A Walk Along Austin's Woodland Fairy Gardens Trail

One of the many fairy gardens on display as part of the Zilker Botanical Garden's 4th Annual Woodland Faerie Trail. Photo by Maria Sprow.

Bring out the kid inside and let your imaginaton fly as you walk into a magical woodland of mushroom homes, miniature flowers, stone bridges and landscapes fit for a fairy tale — or at least, the fairies themselves.

That's right: Austinites searching for some artistic and natural inspiration can head to Zilker Botanical Garden from now until June 24, 2016 to visit the 4th Annual Woodland Faerie Trail and see the intricate and beautiful faerie homes and gardens created by Austin gardeners, architects, artists and students. At just $2 a person, the trail provides fun inspiration for the whole extended family.   

Those wanting to do more than just visit the Woodland Trail are invited to learn how to make their own Fairy Garden on May 28, when the botanical garden is hosting three workshops to teach children and adults how to structure and construct their own miniature wonderlands.

Fairy gardens might be miniature in size, but their benefits grow with time — just like the commercial landscaping industry. Fairy gardens are a great educational activity to introduce children and others to plants, gardening, upcycling, construction, architecture, landscapes and landscape design concepts. Educating children on those concepts is the first step to instilling them with the life-long passions for gardening and landscapes that are necessary for protecting and improving our public and commercial greenspaces. Not to mention, working with natural and scrap materials to create mystical miniature worlds and playscapes lets children explore creative thinking and their interactions with nature differently than most other activities.

Fairy gardening is a kid-friendly activity that adults are equally able to enjoy. Fairy gardens can range from simple single-structured homes to constructionally complex and intricate fairy neighborhoods and villages, complete with water retention systems, ladders and bridges and working lights.

For inspiration, take a look below at some of the fairy gardens on display at the Zilker Botanical Garden — but don't miss out on the intricate details that you might only see by visiting the real deal. 

A faerie cave and a nice hardscaped deck.

A faerie cave and a nice hardscaped deck.

A faerie wishing well, dry river bed and rock sculptures. 

Stone arch bridge and staircase and some beautiful wood siding.

Beach style with a water fountain. 

Raised flower beds and water retention systems... 

Firepits are an important part of any great yard. 

Outdoor kitchens are still trending.

What's better than a nice shady open spot in nature? 

What's better than a nice shady open spot in nature? 

This mushroom village must have a homeowner association.

The broken pencil ladder must be for all the non-faerie visitors.

A seashell lighthouse.

This one has a roof top garden!

The perfect camping spot.

The perfect camping spot.

A beautiful tiered landscape leading to a pond.