Have you heard of a mini garden or fairy garden? They’re a huge trend and a fun way to get kids growing plants and involved in outdoor activities. Whether you choose to turn your mini garden into a dinosaur terrarium or fairy garden, they’ll be completely delighted with their creation.
In this step-by-step, we show you how to make a mini garden. Once the basics are there, the kids can decorate their container garden with anything they like, but here are two ideas to get them started:
Make a mini fairy garden: use mini figurines, toadstools, doors and furniture to create a magical haven in a container.
Make a mini dinosaur garden: use plastic dinosaurs, volcanoes and even a mini water feature for a prehistoric container garden that’s sure to be a hit.
What you will need to make a mini garden:
- An old colander, pot or container with holes for drainage
- Weed barrier cloth
- Potting soil
- An old spoon
- A plastic container or bowl
- Any small trees/plants (we used maidenhair fern and Dianthus ‘Pink Kisses’)
- Any low-growing groundcover
- Small, white, decorative stones
- A bigger white stone
- White sand or very fine gravel
- A small garden gnome and some small toys
- A sea shell or the lid of a tomato sauce bottle covered in aluminium foil
- Thickish rope
- A hook or clasp that will support the weight of the planter
How to make a mini garden:
- Drill three equidistant holes in the rim of the colander. Do this the day before when no small children are around, to avoid any danger.
- Spoon your compost into a large plastic container (preferably a 5L ice-cream container), filling it to about halfway, and then fill the other half with potting soil, then mix the two together.
- Place the colander upside down on the weed barrier cloth. Trace around it and cut a piece that it is big enough to cover most of the inside of the colander. (Please note: you may need to help younger children with this to avoid cut fingers.)
- Place the weed barrier cloth inside the colander, flattening it against the sides as much as possible.
- Spoon the soil mixture into the colander, filling it all the way to the top and ensuring that it is level.
- Make holes for your plants and plant them inside your soil mixture.
- Place your small white stones in a ‘path’ leading to the plants. Now place the smaller stones or sand in-between the decorative stones to make it look more like a path.
- Sit the garden gnome next to the plants and the stone pathway. Place your shell, bottom first, in the soil near the garden gnome. Lay out the bigger white stones near the side of the colander, to look like boulders around the edges
- Plant some groundcover in the empty parts of your miniature garden.
- To finish off the garden part of this activity, place a plastic dog and cat on the pathway, for that final touch.
- Finally, measure out your rope and cut two pieces, one double the length of the other. Knot the longest piece of the rope at one end and pull it through a hole in the colander. Then pull it through the opposite hole, knotting this end on the outside of the hole.
- Tie a knot in the shorter piece of rope and pass it through the final hole. Tie the long piece and the short piece of the rope together and hang your garden from a hook. Voila! – you have created your first miniature garden.