Lynn Coulter is a freelance writer and the author of Gardening with Heirloom Seeds: Tried-and-True Flowers, Fruits, & Vegetables for a New Generation. Visit her website at


Make A Fairy Chair for Your Garden
by Lynn Coulter - posted 04/16/12

Gardens are magical places. They’re even more magical when you invite fairy-folk to visit. With an old chair, a basket (or chicken wire) and a few flowering plants, you can make a charming focal point for your garden that fairies can’t resist.


Fill the basket with a high quality potting mix amended with organic matter, and plant it with foliage, flowers and herbs.

Materials Needed:

•  A wooden chair
•  Chicken wire or a premade wire basket frame lined with coco fiber (or similar)
•  Potting soil
•  Sphagnum moss
•  Primer, outdoor paint and brushes (or spray-on primer and paint)
•  Staple gun
•  Optional: Small, weatherproof garden ornaments, such as mushrooms, birds or fairies

How to Make a Fairy Chair

1. Any wooden chair will do. Use an old one you already have, or buy one at a thrift store or yard sale.

2. Sand the chair, and wash it with mild soap and water. Let it dry completely.

3. Apply two coats of primer to the chair, letting each coat dry completely.

4. Apply outdoor paint, and allow it to dry completely. Apply a sealant for extra protection.

5. When the chair is dry, cut an opening in the seat. This is where you’ll put a wire basket filled with plants. You can use a premade wire basket that comes with a liner or make your own (see next step).

6. To make your own basket, cut two pieces of chicken wire 12 inches larger than the hole in the seat of the chair. Staple the wire securely around the edges of the opening. Press down on the extra wire to form a pocket for planting.

7. If you’re making your own basket, line it with sphagnum moss that has been soaked in water. Otherwise, place a pre-made basket with a liner into the opening.

8. Move the chair to a sunny or shady spot in your garden, depending on the plants you’re using.

9. Fill the basket with a high quality potting mix amended with organic matter, and plant it with foliage, flowers and herbs. Add small garden ornaments, if desired.

10. Optional: Plant vining plants around the chair legs. Good choices include morning glory, moonflower, black-eyed Susan and ivy.


Be creative with colors, both for your chair and your flowers. Choose plants that will spill or trail over the sides of your basket.

Plants For Your Fairy Chair:

Bleeding heart: Heart-shaped flowers attract romantic fairies.

Pansies: Fairies make love potions with these.

Thyme: This herb welcomes fairies and is said to enhance your ability to see them.

Miniature roses: For rich perfume.

Shamrocks: Four-leafed clovers can break fairy spells.

Lobelia: Attracts winged fairies.

Rosemary: Deters harmful fairies.

Snapdragons: Invites tiny dragons to protect your garden.

Violets: Beloved by the Fairy Queen.

Daisies: Lures fairies.

Angelica: For fairies that bring good luck.

Bluebells, lily-of-the-valley and foxgloves: Fairies ring the bell-shaped blooms.

Lamb’s ear: Soft leaves make downy fairy beds.

Tips: When possible, use native plants — they’re adapted to your area, so they’ll need less care.


To add color and movement, add plants that draw butterflies around your chair. Try zinnia, butterfly bush, butterfly weed, marigold, purple coneflower and oregano. For caterpillars, plant dill, parsley and fennel.


How to Maintain Your Chair, In Case the Fairies Forget:

Water your basket regularly, as you would any container. Fertilize as directed by the manufacturer. When your plants get too big, prune or replace them, as needed. Protect your chair in the winter or replant next spring.


Turn your fairy chair into a miniature scene with small garden ornaments, such as fairies,
gnomes or mushrooms. Shells, rocks and crystals can also be used.



(Photos courtesy of Lynn Coulter.)


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