Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fairies In The Garden

Hi Guys,
I'm so pleased to share this bit of gardening with you today, this is a kind of gardening that's quite new for me, but so enjoyable and cute and fun and oh, why don't I just get right to it! 

A few weeks ago I started daydreaming about a fairy garden for my back patio. I've wanted to try one for several years but never got around to for one reason or another, so naturally I made a Pinterest board, ha! It really helps me to have a visual reference and a place to keep bits of information & inspiration. {I ♥ Pinterest!} Last weekend, as I've already mentioned I did a little garden shopping and gathered my supplies to create a space of my own, a happy, natural fairy garden.

Cute, aye?

But how 'bout with lights?!

Care to take a turn around the garden?

Let's start with the fairy house, it's not a real fairy house, but a birdhouse that I've had for years. I've always loved it, but now I really love it. It does the trick, don'cha think?
I can imagine a itty bitty fairy climbing in to curl up for a quick nap, Can't you? Sure, why not? Maybe I should make a little quilt just in case one stops by!

Just behind the house is a tiny tree, it's adorable, so teensy. And speaking of teensy, look at that topiary, eeep!

Next to that there's the garden arch. Gotta have one of those, right?

To the right of the garden arch, it looks like someone's been doing some planting.
 That's a real succulent, mini hens & chicks if I remember correctly.

Over in the "front yard" there's a bench for the fairies to have a little sit-down during all their hard work and have a look around the garden. Based on those empty pots, I think there's more work to be done.

My mother gave me that little bench years ago, I think she found it at a yard sale... it's been sitting on a shelf in my craft room, and was the first thing I wanted to add to the garden, thanks mom!

Looks like the sun is going down, good thing for those lights! They add a touch of whimsy, which I adore and I love that I can enjoy my garden well into the night. I can see the fairy garden glowing from my kitchen window and from the family room. The last few days I've found myself gazing at it from inside and smiling like a goober child. SO inspiring to the imagination! 

I got such a kick out of this project. I love that it's going to grow and change though out the spring & summer.
Oh baby, I'm just getting warmed up! I have all kinds of ideas planned for my little garden!

So! A few details, I suppose. I built the garden in a great big galvanized tub that we've had forever, in fact, it's original purpose was for drinks and ice at our wedding. It's sprung a leak at the bottom, so I guess it was ready for a second life as a tiny ecosystem. The new pieces of "garden furniture" that I purchased (the topiary, the arch, the fence, the watering can and the tiny set of terra cotta pots) came from the Fair Oaks Nursery in Sacramento. I used a combination of ground covers and succulents to plant my garden, I tried to pick things keeping scale, texture and color in mind. I'm pretty pleased with the way they look together, and excited to see what it looks like a month from now, two months from now, six months from now!


I hope you've enjoyed my little tour, it's been fun showing this to you and looking at the details up close. I'm by no means any kind of expert so if you have any tips, please, please lay them on me! If you have any questions about any of the specifics, ask away, I'm happy to share!


I love that so many people like and have enjoyed my fairy garden, what a thrill! This has far and away been my most popular blog post, which is both surprising and pleasing as all get out! As of this update (2-18-14) the garden is almost two years old and is going on it's merry little way growing and changing seasonally. I will definitely be doing another Fairy Garden post soon and I'd be ever so pleased to have you follow along here on the blog so you don't miss any Fairy Garden posts! I've had a lot of questions about the lights that I used and I'd like to provide a couple of sources for any of you looking for them.

I stumbled on the lights I used in my fairy garden quite by accident at my local OSH (Orchard Supply Hardware) which is a home & hardware store in Northern California. I believe they were a seasonal item and are no longer available, BUT! I have located some very close alternative lights for sale on the web.

Lookie here, fairy garden lovers!

Starry Starry Lights
I believe these are the original "twinkle lights" and highly rated on Amazon, also featured on Restoration Hardware. A couple of things to be aware of ...
  1. These are NOT the lights I used, but they are very pretty. 
  2. These lights PLUG IN and require electricity. Mine do not. Mine are battery operated and were sold in the patio section of the store so meant more for outdoors, I think that's important to note. The lights themselves can get wet, but the power source CAN NOT. If you have other items in your garden that require power such as a fountain or pump, this might be a good option for you, if like me, your garden is free standing and away from electricity, perhaps not. 
  3. They're spendy. You can buy different lengths on RH and they're priced accordingly, on Amazon twenty feet seems to be the only size available. For my garden that would have been way too much, I think my light strand was 7 feet long and that was just about perfect.  
RTGS Micro Lights
These are a very close match to what I used. They are battery operated, come in six foot lengths and, hello, they're less that seven bucks (and free shipping if you have Prime). I don't remember for certain, but I think I paid about $10 for the lights I bought at OSH. These are also highly rated on Amazon. I have in fact bought a set of these very lights for another project and I think they're just fine, plus, there are color options! Warm White (which is what I bought, but I personally don't think the light is very warm), Cold White, Blue, GreenRed & Pink. Rad? Yes. 

The only other thing I'd note about these that's different than the ones in my garden is that the wire the lights are mounted on is silver, not brown/copper. Does that matter to you? I don't think it would matter to me because (having seen this myself) the wire was COMPLETELY hidden within a very short time by the mosses and ground covers in the garden. If I'd only ever seen silver, I would have bought without a seconds hesitation, I still would. Oh! As with the Starry Starry Lights, the light strand itself can get wet so watering your garden isn't an issue, but the battery pack CAN NOT. You must protect your battery pack so it doesn't fizzle out. Mine is tucked behind the fairy house and perched on a rock so that it isn't sitting in the soil. I have accidentally sprayed mine from time to time and so far it still works fine, just try to be careful and keep it as dry as possible.

I think that's about it for the lights, any other questions? Questions are totally welcomed! I'm happy to answer any that you have to the best of my ability.  I'm posting this update because a lot of people who've asked questions are "No Reply Bloggers" so I can not respond via email. I personally don't enjoy weeding through comment sections for answers (I suspect I'm not alone in that regard) so hopefully this update will help those of you still looking find your lighted Fairy Garden bliss!

I've added tons more Fairy Garden links to my pinterest board since this initial post as well, plant recommendations, furniture, decorations and loads of other cuteness, pop on over and follow along if you like this kind of thing, here is my --> Fairy Garden Pin Board <-- a=""> 

p.s. Don't know if you're a "No Reply Blogger"? Check this post!


suzitee said...

Now that is WAY too cute! Your imagination is inspiring could you not think happy thoughts when gazing at this. Love it!

Jill said...

I love your little garden. I find myself smiling at each photo because it's so darn cute! My fairy garden is almost ready for it's housewarming, so your fairies are invited to drop by to party. (Sneak peek posted last night-- so excited!) I'm lovin' these little gardens!

janice15 said...

It's simply adorable, I love it...I just made a tiny cactus Garden...and I really enjoyed making it...I would love to make one like this and very good idea...thank you for sharing...with Love Janice @ by and visit some time...Have a great Thursday...

Unknown said...

SQUEEEE!!!! this is adorable!!! LOVE it! I'm gonna make one..

Bex said...

It's so cute! I want to shrink myself and hang out there all day.

Bascom Hogue said...

I love this, LKL. It is charming and wonderful and really does put me in the mind of fairies.

Melissa said...

I have no words, just warm fuzzies and strong desire to have one of my own on my balcony! Great job, my friend!!

my cup of tea said...

Just adorable Lisa! Inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

Rebag said...

Simply gorgeous!! Love it

Unknown said...

Never would have thought of lights! Fantastic!

Anonymous said...

This is one of the cutest fairy gardens I've seen yet!! The working lights are truly the icing on the cake.

Looking forward to seeing your next one!

bug said...

I love this garden! I pinned it to my Fairy Gardens board on pinterest!


Angela McRae said...

Oh, I can't tell you how much I ADORE your fairy garden! I've started one (sorta--all I've got in place is the fairy teapot-house!), and yours is amazing. I love the lights, the house, the succulents, the arch and bench (moms rock!), etc. etc. Very inspiring! Thank you!!!

MamaWestWind said...

It's beautiful!!! I love the lights!

Becky said...

Holy Cow! This is the cutest fairy garden I have ever seen! The twinkle lights just take it over the edge cuteness! I have been dreaming about making a little garden of my own, but I don't even know where to begin.

P.S. I love your blog! It's so fun!

Ruthie Miller said...

Positively the best one I have seen!!!! So charming. Of course it brings out the kid in you. That is a great thing. I have been hoping to make one too. I am curious about your tiny lights. Can you please tell me how I could find them? Thanks. Come visit us if you like teacups...Ruthie at

dionne said...

Love the lights!

Kathy said...

You have a lovely design and plan for your fairy garden in the tub. I am in awe of the string of lights you added. It really makes it magical for the night time effects.

Jorgelina said...

Adore your fairy garden!
It's so cute!

Anonymous said...

So amazing! LOVE the little lights especially. Must go to craft store and find some. Adorable! Thank you for sharing these.

Michelle said...

Wow, your amazing details make it so magical! I wish I could shrink and visit for an evening!

Bridget said...

Adorable! Where did you find the tiny lights?

Caroline said...

I was wondering where you got the lights?

Unknown said...

Adorable! Where did you find the cute lights?

Kathleen said...

Hi Lisa, thank you so much for the inspiration! I've been planning one of these for a few years, your pics gave me the push to jump in!
One comment about the lights...I use the Amazon rtgs lights, they are fabulous! They come with a waterproof battery pack, so it can stay outside, and the lights have a timer, so I turn them on once and they run for a couple of weeks- on for 6 hours, off for 18- day after day until the batteries run out! I'll let you know how they hold up in the Arizona heat!
Sweet inspiration! Thank you!

Unknown said...

Can you give information on where to buy the fairy that was a gift to you. I love it.

Unknown said...

Hi Lisa -

this is the best fairy garden I have ever seen.. it gives me an inspiration to do some garden work in my new house with my 2 little daughters.can you please tell how big was your galvanized tub to have an idea how big space we need? also, do you still have this fairy house? if yes, please post an update.

Thank you,

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