On a bright, sunny day in December, a friendly pixie wanders into the fairy garden. She glances up at the evergreen winter plants, their branches extending far and wide. She looks around at the winter flowering plants, with their delicate petals and gentle leaves. They would make such lovely hideaways for a picnic or a cozy tea party! In the distance, the pixie sees fairy houses, vegetable patches, and dozens of fairy friends flying from leaf to leaf. Wingless, the little pixie knows she will need to make her way to the town square on foot. But when she looks down, the ground is a mess of tangled vines, creeping groundcover plants, fluffy snow, and treacherous ice. As it turns out, this winter container garden is not a welcome place for a pixie. She might as well turn around and head back to her own garden… |
Stepping Stones and Paths As the holiday season trundles on, you have doubtless already prepared your winter container gardens for the coldest weeks of the year. Perhaps you have added new winter plants, moved some winter container gardens inside for the season, or decorated your miniature garden with holiday-themed accessories. So much goes into preparing the winter garden! But there is one area that can be easy to overlook. To find it, you must peer closely at the ground beneath your winter plants and miniature trees.
Oftentimes, the fairy garden at ground-level is a jungle of moss, groundcover plants, uncovered soil, wayward roots, and fallen-over miniature accessories. As gardeners, we tend to our winter flowering plants and other miniature plants, as well as the larger accessories and fairy houses, but we overlook the base of the garden. Do you know who does notice the garden ground? The fairies! Fairies, pixies, and other wee folk need paths and stepping stones in order to navigate the garden. The addition of landscaping materials like gravel, stones, sand, and pebbles not only create a navigable outline for fairies (and human imaginations…) to follow, but they add beauty and elegance to an otherwise wild garden scene. If you want to take your winter container garden or outdoor fairy garden to the “next level,” landscaping materials can help you do it.
Stepping stones and paths are one of my favorite ways to decorate the miniature garden. They can be purchased in sets or chosen one-by-one to create a completely unique look. To add them to the garden, clear out a bit of level ground and simply push the stepping stone into the soil until it is secure. Think about a fairy’s tiny footsteps. You definitely do not want your tiny pixies and gnomes to be leaping from stone to stone! Put them close enough together so that a fairy-sized garden resident could walk comfortably. Paths can stretch between fairy houses, curve their way under winter plants, or linger alongside a river. If you need help getting started, simply choose a destination in your garden, such as a beach or a favorite winter flowering plant. Build a path that leads from the garden entrance to the attraction. There you have it! The first of many fairy garden paths.
Fairy Garden Rocks and Pebbles For an unstructured look, consider using loose garden river rocks, pebbles, or gravel to create riverbeds, patios, and other outdoor gathering areas. I have utilized loose pebbles around wishing wells, near gazebos, under picnic tables, and next to water features. For a low-maintenance winter container garden, pour gravel with a heavy hand. Instead of using ground cover plants to create a lawn for your fairy house, you can plant winter plants in between larger sections of gravel. The colors and textures of pebbles and gravel provide a gorgeous contrast to green plants and bright winter flowering plants.
Remember: Paths and pebbles are not only there to help pixies and fairies navigate the garden. They can also help you fill your winter container garden. Sometimes I can only commit to one or two miniature plants and a couple of themed accessories. With hardscape materials, my garden container can still look full and fully-imagined. As you plot and plant paths for your fairy garden, do not be afraid to rearrange, get creative, and have a little fun.
May you always step confidently in the direction of your dreams-- wherever they may lead.
Miniature Gardening offers a variety of accessories, fairies, garden tools & dollhouse furniture to create enchanting miniature landscapes for winter container plants or your yard. Story telling and imaginary fairy garden plants from 'Miniature Gardening' bring the playful kid out in all of us. Filled with intrigue and mystique each little miniature garden scene you create is a snapshot of such a dream.
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