NOT a Fairy Garden

7 Materials
2 Hours

Create a more masculine take on the miniature garden.

    My brother died unexpectedly at age 54. He was a skilled mechanic and inveterate fixer. By all appearances he was a “tough guy”, but such a marshmallow inside. So many stories of his kindness and thoughtfulness were told to us a time when we needed to hear good news.

    As we cleared out the massive collection of tools in his shop, we came across this wagon. I don’t know it’s story, but he didn’t save many personal items so that made me think it had a lot of meaning.

    I came up with the idea of creating a miniature garden to honor him. He was known for the ancient trucks he drove. They were all original, no repainting or sanding for this practical guy. It was very hard for me to sell his vehicles, however I found a way to remember them in this garden.

    This is the fourth year for the garden, you will see some small changes in the photos.

Prepare the planter

Drill a few drainage holes in the bed of the wagon.

Add a plastic liner (trash bag), trim to fit and punch holes to match the holes in the wagon bed.

Fill nearly to the top with potting soil.

Plan out your design.

 I set the potted plants and vehicles on top of the soil and moved them around until the placement was pleasing.

Plant the plants and lay out the road.

Place the vehicles.

This spring I used mineral oil on the wagon and it really brought out the red color.

You can move the wagon around to find the best placement for sun.

This spot gets morning sun and is shaded in the later afternoon.

Water and enjoy the changes as the plants grow and fill in the space.


I miss you Harley!

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4 of 28 comments
  • Kellie Collins
    on Sep 29, 2020

    great idea - love the little trucks and motorcycle and the wagon! i love these kinds of little gardens! condolences on the loss of your beloved brother. sounds like he was a great guy!

  • Ilv
    on Sep 30, 2020

    So sorry about your loss. Your project made me think of a little toy wheelbarrow I have in my shed. It will be perfect for a great fairy garden addition for my Great Granddaughter. It's something she and I can do together. I also intend to tell my sister about it and possibly help her do one for all of her lost pets. An extra large dog dish should work well. I am sure she can find figurines for each one she has lost. I think she will love this idea!! I might make it myself and surprise her on her birthday.

    • Randi
      on Sep 30, 2020

      That sounds adorable, your great grand daughter will love it.

      I did one for Halloween a few years ago. I painted Christmas houses from the thrift store black, got some small skeletons at the dollar store and festooned dead twigs with spider webs. My nephews loved moving everything around.

      Thanks so much for your comment.

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