Fairy Garden Adventures

SOME GREAT OUTDOOR FAIRY GARDEN PLANTS!


Nothing else can give the feel of being in a woodland forest, or just being part of nature in general, better than real live trees and plants can! Their presence basically authenticates the feeling of being in the ‘great outdoors’. They are that special touch that most gardens shouldn’t do without. So, I am sharing with you some of my favorite outdoor fairy garden plants that will thrive as part of a container garden (they will also do just as well as part of a rock garden, or even just planted right into the ground too).

For now, I am going to stick to just 2 different categories of outdoor fairy garden plants. But don’t worry!! I will be sharing even more next time! But trust me when I tell you that you won’t be disappointed, Simply because these 2 categories contain PLENTY of choices to get you started for now!

HOSTA’S

Miniature Hosta plants (or ‘mini’ is the preferred way of reference) are perfect for containers and are considered to be shade tolerant. However, even the ones that claim to need full shade will do best if they get at least some filtered light during the earliest and cooler parts of the day. It will help them establish their full color potential.

All the mini Hosta varieties bloom around July with lily-like blooms that are usually a lavender type color. While the blooms are usually beautiful to see, most tend to not be fragrant.

Mini Hosta plants are considered to be ‘drought tolerant’, but won’t tolerate being dry for very long! They prefer soil that has good drainage and is consistently moist. Especially during their first 2 or 3 seasons.

Here are some smaller mini Hosta varieties that are great in containers and, since they don’t take up a whole lot of room, work well fitting into a small Fairy garden. But, just like any other plant, periodic pruning is beneficial. In fact, if pruned properly, these mini Hostas can be kept smaller even after they have reached their full maturity.

 

‘Hideout’, Hosta

The upright leaves are thin and wavy. In color, they are mostly white with green around the edges. At full maturity they can reach about 4” tall and about 11” wide.

 

‘DEW DROP’

The leaves are a standard shape and mostly green with a very thin white edge. When the leaves first emerge they are chartreuse, but change by the summer. At full maturity they can reach about 6” tall and about 8” wide.

FROSTED MOUSE EARS’

The rounded leaves start off being blue with a thick yellow edge, but by late summer they change being green with a thick white edge. At full maturity they can reach about 6” tall and about 12” wide.

 

‘LITTLE TREASURE’

The leaves on this variety can’t really be described as being narrow or as being full. They are somewhere in the middle. They are mostly white with a thick blue-green edge and have a bit of a wave to them. At full maturity they can reach about 6” tall and 10” wide.

 

‘HOLY MOUSE EARS’

These leaves are rounded and their coloring is very interesting. They are cream colored in the middle with an outline of light green and then edged by a darker green. At full maturity they can reach about 6” tall and about 12” wide.

 

‘MOUSE TRAP’

The leaves are mostly rounded in shape, but have a slight curve either up or down. They have the same type of coloring as the Holy Mouse Ears, with cream centers that are outlines with lighter green and then edged by darker green. At full maturity they can reach about 6” tall and about 12” wide.

 

‘LITTLE DEVIL’

These leaves are long and narrow, having green in the middle and a thick edge of creamy white. At full maturity they can reach about 5” tall and 12” wide.

 

‘LITTLE MISS MUFFET’

The leaves are a cute heart shape and are chartreuse. The leaves will grow fairly dense in general, but the plant stays pretty small in size. At full maturity they can reach about 4” tall and about 8” wide.

 

‘ITSY BITSY SPIDER’

This is the smallest of the minis. The leaves grow upright with a pointed shape and have a deep green color. At full maturity the can reach about 2.5” tall and about 6” wide

 

TREES AND TREE LOOKALIKES

Depending on which mini tree you decide on (including the ones that are just mimicking a tree), it is entirely possible that at some point they may outgrow the garden area you started them in. This time frame can be prolonged considerably by paying attention to proper and regular pruning of the plants, as well as thinking ahead before you even begin so that you can anticipate probable growth rates of your plants and trees prior to starting the project. This will help in maintaining your little enchanted wonderland can remain in the same home for a little while before having to transplant into a larger container or having to split them up into multiple ones to accommodate them when they get bigger.

Here are some great miniature trees (and tree lookalikes) that bring their own special magic to any Fairy garden they are a part of!

 

 

‘PIXIE DUST’

It is compact in size and produces a dense growth of lush green foliage that changes during the summer season into a lush green with yellow tips. It needs lots of moisture and full sun for best results. At full maturity they reach about 1.5’ tall and 6” wide. Growth rate is approximately 1″ to 3” per year.

 

 

‘ARP’

This one is actually just Rosemary that is pruned and shaped to be a tree look-alike. It is trimmed in order to show the brown wooden stem that, of course, represents a tree trunk. The leaves are long and narrow in shape. Their coloring is of a dark grayish-green and when touched, release a strong rosemary fragrance.

Water this little tree look-alike at the base of the plant for the first few weeks. This will give the roots a chance to work themselves into their new soil and begin reaching out. After a few good growing seasons they become more drought tolerant, but until they reach that point you should keep the soil (as long as it is well-draining soil) with a consistent bit of moisture.

They grow best when in full sun but can tolerate a bit of partial shade at times. Will also survive well in temperatures that reach down to about 25 degrees Fahrenheit as long as their soil is draining properly. Otherwise, their roots will obviously freeze if left in standing water.

 

 

 

COMMON MINIATURE JUNIPER

This tree grows upright and narrow. It can survive in temperatures as cold as -30 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as very tolerant to wind and reflected sun exposure.

Will grow best in full sun to minimal partial shade and prefers well drained soil.

The growth rate is around 2” to 4” per year, but can be pruned to maintain a smaller size longer. At full maturity is can reach 3’ tall and 1.5’ wide. This adorable variety can be used as a tree OR as a shrub in your magical garden!

 

 

 

‘DWARF SWEET MYRTLE’

This is an evergreen shrub that can survive any soil type as long as it is fast draining. This shrub is considered as salt-tolerant, meaning that it grows just fine in coastal regions. It will do okay in shade but does best with 6 to 8 hours of full direct sun.

This evergreen shrub is dark green with white flowers and purple berries. It takes to pruning and shaping easily, and also carries a very strong fragrance.

At full maturity it can reach 2’ to 3’ tall and wide.

 

 

 

‘UPRIGHT SEEDLING’

Just as the name suggests, this grows upright and fairly narrow with bright yellow-green coloring.

If you plant straight into the ground, keep in mind that it will take at least a full year for the roots to fully establish themselves properly, during which time you should take special care to protect them from extreme hot and extreme cold weather. Once they have matured, they are able to handle being exposed to the sun when the weather becomes hotter and can tolerate the cold weather down to around -40 degrees Fahrenheit.

When growing in a container, let the soil start to dry a bit between watering periods. This will help prevent over-watering them. But make sure never to allow the soil to get completely dry when growing them in a container, that will likely lead to damage.

Their growth rate is around 3” to 6” a year, but can maintain their smaller size for longer with proper pruning.

 

A FEW TIPS/TRICKS

Depending on which plants you choose, it is entirely possible that at some point they may outgrow the garden area you started them in. This time frame can be prolonged considerably by paying attention to proper and regular pruning of the plants, as well as thinking ahead before you even begin so that you can anticipate probable growth rates of your plants and trees prior to starting the project. This will help your little enchanted wonderland remain in the same home for a little while before having to transplant into a larger container or having to split them up into multiple containers to accommodate them when they get bigger.

One trick to help with maintaining their small size, at least for a little while, is to leave them in the little container you get them in when you plant them into your container or directly into your garden. This will sort of stunt their growth spurts from happening very fast or efficiently, allowing them to remain smaller longer.

STAY TUNED….

This was only a very short list of what is out there to choose from. To try to cram it all into one sitting would be ridiculous and probably a little too overwhelming for both of us! So, be sure to visit us again soon to see what else I will have in store to help spark your creativity for bringing a that little piece of the Fairy Realm to your own backyard!

Thank you for coming by!

Have any Question or Comment? Come talk to me!

9 comments on “SOME GREAT OUTDOOR FAIRY GARDEN PLANTS!

Whitedove1

I absolutely love what I read in this insightful article because it is full of great information. This is fascinating and interesting to me. I have really gained some experience in growing flowers around the house, these will help beautify my living house. I would love to have more of these flowers around me,thanks for showing me the easy way to nurture them.i would stay around your blog page to know more about garden flowers. Regards 

Reply
Katie Steele

You are very welcome! Glad it was helpful!

Reply
Peace

Hi Katie, 

Hi Katie,

I like that mini Hosta can thrive both indoors and outdoors. It is ironical to note that I came to an outdoor garden website, when in my heart I am looking for an indoor plant. 

I live in a hot part of the world and I hate that I have to battle heat all day long, so I started looking out for plants that can grow well with or without shade, so that I can put them in my house. I don’t know if any one else noticed, but plants cool the air. So want to create a form of natural air conditioner through having plants in my home. 

Is this a good idea? Can my mini Hosta indoor planting plan work? 

Reply
Katie Steele

I don’t think the fact is very well known that plants actually can reduce temperatures (indoors & outdoors) if utilized properly. So, your indoor planting plan of creating a natural air conditioner is most definitely something that can produce effective results!! And not only will it be cost effective, but it will enhance the comfort and attractiveness within your home as well! It’s a win, win situation.

However, I don’t think that Hosta’s specifically fall into the actual category of the plants that can effectively result in a ‘cooling’ effect. Don’t get me wrong, just about all plants contribute in at least some way. But some are more effective than others when utilized properly. So, Hosta’s aren’t a total loss in this area, but they alone would not accomplish the desired result. 

Here is a small list of some great indoor plants that would help to achieve your natural air conditioning planting plan… Hope this helps at least a little bit!

Bamboo Palm, Spider plant, Boston Fern, Weeping Fig, Rubber Tree/Plant, Chinese Evergreen, and Snake Plant.

You know, I think you may have just inspired a future article for my website! This would definitely make for an interesting read!

Reply
Louise

This is an interesting concept, as a gardener who thrives on being outdoors as much as possible I am not sure I can agree that there is anything better than “real trees or plants” but I like your idea of fairy gardens.

It is certainly something that will help to get small children involved in gardening which I am a strong advocate of.

Gardening at any level, or indeed size, of plants is good for us.

I like your choice of plants too!

Reply
Katie Steele

Thank you! And yes, fairy gardens are a great and fun project to engage kids in. Especially the ones who are still young enough to have not yet lost their belief in the magic of fairytales! It is so awsome to be part of expanding their little imaginations and helping them to open up to their creativity!

Reply

I was just re-reading some of the comments that have been left here, and I realized you must have misunderstood what I had said in the beginning of my post…. I voiced my opinion of there being nothing better than real plants and trees!! I in no way think there is a substitute that could could take the place of mother nature! I just wanted to clear that up because I am on the same page as you! 🙂

Reply
Chris

We have decided to go down the fairy garden route with a really decent sized piece of garden that we have towards the west side of our house, we were lucky enough to get a LOT of garden area when we purchased the property. 

I really like the look of the Arp and the Mouse Trap plant varieties but we are looking at plants that definitely will outgrow their area (for obvious reasons). What plants from the list would you recommend for this?

Reply
Katie Steele

Hi Chris! That’s awesome you were lucky enough to acquire enough space to have a garden! That is blessing that is becoming more rare these days for a lot of us…. A majority of the pants that I have listed will actually grow to be a much larger size than that of fitting into a ‘mini garden’, even those labeled as Dwarf varieties. It is by way of proper and regular pruning that they can maintain such a small size. If left to grow ‘wild’ in an environment that is not within a container to limit it’s growing space, they have the potential to become fitting for a much larger setting than just a Fairy Garden!   

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