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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!