Have you ever noticed that some gardens seem to just pull you in and cause you to escape into a state of peace and contentment, even if it's just for a few moments?
There are reasons for this. And it has to do with the kind of thought that went into the garden design. When it comes to fairy gardens that have been made to date, I've noticed there is a wide range of quality that has gone into their design. This can be fine. Many of these, for instance, are part of children's play areas which may be in a constant state of change. And, part of the fun can be to just participate in creating a garden that may or may not touch upon a particular theme.
If, however, you'd like for the fairy garden to be something more, perhaps magical and alluring, it would be wise to step back and consider what attributes might work better than others.
I've identified some design rules which aren't really complicated or overwhelming. And, collectively, they make an enormous difference in the quality of the result. Here they are:
(1) Carefully utilize elements, both well and not so well known, from fairy lore.
(2) Approach the design of the elements with the essence of Zen (promoting a meditative state) in mind.
Some specific guidelines that could come out these design rules are:
(1) There is aesthetic use of geometric angles, lines and curves.
(2) Proportions are very consistent across objects. This allows the garden to be believable.
(3) Less is more. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to over do it and have a cluttered and therefore unattractive effect.
I also think it's important that you figure out what you love to see in a garden, if you haven't already. With me, for example, I love plants with dark, glossy green leaves and delicate white flowers. I also like rocky terrain.
Next time you see a garden you love, ask yourself what are 3 things about it that you feel really make a difference. After you do this for a while (this could take a few seasons!) you have a real chance of getting very good at designing a garden for yourself.
If you'd like specific information on how to create a beautiful miniature zen fairy garden, I have just published a new book, How To Create A Zen Fairy Garden, which is available at Amazon.
Making a zen fairy garden in miniature has a number of advantages including:
(1) It helps you make it through the winter in a cold climate or living in a city where you don't have access to a roof top or balcony garden.
(2) It takes hardly any time to start and complete. And you get a surprising amount of enjoyment creating it a gazing at it.
(3) If you think you are going to want to build a full scale zen fairy garden, creating a miniature one first will help you to develop the design more fully.
One last point. This makes a wonderful gift for folks that are hard to buy for, especially garden lovers!
Update after one month (3/20/13). The garden is doing great and is starting to fill out! This second article has pictures I just took. Garden Ideas For First Day of Spring
Also, I put a youtube video that was recorded while I was making the zen fairy garden on my youtube channel! How To Make A Miniature Zen Fairy Garden