These gardens aren’t just fairy tales

MARSHALL – It’s not hard to bring a little magic to your garden – or even your houseplants, for that matter. All it takes is imagination, said Stephanie DeJaeghere.

DeJaeghere, a Lyon County master gardener, gave a talk on making “fairy gardens” and miniature gardens at the Marshall-Lyon County Library on Thursday evening. There are no set rules for what makes a fairy garden, but, she said, they often make use of miniature plants and decorations to make a planting look like a pixie-sized garden. DeJaeghere said she’s only been making fairy gardens for about a year, but it’s been a lot of fun.

“It was actually my daughter, who is six, who got me into it,” DeJaeghere told an audience of local residents. “Her comment to me was, ‘Why haven’t we done this before?'”

DeJaeghere brought one of her daughter’s creations as an example at the talk. In the center of a container garden, a jade plant a few inches high looked like a tall tree shading a miniature arbor and birdbath, and a figurine of a fairy. Colored moss covered the potting soil and looked like grass.

“I thought, if a 6-year-old can do it, we can all do it,” DeJaeghere said. “You don’t have to do anything fancy.”

Decorations for a fairy garden can be made from materials like twigs or moss. Miniature gardens can be planted in containers, and they work well both indoors and outdoors, DeJaeghere said. They’re also a lot of fun for kids.

“It gives kids a lot of freedom,” DeJaeghere said. From her daughter’s perspective, she said, “It’s just like having a dollhouse, but it’s outside and Mom doesn’t care what she does with it.”

Many kinds of plants can work well in a miniature garden, but DeJaeghere highlighted succulents like jade plants, hens-and-chicks and sedum. Succulents tend to be easy to care for and hard to kill, as well as looking nice, she said.

DeJaeghere said supplies for making a fairy garden or miniature garden can be found at gardening supply stores and even garden centers in bigger chain stores.

“The one thing I find hard to get is some of the succulents at this time of year. But in the middle of May, they’re everywhere,” DeJaeghere said.

Resources on miniature gardening can be found at the library, and DeJaeghere said ideas are abound on the Internet. Paula Nemes of the Marshall Lyon-County Library said the library also hopes to organize a miniature garden display, where area residents can show their own fairy garden creations.

Residents who still want a chance to get some pointers on making their own fairy gardens can hear DeJaeghere’s talk again on Saturday. The event will be at noon at the library community room.