This section is to recognize and acknowledge the fairy gardeners that are coming into the Miniature Garden Society. Over the years I’ve played with this wonderfully creative hobby and I do see it as being different from the Miniature Garden hobby simply because the focus is on the fairies, not the garden. 

This is a work-in-progress and you’ll get first-glance at the new, yet-unpublished Sophisticated Fairy Gardening eBook, Version 2.0, as I finish each chapter. 

Do let me know your questions and concerns in the comments at the bottom of this page. 

What is the Difference Between
Miniature Gardening & Fairy Gardening?

It’s the focus. Miniature gardening focuses on the garden. Choosing trees and plants that are in scale and stay in scale, combined with in-scale patios and miniature furniture, to create a true replica of a real garden in miniature.

Fairy gardening is focused on the fairies. The garden part of the hobby takes a backseat to the fairies and the focus is on the fairy’s comfort, lifestyle and security. (You’ll find out more about this in the upcoming Sophisticated Fairy Garden eBook. 

Tracy’s Seaside Fairy Garden

This was an installation that Steve and I built for a client north of the city in 2014. The ‘Seaside Fairy Garden’ was frequently visited by the neighbors, it was on the local garden tour’s circuit for a couple of years and it became well-known in the area in the short time that it was there. We found out about its popularity after doing a couple of garden shows in that area. People would come into our booth say, “Have you heard of this cool fairy garden…” – which was really fun to hear the compliments anonymously.

Alas, it became a lesson in up-keep. The time-lapse video showing the renovation below was done in 2017 and the only time the client invited me back to renovate it. I did try to get her on a “once a season” schedule at the very least, but for some unknown reason, she didn’t respond to that – nor did she have the willingness to do it herself. The rest of full-sized garden was maintained by a professional but not the fairy garden unfortunately. I’m not sure what is going on with it nowadays but I’m glad I did take photos of it before, during and after! 

The four images below are in order of how the area looked before we started digging in. You can see the other photos of it finished followed by the renovation video. It was called the “Hayes Seaside Fairy Garden” because her house overlooked the Puget Sound.  

Drawing everything out on a sheet of paper is helpful but only if you are able to measure everything to know how much room the plants and paths will take up. You need to know the exact measurement as to how big the space is, how big the plants are (and will be,) how big your houses are before you start. You can see by this map that I drew that it didn’t translate into what actually happened in Tracy’s fairy garden. I tried to “wing-it” because I forgot to measure the garden space first, and was working with only an estimate.

I’ve had better luck visually planning a layout using this technique of designing it in place – see it here on the In-Ground Gardening Tips page. I’ll also go over another easy technique of designing a garden in place coming up, in the Sophisticated Fairy Gardening chapters that I’ll be publishing in this space as well. 

This was a Plow & Hearth fairy house that I painted and decorated to fit into the Seaside Fairy theme. This project was way too fun and I ended up doing a different version of it for the Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book. It’s a fantastic way to get more mileage out of your faded houses AND have a ton of creative fun too! You can really get personal with this idea… :o)

More fairy house ideas are on the way. Please see the Twigology: Working with Naturals section for more ideas and photos of fairy houses here.

Angels Versus Fairies, What is the Difference?

I was working on a miniature garden for the Miniature Garden Society‘s outreach program (the Old Soldier’s garden,) and a fellow miniature gardener brought out an angel statue to see if it would fit into our plan. I said, “What a pretty angel.” and she quickly said, “I thought you didn’t like fairies in your gardens?”

Shortly thereafter, a fellow MG commented on a photo of a miniature praying angel statue on my Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Facebook page, photo is shown to the left. She said, “Oh, what a cute fairy!”

That made me realize the difference between fairies and angels aren’t that obvious to some folks – yet.

So, how do you tell? Let me bring to light the differences and similarities between fairies and angels that may help you distinguish between the two. And no, you won’t find this kind of reporting anywhere else. Lol!

Moth wings? Fairies will have wings that look like insect wings. Dragonfly wings are especially popular with the fairy designers too.

How Fairies and Angels are the Same:

– Every culture has some type of fairy.

– Every religion has some type of angel, aka spiritual being, deva, or cherub, generally speaking.

– Fairies are sometimes regarded as spiritual beings too.

– Fairies and angels can be guardians or guides

– They both have wings.

This fairy wears wings like a butterfly. The wings are one of the main characteristic that defines the two.

Bird-like wings have a certain majesty to them that suits angels better than insect wings, don’t you think?

How Fairies and Angels are Different

– Fairies seem more ethereal than angels. (Ethereal means extremely delicate and light.) Fairies are small and angels are usually our size. Cherubs are usually shown as human babies or young children.

– Fairies are of the earth and angels are from the heavens.

– Angels are religious and fairies, not so much, although some do regard them as spiritual beings. (It’s optional for druids, apparently.)

– Fairy wings look like insect wings, similar to dragonfly or butterfly wings. Angel wings are bird’s wings and feathered. They tend to be bigger and more dramatic than a fairy’s utilitarian insect wings.

– Fairies are usually clothed in bright colored naturals: flower petals, leaves or some sort of plant. Angels are usually shown in soft, pastel-colored cloth robes or gowns.

Sometimes the wings are mounted separately but most times they seem to be joined in the back. Either way, they are bird’s wings.

1 Comment

  1. Janit Calvo

    SNEAK PEEK: This is just the beginning of our Fairy Garden Section for the Miniature Garden Society member’s only website. You can see how we are taking at completely different viewpoint of creating a serious and sophisticated fairy garden that can enchant and delight all who see it.

    We are not just relying on a pot full of soil and made in China tchotchkes with a couple of mismatched plants tucked in the corners! Join us only if you are serious about building a true miniature garden for your fairies.

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