Saturday, May 12, 2018

Fairy Gardens

Well the super wet rainy season for this La Nina year has finally ended, and the sun is out!  Many Washingtonians wander outside, start squinting at that giant golden orb in the sky, and their thoughts immediately turn to planting flowers and gathering veggie starts for the gardens!  I have always had in the back of my mind that when the girls were old enough, we would do fairy gardens.

I'm in love with all things tiny!!
Fairy gardens are surprisingly not cheap!  You can buy cute adorable houses and tiny fairy accessories, but they add up quick, especially when you multiply them by three. We actually gathered some of our supplies over a year before we started, hit clearance sales, used coupons, and stashed away a nice little assembly of all things little fairies might need to make their spaces adorably cute. You can also make your own houses out of sticks, natural materials, buttons, thimbles, anything your imagination can come up with.

First you have to decide what what kind of theme you want for your garden.  You could do the seaside, camping, tea party... the options are endless.  We opted for three little enchanted gardens with houses, rivers, bridges, flowers, and even had enough items left over to do a little camping garden. So stinking cute!

The other thing you have to decide is what kind of container your fairies are going to live in.  Pinterest has a great assortment of fabulous ideas you can use as a spring board for your own imagination. Big flower pots, bird baths, wheelbarrows, even broken flower pots.  The other thing you have to decide is space.  Where are your fairies going to live?  Front porch?  Front yard?  Our little neighborhood is pretty tame crime wise, but I still didn't want any of our little fairies or homes or miniature items to wander off (mostly because our house is next to the school bus stop), so we choose to place them in the back yard. 

We started with three containers, large, medium, and small.  To make it less heavy we filled the bottom half of the container with Styrofoam and then covered the rest in dirt.

Styrofoam makes the containers light and easy to move if needed.
I had this idea to place a similar, smaller container on top of the biggest container.  That way two fairy gardens could take up a small amount of space and at the same time be more visually appealing.  I had a third medium sized container in front, giving it a stair step look, where you could see all the fairy lands at the same time. 

I got these "aged" bronze looking pots (though they are plastic) at home depot.  They looked expensive though!

Once we got the dirt in place, and we had purchased the flowers (we tried to buy small flowers that would make it look "to scale"), it's a good idea to place the items around your pot (plants still in their original pots) to make sure all the plants and fairy accessories will fit.

This was so fun! We did quite a bit of rearranging to see which flowers should go with each fairyland.
So my oldest wanted the top floor (penthouse, it's the best).  She opted for a cute little flower house, swing set, a mini white picket fence, and a wheelbarrow full of tiny flowers.  She also wanted to do a rock path from the house to the edge of the fence (which we add later).

This turned out so charming.  The picket fence was flexible and bent around the edge nicely.
My middle two wanted to "share" the bottom pot.  We found a little house that said "Believe" on the door and planted flowers all around.  We used little decorative marbles to make a "river" through the property and placed a flowery bridge over the "water". 

We happened to find these super cute sister fairies holding a little kitty and a flowering bench to sit on.

They thought these two fairies were them with our cat Henry.  Perfect!
The middle level was deemed the picnic, play ground, tea and cookies area for the fairy neighborhood.  We found a little metal table that was black, and decided to spray paint it sparkly purple. Better!

The little gazebo, birdbath, flower lamp post and tiny hedgehog make things extra sweet
Later we got really creative and placed the tiniest tea services you've ever seen (we coated that with some sealer clear spray paint to help with weathering), complete with goodies. We also thought the seesaw and stepping stones were too bland, so we added some color and more sealant.

Yay... color is good!
We also found some super tiny, mini terracotta pots and superglued tiny flowers (found at Hobby Lobby) into bouquets and then glued the bouquets into the pots. 

We did a few pots, and even a wheel barrow of tiny plastic mini flowers
Now will all the little fairy gardens in a row up against our steps, you can see all the pops of color and the stacked pots let you see more of the fairy action all at once.

Fairy Gardens are the best thing ever!
Vivian also went back and added the stone path from the front door of her flower house.

We bought the small stones at a craft store in the vase section
We were having so much fun with these gardens (and we had a few items left over, like a 2nd bridge, that we decided we wanted to do a camping themed fairy garden.

I'm so in love with this little fairy campsite!
A few more tiny plants, a blue marble "river" with canoe, a camp fire, and in case you didn't notice, three enchanted river mermaids that happen look like each of my daughters.

Just so sweet!
Not to be out done, they found two fairies to represent my husband and I.  Of course I'm reading a book, and we were thrilled to find there was a boy fairy to be daddy.  Since I knew my hubby would never just lay in the dirt on his stomach, I used my crochet skills to whip up a tiny picnic blanket for us to hang out on. 

It was night time when I finally had a chance to make the blanket, but I couldn't wait to see it.
Speaking of the fireplace.  My youngest and I made it together.  We gathered sticks, twigs, and small rocks from our own yard.  We hot glued them to a mason jar lid one at a time.  We also cut or broke tiny twigs in the "logs" for the fire.

This was a fun project with my youngest.  Every campsite needs a fire!
Here's the full campsite with fire pit, picnic blanket (doesn't the hubby fairy look more content?), leaf tent, and tiny apples for snacking!

I really want to shrink down and go camping here.

I know you must be thinking to yourself... How could one make this little camp site any better?  Well, I'll tell you.  How about a tea light "flame" candle that makes it look like a real camp fire at night?!

That's right!  We went all out!
Here's the whole charming little scene by campfire light...

Cant you just hear the crickets?

The little flicker of the battery operated teat light made it look like a real flickering camp fire.

As the summer went on the flowers started to fill out

I love how they started draping over the sides of the pots
The pink flowers on the 2nd tier started covering the gazebo and made it look like the roof was made of flowers.

How can you not love your own flower-roofed gazebo?
We even found some tiny white beads lying around and decided to make little marshmallow roasting sticks for the campfire area. 

All in all we had so much fun making fairy gardens. I am not ashamed to admit that I had just as much, if not MORE fun than my girls working on this project.

So grab the closest kid (or willing participant) near you and go make one of these this spring. They are fun to plan, fun to implement, and exciting to see the changes through the season as the flowers bloom!

Happy Planting!

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