You have taken the first step. The weeds have been removed and the amended soil is ready for planting. Why, for a miniature garden, does there seem to be so much space that needs to be filled? What to do next? Well, I discovered the answer to that question this past weekend and here is my story.
We were on a family vacation and while staying at the hotel, I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with my three-year-old granddaughter. It was time to read Avery a story, but the room didn’t seem comfy… like at grandma’s house. So, we pulled a blanket off the bed, threw it over the table, and added a few pillows. Once we crawled into our fort and I began to read, a sense of security and a homey feeling came over us. Now you may be wondering how this story relates to the vast, open spaces of a mini garden?
As I was writing this article and focusing on the space element of design, I began to remember that comfortable feeling of the fort. Why can’t fences mimic the same feeling as the blanket thrown over the table? Fences are able to become boundaries, make interesting garden backdrops, and establish a welcoming entrance… just like the fort. Time to investigate this concept a little further!
Why do mini gardens need boundaries? When a garden is skillfully divided, it becomes more appealing and provides a sense of security when the space is defined. You know where the garden begins and ends. Open fence designs work great to create boundaries while providing an illusion of a border, but still giving you viewing access to the entire miniature garden. Some fences are used to line the edges of a vegetable garden or flower bed. Of course, there are the fences that keep Piggy and Piglets or other farmyard animals from running away. All of these fences provide boundaries. When choosing a fence for your mini garden, determine if the border is going to blend into the garden’s landscape or become a focal point.
Fences, crafted from a variety of products, can make interesting backdrops while creating boundaries in your space. Consider the classic, white picket fence. Not only does it border the space surrounding the fairy cottage, but it is an attractive backdrop enhancing an old-fashioned mini garden full of color with blooming Erodiums or any collection of mini plants. In contrast the Birch Fence, with its twisted branches, delivers a fun and exciting backdrop that adds much texture to the space. This fence becomes a piece of art in the mini garden and it alone makes an impact.
Lastly, the fence can be used to welcome the fairies, pixies, elves, and even trolls while leading them to the garden or cottage. Border the front entrance with a fence. Add a gate with doors that open wide, create a walkway, and immediately the space’s function is to greet guests and make them feel at home. So, what will the function of your fence be? Will it provide boundaries, become a background, or welcome guests? Maybe it will act as all three?
Once you determine the function of your fence, then it is time to select the design and materials. In miniature gardens, the main choices of material to select from are wood, metal, and resin. Whether you are matching the garden’s landscape or added a touch of whimsy, keep in mind that this fence will become the “fort’ or comforting factor in your fairy garden.