to the top of the stump, which cascade down the sides and back adding mystery. If your stump hasn’t natural holes or ‘too small holes or knots like Barbara’s, you can chisel or drill some out.
- Smooth stones and sticks
- Moss and ivy
- Ceramic mushrooms, or any kind
- A purchased fairy and a fairy door See Elfin Door and fairy, Miniature ‘Forget-Me-Not’ Fairy on Amazon for ideas…
Trees make excellent fairy homes…all you need is a door into it! Michelle Cuneo first put down a layer of fine mulch to accent her fairy door,…then poured small stones in a semi-circle around an area in front of her tree. She then filled in with tiny, tiny gravel to form a miniature ‘patio. Adding smooth flat stones and gems formed charming paths for her fairies to follow.
Fairies can enter Leslie Hagen’s tree at the bottom and climb several levels, peeking out balconies and windows and finally reaching the top floor. There’s even a spiral staircase. What an interesting and delightful way to treat a tall tree stump in the garden!
An old cupboard door of any size can be hidden amongst the ivy to create an intriguing entrance to a tree, like Sandy Bridenbaugh did. She leaves it to warp and weather.
Sally J Smith’s Fairy All Natural Houses
I’m so glad to have tracked down the source of this picture, below, that you may have seen online or on Pinterest or on a Fairy Garden site. It was created by Sally J Smith, an environmental artist, living in the Adirondack Mountains.
Sally started out as a watercolorist and illustrator, selling her artwork to book publishers, calendar makers and greeting card companies. She made a wonderful living from those talents,…until she lost her inspiration and creative spark! She was stuck!
Sally sought professional advice from an art coach for her ‘burn-out’ and was asked this question:
‘What have you always wanted to do but were afraid to do, afraid to try? What is really driving you that you don’t give yourself permission to do?’
She thought for an instant, then said she wanted to work outdoors, working in Nature, working with Nature, not looking at it,…but in it. From first working with outdoor ice sculpture, she eventually was ‘nudged’ by the fairies and began creating homes and habitats for them. Sally nestles her fairy homes into mossy niches next to trees. She grooms them and adds to the surrounding ‘grounds’ by making pools of water, mossy lawns, and by using pinecones for trees and shrubs.
Every bit of Sally’s creations are made from natural elements and once created and photographed, are left to the elements “for the Nature Spirits to enjoy.” Here are some of her methods and materials:
- Roofs from bark, felted wool, overlapping leaves, mushroom slices or pinecone scales
- Windows from twigs “glassed in” with ‘found and collected’ butterfly wings.
- Carpets of moss
- Bridges from bark with twig edgings
- Feather fences
- Poppy pod and acorn finials
- Stone sidings and steps
- Pine cone ‘trees’ and ‘bushes’
- Flowers bring in color and are one of her favorite ‘accessories.’
No glue or wire is used when the creation is to be left in the outdoors, for clients, she’ll use resin hot glues and glass gems fro fairy homes meant to be kept indoors.
Sally thinks quite a bit about where she’ll place her fairy homes in the forest, and since no one will actually see her pieces, the photographs she takes become very important.
She calls the photographs she takes the ‘window people walk through, into the world that’s created for them in that moment.”
How darling are these flower stepping ‘stones?’
ROADSIDE ADVENTURES: Sally Smith: The Fairy Queen
After finding Sally’s inspirational website, Greenspirit Arts, I was led to this video, a beautiful, foresty film showing how she creates her completely natural and inspirational fairy houses.
Skip to Minute 8:50 for fairy gardens or watch the whole show..