Miniature Gardening

Whether you call them miniature gardens, tabletop gardens, or fairy gardens these tiny, darling landscapes are beautiful and simple enough for anyone to create. Because they are basically container gardens, they are perfect for any space, any lighting and any conditions!

Many of our local gardening stores have miniature plants and even tiny accessories. When I was last at Rabbit Shadow Farm, they mentioned that they would be introducing their own line of fairy garden furniture this fall. Taking a class at the Denver Botanic Gardens offered by Rabbit Shadow Farms was what first got me started in fairy gardening.

The fairy figures pictured with colored wings came from the Breaking the Mold Candle Company on the 16th Street Mall while the smaller all-metal one is from the Iron Fairies line which I bought at the Tended Thicket on South Gaylord Street.

Tips & Tricks:

  • To save money, make your own container, or re-purpose an old one. Wooden frames with slat bottoms are easy to build!
  • Add rocks to the bottom of your container. Most herbs and alpine plants that you will use for your garden like well-drained soil.
  • Pay attention to your plants' sun requirements. Mixing plants that like shade and sun tends to make an unhappy garden.
  • Most standard size dollhouse furniture is the correct scale to accent your garden. Seashells, rocks and other keepsakes may come in handy too!
  • Remember to water frequently, container gardens need to be kept moist, but not waterlogged. Small sips twice a day are generally the best policy.
  • Deadhead flowers and tend to your garden frequently. Gardening is shown to lower stress and blood pressure! Enjoy your garden!
  • Select colorful alpine varieties, herbs, perennials or succulents to keep your garden growing all year long and next year too!

Books to Get You Started:

Fairy Houses Everywhere! by Barry and Tracy Kane

  • This is a great book to inspire you to create your own fairy houses. Whether you use twigs, gourds or other household materials, these structures would look great in any miniature garden.

Beautiful Tabletop Gardens by Janice Eaton Kilby

  • With over 30 different layout suggestions, this is a wonderful book to excite you about the many different styles and variations there are in miniature gardening. This work also includes solid advice about selecting healthy plants, potting and other gardening help.

Plants for Small Spaces by Stephanie Donaldson and Susan Berry

  • More inspirational than informational, this book will help you see all the possibilities for gardening that exist in each nook and cranny of your home and yard. Select plant suggestions accompany beautiful full page photos.

Quick and Easy Indoor Topiary by Chris Jones

  • Whether you would like a topiary tree for your miniature garden or have always dreamed of a heart shaped ivy plant, this book can help you get a successful start in the topiary arts.

To see more wonderful things made with the help of books from the library, be sure to view the "I Made it with the Library" slideshow! If you would like to submit a photo and the name of the book that helped you with your creation, email

Written by Tara on June 8, 2010

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