Container Gardens

Small “fairy” gardens can be magical places to teach kids about plants.

By Liza Gardner Walsh

Photographed by Jennifer Smith-Mayo

Excerpted from Fairy Garden Handbook by Liza Gardner Walsh. (Down East Books, Camden, Maine; hardcover; 84 pages; $15.99)

The first step in creating a fairy container garden is to pick the container. There are so many choices here, and few limitations. Old wheelbarrows, straw hats, ice buckets, your very own red wagon, baskets, and plain old-fashioned terracotta planters will all work as long as the container is deep enough to allow at least three inches of dirt so the roots of the plants can spread. The other essential consideration with a container is drainage. Ideally, there should be a few drainage holes that are standard in most gardening pots. If there are no holes because you have gone with the wheelbarrow option, you will first need to line the bottom with gravel or the broken shards of a terracotta pot. If choosing a basket, make sure it is lined with a garbage bag with some holes poked through to avoid rot.

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