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Fairy gardens can be any size or shape and can be built outside nestled by a tree trunk, or in a larger garden almost as a secret until someone really looks! Is it meant to withstand the elements outside or can it be more delicate and an indoor display?
Is your cottage for a fairy, or a leprechaun, an elf, borrower, or some other mythical creature?
I used sculpey clay needed into balls and then pressed out in the shape of walkway path stones. I had leftover plants from this succulent wreath project I made, so I used the small ones as set dressing. The ceramic leprechaun house was hollow inside, so I put a battery operated votive in it so it would glow at night.
About Shannon SchmidShannon traded in her sensible NYC TV producer shoes (they were best for taking the subway), for a pair of Texas Cowboy boots when she married her best friend! You can find Shannon on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and her new favorite place to hang out, Google+.
My friend sells crafts she makes a similar craft to this one but she uses cut up tree stumps for the base with felt glued to bottom and figurines and other misc items for top then she adds Christmas tree lights it looks awesome lighted up at night. Subscribe to RSS or enter you email to receive newsletter for news, articles, and updates about what's new. This is exactly the idea we needed a few months ago as our vegie garden really struggled in the summer heat here. One of the first things to consider in beginning to design a garden is where, exactly, it should be. These terraces have made it possible for entire civilisations to live in places where previously people found it difficult to settle. With these eight steps as a guideline, you can turn the problem of your steep garden or other space into (of course) a solution.
The steps below are the methods I used to make a roughly 2 metre x 1 metre squared terraced garden in a mountainside. Whatever you decide to use, make sure you experiment with what feels most comfortable to you. Some questions you may want to ask: which parts of the landscape can help you to implement your garden plan? Since you will be making essentially a curved ‘dam’ to hold the earth in which you level out your terrace with, you might want to utilise already-existing shrubs as part of the walls of the dam.
One factor which I find important to consider in planning any garden: How will you water the garden, and where does the water naturally come from? And to prevent your beautiful terrace from washing away at the first rainfall, it is probably a good idea to incorporate a swale into your garden plan as well. The swale does not need to be very deep or wide; simply enough to dissipate the flow of rainwater downwards to enrich the soil of the garden, rather than flowing over the top of it. My swale was only about 20cm deep and wide but it was sufficient to keep the garden intact during three months of almost daily torrential rain.
What you want to end up doing is moving the earth from the higher part of the slope to the lower part, to even out in a more or less horizontal terrace.
Take your post digging tool and make holes at each corner of your marked garden by plunging the tool into the ground. Next, take your long sticks and dig them into the holes to create a fence post at every corner, fixing them in place by piling earth on top. The two fence posts at the top of the garden are purely to hold the string and thus make the curved wall of the fence, and do not need to be more than about 10cm high. For extra sturdiness, you can add fence posts at other points in the outline too if there are not already handy bushes present. At the bottom end of my garden I used the pick-axe to even out a little bit of the slope, to make a path (see plan). I ended up extending the path to go through the middle of another garden and joining a different section of path at another point; thus fitting in with the wider, holistic plan of the area as a whole.
You can also reinforce it with small flat rocks to help keep the path from eroding and to make walking on it more pleasant.
However you decide to incorporate your path, it is a good idea to do something which makes it easier for you to walk through your garden. Wrap the string around the entire perimeter, making three or four different sections so that the result is a kind of flimsy fence.
Once you have the outline of the fence you can weave the sticks into the string to create something which will actually hold earth.

You can push the sticks up as close as you need to each other in order to create a tight-knit outline. Once you have made a ‘basket’ out of the entire perimeter of your garden, you can use the flat rocks to fill in the fence from the inside, in order to ensure that the garden is stable. Place the flat rocks (or tiles if you are using these) with their flat sides facing the fence, fitting together. I did this step originally by balancing the rocks on top of each other and then filling in with earth once the whole inside of the fence was covered. Either way, by making sure that every part of the fence is supported with rocks from the inside you are helping the garden to stay sturdy. Carefully dig out the soil from the top part of the garden and move it to the ‘dam’ at the bottom, smoothing out the ground as you do so until the level is more or less horizontal. Once you have done this, a great way to boost the growth of the plants which you will put in the garden is to build up the soil in layers of sheet mulch, making sure you spread the layers evenly to keep the garden horizontal. You can use all kinds of organic material to make the sheet mulch; it does not really matter exactly what. For me, one of the key aspects of building up soil is ensuring that the balance of carbon to nitrogen is roughly equal, and that there is a good amount of both. For nitrogen you can use all kinds of green plant matter, but especially any nitrogen fixing plants (such as clover, alfalfa, vetch, beans, peas, fenugreek, etc).
It’s good to also consider what else other than carbon and nitrogen is needed for a really tasty soil.
After laying down every layer of mulch I gave it a good soaking; accelerating the decomposition process. Now you can step back, relax, and enjoy the newest manifestation of this ancient technique for helping the land to help us. Very interesting article – any chance of some photos to get a feel for what was involved?
It is also important to note that the steeper the slope the higher will be the walls, leading to possible instability issues, as well as meaning that more digging is required to per unit are of terrace created.
I think that for other than very small terraces a swale at the back of the terrace, at the foot of the wall, will have several advantages. Everyone loves the mason jar… it holds a sense of nostalgia and is a versatile decorating element in any style garden!
Fill mason jars one third full with sand, beans or gravel, and nestle a small candle into the sand.
These are pretty easy to make… Poke a hole in the lid of the jar with a nail or drill.
Top Organic Garden Fertilizers You Can MakeI don't like the idea of adding chemicals to our environment, whenever it can be helped. Terra-cotta pots are inexpensive, easy to find and most of us have one or two lying around the garden shed… so let’s use them!
This tiered planter from HGTV would look great on a front entry landing, and we love that it is filled with foliage plants… but you could use flowering plants as well within any color scheme.
This rain chain made from pots from Natalie Witt is very cool… again, we prefer the natural, but I am liking the blue as well!
Patrick’s Day was just around the corner while I was making this- I went with a leprechaun theme! Patrick’s Day with my preschooler, and decided because of that to make the cottage for a leprechaun! Would love to see in person but since I can’t will have to try making my own Hope you will come visit us in March for our all things Green themed Snickerdoodle Sunday!
Sometimes newly transplanted plants need to be sheltered a bit for at least a day depending on your plants and weather conditions.
I have to say that this step usually takes a secondary place in my mind to exciting images of plants and vegetables flourishing in glorious abundance; but unless you make a plan first, this flourishing could easily just as well become glorious chaos. I have found that gently sloping gardens are ideal for swale-making and water-management (more on this in another article) but what if your space is more vertiginous than this? Terraced gardens have been implemented for many centuries by various cultures; from the impressively shimmering flooded rice paddies of South East Asia to the flowing steps of the mountains of North Africa and Spain, making the once uninhabitable slopes verdant and abundant in their elegant levelling.
In more recent times, in the Austrian Alps, Sepp Holzer has used terracing with great success to create aquacultures and microclimates (see Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture, 2011) on his 45 hectare farm.
You may not have 45 hectares or a civilisation to feed; but terracing is still a very viable option on any scale. I did this by using two wormwood bushes (Artemisia spp.) as an integral part of the sides of the fence.

You can do this using your pick axe; dragging it loosely in an outline of where your proposed garden will be. You can plan your vision out on paper as well as on site, or even make it part of a grander garden plan.
So before beginning this, you have to make the ‘dam’ to catch all of the earth you will be digging out. Far more important are the two at the bottom corners, which should probably be least 1.5m high. For this I used string made from plant fibres, which meant that over time the inflexible string loosened and I had to make it tighter.
Push the sticks up under the first piece of string, over the next then under the next; etc – much in the same way as you would weave a basket or other item with willow.
It doesn’t matter if some rocks overlap; as long as you can cover pretty much the whole fence from the inside. You may find it easier to make a line of rocks around the bottom of the garden; then fill it in with earth. Far more important is to bear in mind what kind of things will break down into the appropriate nutrients to be beneficial to your garden. All kinds of manure are good too, but especially high in nitrogen are horse, donkey and chicken manure. Potassium is another key nutrient element; for which you can use crushed shells, seaweed, ash, or even, if you happen to have some, blood and bone meal. Before doing this I added a final top layer of previously-made compost, in which to plant my seedlings.
And while you’re looking around – are there any other sloping, seemingly impossible-to-plant-in spaces around you? Here are five great ways to turn the inexpensive and easy to find mason jar into great outdoor garden lighting for your yard or patio! Tips, Ideas and ProjectsI happen to live in a house just one street in from a river canyon. No need for permission to pin or to feature 1 or 2 pictures with full watermarks intact that link back to the original project. A fairy or leprechaun garden is a miniature garden that can be outside or inside, that uses very small scale plants, cottages and furnishings giving the illusion that wee small creatures live there! A leprechaun is a type of fairy in Cletic folklore, usually taking the form of an man, clad in a red or green coat, who enjoys partaking in mischief!
It can be helpful to provide these plants a little shade to help them transition to their new growing spot. Energy efficiency is a good one to remember here: how can you make the most effective garden space with the least amount of effort? If the only potential space you have is a steep slope, will this cause a problem for your garden?
The strong, gnarly branches and tenacious roots of these species make them ideal plants for helping to hold in earth, so it might be a good idea to check for these characteristics on the wild shrubs already present in the place you are planning your garden. Using elastic string would probably avoid this extra work; so overall I feel the benefits of using of a non-biological resource here would outweigh the detrimental effects. The idea of this is that the new plants have nutrient-rich soil already around them, and by the time their roots get big enough to reach down through the mulch layers, these have decomposed enough to provide more nutrients.
Her chief blogging inspiration is being the proud & slightly neurotic mom of a preschool age daughter. It is all about greening up your crafting and moving toward a more sustainable way of living. Maybe you have a better way and would like to share it with the other creative people visiting this site? When you reach a mason jar, wrap lights down into the jar, then back out again, and continue along the clothesline.
Use a fiberglass wick from the craft store for best results, but you could even use a 100% cotton strip of fabric in a pinch. Making use (re-use really) of otherwise unwanted materials is good for the pocketbook and good for the environment. In many British and European towns these are commonplace in skips or rubbish dumps, so just look around!

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