Fairy Gardening Book Reviews – and a Giveaway!

I’m reviewing a couple of really fun gardening books today!


Fairy Gardening 101: How to Design, Plant, Grow, and Create Over 25 Miniature Gardens – Fiona McDonald (2014, Skyhorse Publishing, New York)

Need some ideas to get you started on making your very own fairy garden?  Or maybe you’re already well-experienced in the art of designing fairy gardens and you’re looking for some new inspiration – either way, Fiona McDonald’s Fairy Gardening 101 is for you!

This purposeful how-to book gives you all the information you need to create a fairy garden, with lists of supplies, suggestions for interesting containers or settings, and tips for successful long-term maintenance of your beautiful creation.  Easy to follow, step-by-step instructions cover the making of miniature furniture, fences and other garden structures – and, of course, even the fairies themselves! What I’ve always loved about fairy gardens is the use of recycled/upcycled materials and found objects (either natural or man-made) that you discover in your home, yard, neighbourhood…or garage or thrift sale!  The sky truly is the limit when it comes to sourcing materials for your mini-garden – and that’s half the fun!

Putting it all together is where you can really let your artistic side shine, and McDonald offers twenty-five whimsical, artistic designs guaranteed to delight:  you’ll find everything from hanging gardens to ferneries and terrariums, even a Mexican garden!

One of my favourite chapters in the book covers “Wild Fairy Gardens,” where an old tree stump is converted into a castle – so fun!  I am also pleased to see that McDonald covers how to grow and/or sustainably source mosses for use in the gardens.  This is truly an inventive and enjoyable book!


Fairy Gardening:  Creating Your Own Magical Miniature Garden – Julie Bawden-Davis and Beverly Turner (2013, Skyhorse Publishing, New York)

Julie Bawden-Davis and Beverly Turner’s beautiful book Fairy Gardening doesn’t delve into specific fairy garden designs such as the ones you’ll find in Fiona McDonald’s Fairy Gardening 101, but it is more detailed in all of the crafting aspects needed to make your own amazing fairy gardens.  One of the most charming reasons to create a fairy garden is the way you can tell a story with your living work, and Bawden-Davis and Turner cover everything from developing a theme to establishing a focal point, developing your story, and creating a sense of movement, all discussed in accessible, practical terms, with tips and suggestions to apply these ideas to your own gardens.  Additional chapters include comprehensive information about choosing containers for your garden, and selecting the perfect plants to grow.  Delightful photographs and a friendly, approachable writing style make this book a joy to read – and a wealth of inspiration for creating your very own fairy garden!

(The publisher generously provided copies of Fairy Gardening 101 and Fairy Gardening for me to review, but I was not compensated for my opinion).

I have one copy of each book to give away!  If you’re interested, please leave me a comment below – you can tell me what kind of fairy garden you’d like to create (or have created!), or just drop me a “count me in,” or “yes,” for your chance to win.  If you have a preference for one book over the other, please let me know that, too, and I’ll try to accommodate if you win.  Contest closes at midnight, MST, on Friday, August 28, 2015. (And yes, it is open to everyone!).  I will announce the two lucky winners on Monday, August 31, 2015.


  1. I love fairy gardening. I’ve created several over the years, some completely from things found in nature, others using recycled bits and bobs and more recently, friends have giving me little treasures to add. I find it w

  2. relaxing. My current garden uses succulents since we’re in year four of a drought. They’ve worked out well. Yesterday the neighbor’s day care children decorated it with more leaves and flowers. It gets lots of love. I would love to be entered into your drawing for the first book. Thank you!

    • I’ve been following all your fairy garden happenings over the past few years – you’ve definitely had a lot of fun with them, and it’s so wonderful that the neighbour’s day care children get involved in decorating, too! I was thinking about your use of succulents in this latest one due to the drought – that’s another great reason to fairy garden, the fact that you can change things up all the time if needed or wanted.

      • I didn’t know you were following along, Sheryl. Thank you.

        Fairy gardens do afford the opportunity to change things up quite a bit. I also find myself envisioned fairy gardens now when I hike and see an interesting tree hollow or on a neighborhood walk. It’s a wonderful place for the imagination to play.

        And yes, delightful to see the day care kids taking part.

        • I very rarely have time to leave comments on everyone’s blogs – a fact that I feel really badly about and hope to remedy in the near future – but I do try to fit in as much reading as time allows, and your blog is one of my very favourites! Even if sometimes it takes me a few weeks (months?) to catch up…. 🙂

          • Oh my goodness, you’ve just made my day. Thank you!

            It does take a lot of time to comment. I tried to set aside some time on the weekend when I’m not too tired to read and respond. I love engaging with other bloggers. It brings me a lot of pleasure.

  3. I had to run over to look at the one my son bought when we were at the craft/art supply store. He’s enamored with them as well as I am. I started on in a large dish when Gardening Nirvana’s Alys got me hooked. If I could just get my house finished, I’d love to embellish it more. Just need a bit more time but the book that gives instructions on how to make things from found objects is where my fascination lies. The kid, ( grown mature man) loves the sculpting of plants as in bonsai. I’ll take a look an see if it’s on Amazon. I certainly don’t want you to have to mail it stateside. That costs more than the book. I will see if it’s available here. Thanks for sharing the info though.

  4. Oh what lovely books! When it comes to gardening, I feel I have come to full circle. From indeed the little fairy gardens when I was a student to bigger and bigger garden opportunities when moving form pillar to post and ending up in Canada with a big plot with a prairie , flower and vegetable gardens. Now I am again in suburbia of Cincinnati and happily looking at my smaller garden with low maintenance;0) I would indeed love one of the books and get inspired. But thank you for titles anyways!! xo Johanna

    • You’re entered, Johanna! You have indeed come full circle with your gardening endeavours…it’s fascinating to think of all the ways we can grow plants and enjoy gardening, in every type of space!

      I hope you’re having a delightful weekend!

  5. With two granddaughters heavily into fairies and gardening they would truly love this book and so would their daddy as he has made a little fairy house at the bottom of their garden. I have put a picture of this on my blog in the past.. thank you.

  6. Ooooh how FABULOUS! I would be thrilled to win one of these books! My daughter and I have just recently begun creating fairy gardens ❤

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