Before you can start your fairy garden, you will need something to put it in. When choosing your planter (gardening word for pot) you must consider function as well as visual appeal. To put it simply, the container must work well and be pretty, or enchanting. We are, after all creating a fairy garden.
There are a few things you should consider before selecting your pot. I've divided them into information on planters and resources for picking a truly enchanting pot.
What you need to know about planters:
Choose a container that has a wide rim. This will allow for more space on top for plants, little trellises, interesting stones, and whatever you wish to fill your miniature garden with. The container doesn't need to be very deep because the plants you will be using will have shallow roots. I would say anything deeper than 7” isn’t necessary. If you choose a deep pot because it looks nice, that’s up to you.
Make sure it has drainage holes on the bottom. Planters need to drain or the soil may become overly wet and cause the roots of your plants to rot, or be eaten by fungus (not cute mushrooms, think slime mold). This is why garden pots have holes on the bottom. If you are going to re-purpose a container into your planter, make sure you can drill or punch holes into the bottom of it.
DON'T use a metal planter. First of all faeries hate metal. Iron burns their skin. This would mean no faeries would visit your garden. Also, metal tends to rust when wet and since you will be watering your plants this can be a problem. Rust can break off into the soil harming the plants. Stainless steel won't save you. Because metal heats and cools quickly it is not an ideal planter. In summer the metal would absorb the sun's heat which would over-heat your plant's roots and dry out the soil.
An enchanting pot.
Now the fun begins. Keeping in mind the previous information you are now able to confidently choose a planter that works. So let’s go over our options.
Traditional ceramic pots. These are very nice and sturdy and also the most common. Some come painted with glaze on the outside, while others appear in a more natural state. If the inside of the pot is unglazed it will absorb more water. This is the type of planter I’ve chosen.
They are light weight, but more brittle than ceramic planters. They will cost less. Just be sure to choose an eye pleasing one. Plastic planters can look cheap.
Almost anything can become a planter as long as you are able to add drainage holes. You could use an old wooden barrel for a vintage cottage look. Or upcycle old cooking pots, or a ceramic bath tub. Maybe use an old pair of boots, or get creative with plastic children’s toys.
Don't forget local thrift stores, you may find buried treasure there. You can of course find many planters at Hobby Lobby, Joanne Fabrics, or another mass market store, but they will tend to cost a bit more.
Keeping all this in mind I chose to go with a ceramic planter. It has a wide top for lots of gardening room.
Before I can start my new garden I will have to prepare the soil so it is plant friendly. This involves more than dumping some dirt into the pot and hoping for the best. In my next article “How to prepare your fairy garden planter”, I will explain the proper way to prepare your soil. I'll share it next week to give you time to find a planter.
Go find that perfect planter!