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Fantastic Fairy Gardens

I've got to admit, I wasn't an early believer in the fairy garden trend, but it is winning me over. In the last couple of years, I've grown to see the value of this whimsy. Watching parents and children or often grandparents and grandkids speak of creating a tiny magical space is pretty fantastic. And this isn't a trend limited to kids; I believe that the miniature garden may be the new Zen Garden where grown-ups create and unwind and reconnect with their playful side. 
A little while ago on the TV news, a White Rock Garden was highlighted for showing a tree in a boulevard with a fairy door, stone path and miniature garden planted at its base. This planting might very well have made the homeowner happy, but the real treat here is that it seemed to be mostly for passersby to enjoy! The news went on to say that local elementary school teachers were taking their classes on field trips just to walk by and enjoy thinking about the fairies and gnomes that live there. Anything that gets kids using their imagination gets my vote!
Inspiration is the key to getting started. What would make you or a visitor to your garden smile? It might be a door in a tree or fence panel or like one of our staff members it was a few miniature chairs that she placed in a circle in a wide bowl-shaped pot filled with bark mulch. Then she added some tiny sticks to replicate a campfire in miniature. In one garden I created I put little sedums in two rows that represented cabbages and placed some fairy garden tools beside them. Elfin thyme and other small leaved plants lend themselves to miniature gardens. It's all about scaling people size to fairy size. 
As for choosing your location, you are going to have to let your creative side out. Like all creative ideas, the best ones come to us when we take the time to relax and have fun with it. Any empty patch of ground will work, but you might have a great tree to use or an unloved corner. Also, any container will work whether it is a shallow bowl, a broken pot, a bird bath repurposed, an old bath tub, a large pot that has a tree in it but nothing yet planted at the base. I've seen some elaborate miniature gardens, and I've seen some super simple ideas, and as long as it makes you happy, the fairies and gnomes are sure to follow, as long as you believe.
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