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Kaitlyn Ruoff prepares a fairy garden for an upcoming class in Maryville, Missouri. The 19-year-old owns Huckleberry Gardens, which was built around her fairy gardens and home-made jewelry.

If you asked me this time last year what a fairy garden was, chances are I wouldn’t have had an answer for you. But in the past year the popularity of the little gardens has grown.

Each and every garden is different, and making one of your very own is a pretty simple task. And that’s coming from someone who doesn’t have any plants in her apartment.

Kaitlyn Ruoff, owner of Huckleberry Gardens, was nice enough to walk me through how to make a fairy garden and the important tips to keep it alive and growing after it’s finished.

First things first, you need to decide where you want to plant your fairy garden. There are countless options for where to put your garden, but the location will have a big impact on what kind of plants you should choose.

Kaitlyn suggested planting one under a tree or in some spare room in a flower bed if you want the garden outside in the ground. If you want to use a planter or pot, you don’t have to limit yourself to a generic flower pot.

“I like to use a unique container: anything from an old fridge drawer to an old dresser drawer or a little wagon of some sort,” said Ruoff. “Different, unique things that you can fit potting soil in tend to look really cool.”

If your pot drains well, you’re ready to fill it with potting soil and move on to planting. If you’re worried about how well your container will drain, there’s one more step you’ll need to take.

“It’s best if there are holes in the bottom, but if it doesn’t then you would put a layer of rock in it and then put in your potting soil,” said Ruoff.

Once the potting soil is in place, the next step is the fun part: choosing your plants and decorations.

Kaitlyn suggests choosing three to five plants, depending on the size of your garden. Take note of what kind of lighting your garden will get and make sure the tag on the plant matches. If you want to keep your garden inside or under a shaded porch, try to get shade-only plants. Succulents are a popular and great option.

“Miniature, little annual plants that you find at Walmart you can use,” Ruoff said. “You just have to look at the tag and see what it says about the sun requirements.”

When you start searching for decorations, you’ll need one larger focal point piece and a few smaller decorations, like fairies or animals.

“After that, all you really need is a little path leading to your focal point,” said Ruoff. “I make a little rock sidewalk, basically, leading from the edge of the garden to the house.

Once you have your decorations placed and your plants planted, you’re good to go. Just don’t forget to water your garden. You’ll need to give your plants water more often if they’re planted outside, but the best way to know if you need to add some water is by checking the soil.

“Put your finger about an inch into the soil,” said Ruoff. “If it’s damp you don’t need to water it, and if it’s really really dry then you definitely do need to water it.”

If the leaves in your garden start to turn yellow, Kaitlyn says it’s a sign that you’re watering the plants too much.

Good luck and have fun making your very own garden!