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July 16, 2018 5 min read

Do you have a soft spot in your heart for fairies? Are you fond of fairy tales? Do you dream of having a miniature garden in your backyard or indoors populated with fairies and fairy houses? If yes, this article is for you. If you’re thinking of creating a miniature garden with living plants decorated with various garden accents, this guide contains all the required information and things you need to get your feet wet.

In this article, we will discuss whether you want a fairy garden or a miniature garden, what the best plants for the gardens are, where to get them, how to plant and tend them as well as how to bedeck it to showcase your creativity. So, without further ado, let’s get to it:


Miniature Garden Or Fairy Garden – Which One Should I Go For?

It appears that many people mix the term miniature garden and fairy garden, despite there being some fundamental differences.  A miniature garden is focused on growing a garden on a small scale. The trees and shrubs that are planted are dwarf-sized and miniature garden accessories like benches, fountains or birdbaths are used to scale it for the viewers.  Fairy gardens, on the other hand, aren’t as focused on plant selection, design or scale like their miniature counterparts. Fairy gardens are usually fixated on fairies and related accessories.

So, which is for you? Well, it all comes down to your preferences and lifestyle. If you like imaginary fairies and sceneries that make you remind of your playful childhood days, go for a fairy garden. Also, it’s easier to make and take care of fairy gardens. Meanwhile, if you like observing nature in miniature scale and don’t mind spending a few hours every week honing your gardening skills and curating trees, then a miniature garden is ideal for you.

In this piece, we will primarily talk about all the bells and whistles of growing a miniature garden. Having said that, check the following section where we have compiled a list of things you should remember when growing a miniature garden.


How Do I Get Started?

Many people don’t like to try new things as most of them become overwhelmed or make things more complicated than they are actually are. However, miniature gardens are relatively easy. It is okay if you can’t help getting confused with all the choices and possibilities at first, but the first step to get the ball rolling is by selecting a place where your miniature garden will live.

Ask yourself—“Do I want my miniature garden in a container or in the ground?” If it’s a container, then decide on where that container is placed. If you’re planning to keep your mini garden containers indoors, choose a nice container that matches your décor.

Now check if whether the spot you decided meets the lighting requirements. Does it get full sunshine or is it shady? 

Let’s talk about soil for that spot now. You’ll need potting soil if you’re growing your miniature garden in a pot or container and organic garden soil for the garden bed.

Now that the placement has been finalized, research the plants that suit that spot or container. If you want your miniature garden to be a success, we recommend you plant taller plants at the back of the pot, shorter plants in the front, at least one tree that will eventually be the centerpiece.


Ten Favorite Plants For Miniature Gardens

Unlike traditional backyard gardens, plants or shrubs that resemble full-sized trees are ideal for mini gardens. You can also use indoor bonsai trees in your miniature garden but grow them in pots for easier maintenance.  If you can’t find bonsai trees, you can trim the bottoms leaves or twigs of a shrub to expose the trunk, which will make it look like a tree.

Nonetheless, here we’ve compiled ten of our favourite plants for indoor and outdoor miniature gardens. You can also add some of your favourites if you can find it here.

Ten Favorite Plants For An Indoor Miniature Garden 

  1. English Boxwood
  2. False Cypress
  3. Parlor Palm
  4. Norfolk Pine
  5. Ellwood’s Blue Cypress
  6. Dwarf Mondo Grass
  7. Baby Tears
  8. Corsican Mint
  9. Sugar Vine
  10. Zebra


Ten Favorite Plants For An Outdoor Miniature Garden 

  1. Just Dandy Dwarf Hinoki Cypress
  2. Jean’s Dilly Dwarf Spruce
  3. Miniature Juniper
  4. Dwarf Mugo Pine
  5. Sky Pencil Japanese Holly
  6. Miniature Daisies
  7. Platt’s Black Brass Buttons
  8. Cranesbill
  9. Small Hens and Chicks
  10. Irish Moss


Recommended Tools For Miniature Gardens 

In every craft, you need tools and supplies.  For example, if you’re a creating an art piece, you need basic resources like a canvas, paint, brushes, and yes, a boatload of inspiration. Similarly, when it comes to miniature gardening, you need some basic supplies.  These include buckets, wheelbarrows, hoses, various gardening equipment, and hand tools.

If you feel confused by the terms gardening tools and hand tools, allow me to clear it for you. Gardening types of equipment are shovels, spades, or forks, whereas hand tools include trowels, hand pruners, shears, or weeders. When buying these tools, you’ll find that these tools come in a range of different shapes and colors, while keeping the functionality intact. So, don’t hesitate to add your own personal touch to your gardening equipment. It will make your gardening work more fun.


6 Things To Remember When Growing A Miniature Garden 

  1. Use Small Tress: Miniature gardens are all about scaling down real outdoor gardens. Use small trees for adding height to your garden. Use shorter plants as bedding plants to mimic the understory. For better results try combining various textures of plants for the understory. 
  1. Light: All the plants in your container should have the same light if you want your miniature garden to be a success. We recommend you use grow bulbs or 5000K bulbs. 
  1. Temperature: If you’re growing a miniature garden indoors, ensure the room temperature stays above 60F (15C) all year round. 
  1. Soil: We suggest you use organic potting soil. The organic potting soil is generally free from fertilizers and water-retaining polymers. 
  1. Water: Make sure the container in which you’re growing your miniature garden has a hole for excess water to drain out. For aesthetic reasons, we recommend you get a container with matching saucer. 
  1. Scale: This is by far the most important when it comes to growing a miniature garden. Pay attention to the scale of your miniature garden. If this is the first time you’re growing a miniature garden, things may look complicated, but when you get hang of it, it becomes easier. Also, remember to keep all the accessories in scale too, so as not to confuse the viewer.


If you’re creating your miniature garden in a container like most people, you should know the size of the accessories in relation to the container. If you do not, fret not, we got you covered.


  1. If your container is 10″ in diameter or larger, use accessories that are larger or at least 1″ in scale. The same measurement also applies to in-ground mini gardens.
  2. For smaller pots of 10″ in diameter or under, use mini size or ½” scale.
  3. For containers ranging from 2″ to 4″, use micro sized accessories or those that are ¼” scale.


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