Editor’s note: This article was originally published on June 7, 2013 and was updated on June 29, 2015.
Do you love gardening but only have access to limited space? Create your oasis through the art of Miniature Gardening! I recently had a chance to visit with gardening expert Kim Brand from Salisbury Greenhouse. I had lots of questions about creating a “fairy garden” as a lot of my friends were doing it, and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. And I certainly came to the right person because Kim had all the answers I was looking for. We discussed the history of fairy gardens and the practical applications of miniature gardening.
History of Miniature or "Fairy" Gardening
I was very surprised to learn that fairy gardening was a type of miniature gardening and has actually been around for ages. This type of gardening dates back to medieval times in European countries where superstitions and folklore were strictly adhered to. It was believed that fairies lived in areas of the forest which should be kept sacred and, if not respected, bad things would happen. In fact, these mystic beliefs in fairies still exist today. Several North American Native legends talk about respecting the "little people" and honoring the land in which they reside.
Great Use of Space
If you don’t believe in fairies and mystical creatures though, don't worry, there are also practical reasons for jumping on the miniature gardening bandwagon! Miniature gardening is commonly used to accent or embellish an area when space is limited. For instance, in Japan the art of Bonsai can be considered a type of miniature gardening. Large gardening space is very limited in Japan and the art has become increasingly popular as a means of accenting a smaller space with its aesthetics.
Beyond the very efficient use of space, miniature gardening can also be a form of meditative therapy. Those who love to garden often find the ritual of cultivating a garden to be not only deeply satisfying but relaxing as well. In fact, gardening is such a profoundly soothing activity that it is sometimes even used as a form of rehabilitation for those who have experienced trauma.
Miniature gardening is also ideal for seniors who love to garden but who are no longer able to keep a large garden due to lack of mobility, health issues etc. Working within a smaller space allows seniors (and anyone for that matter) a chance to satisfy the need to nurture and create.
Miniature gardens also offers children the perfect start getting excited about gardening. It provides them with their own space to get creative and learn about nature.
There are many forms of miniature gardens and the types of plants or materials you can use are endless. Whether you decide to use flowers or edibles; tropical plants or herbs; create an indoor or outdoor garden; your miniature garden is sure to be the center of conversation.
You are only limited by your imagination, however, if you need some inspiration, Kim at Salisbury Greenhouse would love to help!