It's a place where your imagination can grow — and shrink — at the same time.

And no, you don't have to call it a fairy garden; you can call it a miniature garden or a putting green or a dinosaur habitat.

So watch the video to learn how to build one — and release your inner 8-year-old.

It’s also a great activity for kids, as Catherine Day of Green Things Nursery found out when she taught a class on how to make them.

Here’s some more advice gleaned her class and other sources:

Planting tips:

  • Choose small plants or plants that don’t mind some trimming, such as rosemary. If a plant outgrows the container, remove it if you can’t trim it back, she says.
  • After you add two-thirds of the soil but before you plant, place the plants in the pot and arrange them to your liking. Put the tallest plant in the back, the trailing plants at the edge, and leave room for your garden path, patio area and furniture.
  • After planting, sprinkle pebbles or sand on the top to help the soil stay dry.

Popular succulents:

(Let the soil dry out between waterings)

  • Sedums, including jelly bean, dasyphyllum and hispanicum.
  • Hens and chicks (or sempervivum).
  • String of pearls (a good trailing plant).
  • Elephant’s food (treelike habit).
  • Haworthia.

Flowering plans:

  • Kalanchoe (pairs nicely with other succulents).
  • Veronica.

Treelike:

  • Miniature azalea.
  • Bonzai trees such as juniper.
  • Ponytail palm.

Herbs:

Rosemary, lavender, thyme, oregano (place thyme at the edge of the pot).

Here are some other ideas for containers:

  • A toy pickup truck or fire truck.
  • A toy wagon.
  • A birdbath.
  • Stacked terra cotta pots.
  • An old basket.
  • An oval ice bucket.
  • An old drawer.
  • An old lantern (think vertically).

Other ideas for themes:

  • A hobbit house. Make a hill on one side and build in some stone or tile steps. Tuck a round door and window into the hillside. Maybe use old, painted coasters?
  • A beach scene — use bright blue glass for the ocean. Maybe a lighthouse for the centerpiece?
  • Gnome home. Check online for accessories. Build a fence using twigs.
  • Golf course putting green.

So stop by Green Things or your favorite nursery and ask about appropriate plants for the size of your garden and for our climate.

Green Things had a ton of inexpensive miniature succulents in stock recently.

Contact me at onesnowpea@tucson.com