Monday, June 6, 2016

My Fairy Garden

About a year or so ago, I found pictures online of these fantastic little fairy gardens that people had built. I loved them. I wanted to make one myself, but didn't really know where to begin or how to find the materials. I enjoyed finding the pictures, but didn't do anything with my own desires to have a such a garden.
Example of a Fairy Garden

Then, last December, I visited my father-in-law. He lives in a tourist-destination town, so there is always fun shopping to do in the gift shops on main street. I wandered into an eclectic store that had a variety of fun things, including gardening items - mostly decorations for your yard. Then I noticed a whole section of the store had been dedicated to fairy gardening!

Tiny plants in little pots, itsy bitsy gravel, fine sand, little pots, tons of mini items in all variations of scale (will explain later).

I thought I died and went to heaven. I wanted to buy up everything!  But, once again, I didn't know how to get started and was overwhelmed with choice. I am not one to waste money when I'm interested in something new. I tend to sit back, research, and figure out exactly what I want to do...or at least get a better idea of what I want to do.

Nothing is worse to me than spending money on something I have no intention of completing.

Skip ahead to Christmas. My husband realized this was something I might be interested in doing, and he bought me a book about creating fairy gardens. I loved it!
Available on Amazon!

Inside the author instructs how to create a fairy garden by describing the plants, the designs, the additional details, and even scale considerations.

What is Scale?

I was aware of scale, more or less. When you are trying to recreate something life-sized in miniature, you must use a ratio in order to create the correct sizing. Some of you may have had dollhouses when you were kids. Your furniture for your house had to fit the size of your dolls...and so did everything else--the silverware, the clothes, the dog or cat, etc.

If the scale was off, the sense of realism disappears.

The same is true with fairy gardens. On the book cover, you can see that the chair and the wheelbarrow exist in the same 'world' because their dimensions match. The same sized fairy person could use the wheelbarrow and the chair. If the wheelbarrow were larger than the chair, you just destroyed the idea of the garden being truly 'miniature.'

In the book, the author describes the 3 most common 'scale' sizes: 1 inch, 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch. A one-inch scale item means that every inch equals 1 foot in real life.

So, you choose your plants and your decorations to be the same scale, and you will achieve a feeling of 'miniature.'

My First Attempt at Fairy Gardening

After reading the book, I felt more knowledgeable about how to create a successful garden. I set aside an afternoon to shop for plants and, hopefully, find at least one mini decoration item that I could use. I didn't know if I could find anything in my small town, but was hopeful. Worst case scenario, I would order my decoration items online.

I had to visit 5 different places that sold plants to get everything I wanted. It really is not that easy to find dwarf plants in tiny pots. Most places don't sell anything smaller than a 4-inch pot. The hardest thing to find was a dwarf evergreen. In the book, the author explains that mixing your plant types gives it that 'real' feel. And adding an evergreen can be very important.

My First Fairy Garden!
I finally found a dwarf spruce at Walmart of all places. I had all my plants, I had some fine sand and decorative stones, however, I had had a hard time finding mini decoration items. No one seemed to have any. My last stop of the day was a local garden center...and they had what I needed! A cute set of Adirondack chairs in 1-inch scale with a matching fire pit! SOLD!

 I had so much fun putting my little fairy world together. My goal is to order some more decoration items in the same scale. Not too many. Maybe 3 more little things. I don't want to overdo it. The examples that I prefer are the ones that are simpler.

Close Up. (the fire pit actually lights up!)
I'm looking forward to seeing the plants fill in the dirt spots. The tufts in front of the tree should have little tiny white flowers at some point. I likely will have to trim the tree to keep it small for the summer and the grass behind the chair. But it will be fun to tend to my little garden all summer long and see what happens.

I had so much fun with my first one, that I am planning on making some smaller ones. They would be easier to complete and only need maybe a single decoration item to bring them to life. Since it is so hard to find the plants in mini sizes, I might try ordering those online as well. Not sure yet!

I think what I find most fun is that I will have to create a new fairy garden every year. Mine won't last past the first freeze in October. The tree can be transplanted elsewhere in my yard at any point, so that is a plus.

Would love to hear about anyone's fairy gardens! Thanks for stopping by.

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