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Archive for July, 2012

Enjoy shopping!

Amy

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I don’t know if you’ve experienced this phenomenon, but sometimes I can be my own worst enemy. I can let my fears get the best of me. Making my fairy garden has been one of those times when I kept procrastinating. I started my fairy garden over a month ago primarily because I needed to get a creeping Jenny plant re-potted. Then, I piled some stones around and stopped. The fear had beaten any creativity I had into submission. Today, I was determined to conquer any resistance and finish some projects. Let’s see how I did.

Before:

Note: I have four sunflowers growing in the garden now. They came up on their own from last year’s planting. I hadn’t realized when I mixed the old soil with the new that any seeds were present. What a nice surprise though.

After:

Fairy wheelbarrow, garden tools, home and bird bath

Second view of fairy village

Second fairy home

Back boundary of fairy garden

Back boundary of the fairy garden village

Fairy garden in its place on the deck

Overall, I enjoyed working on my fairy garden once I got started. I’m glad I explored fairy gardens. I’m even considering putting a fairy door on the container. We’ll see.

Update: I thought some daylight pictures would be helpful.

What fears have you pushed through this week?

Amy

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Decor Blogger, Shannon, at Fox Hollow Cottage started an auction yesterday to benefit those affected by the shooting in Aurora, Colorado. She started with one of her hand crafted wreaths, but other crafters/bloggers donated items also. The auction ends at 6 p.m. Sunday.

She has had such an outpouring of donations that the auction has been divided into two lots. Check it out here.

Items for Auction

At a time when we can do little more than pray for the victims, for their families and friends, and for never having events like this happen again; this auction is one small way to take action.

Amy

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Welcome back to our exploration of fairy gardens. Today we will be looking at the accessories that you can include in your creation.

Houses- The dwelling that you choose to offer in your fairy garden can run the gambit from a traditional bird house to a traditional brick human home. You can also select gourds, mushroom/toadstools, stone covered, moss covered and wooden country homes. Fairy houses can be bought pre-made or you had design one even recycling household materials to craft them.

Mushroom Fairy House

A toad stool fairy house.

A fairy house covered with moss.

A traditional brick house designed for fairies

A fairy house made from a gourd.

A fairy house made from recycled materials.

A white country fairy house.

 

Use a bird house as a fairy house

Doors – If not included in your fairy house, one can be attached to the base of a tree.

Door examples for a fairy garden.

 

Paths/Stairs – You can use pebbles, stones or glass bits to make your own. I’ve seen preformed concrete/plaster paths also.

 

Make a path with colored sand.

A pre-made fairy garden path from etsy.com

A fairy path made from pebbles.

Wooden fairy steps.

Water Features include ponds and water fountains.

A glass pebble creek with a bridge.

A fountain for your fairy garden.

 

Play equipment- Slide or swings (maybe even a tire swing)

A swing made from clay.

A tire swing for your fairy garden.

“Patio furniture”- Craft miniature chairs, settees or benches.

 

A stone chair for your fairy garden.

A fairy dining set from wood twigs.

Wicker fairy furniture

Whimsy – Include toadstools

 

Include a welcome sign.

A pink toad stool

Gnome statue

Beach themed fairy garden

A miniature bicycle for your fairy garden

Fencing – Premade or use twigs or popsicle sticks.

Fencing around fairy garden.

You are only limited by your imagination.

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Welcome back to our fairy garden series. Today, we’ll be digging in a little further by learning which plants are purported to attract beneficial fairies to your garden. Some may work for container gardens; while others would work better for a fairy garden within a larger garden or woods.

1. Aster
2. Bluebells
3. Boxwood
4. Buttercup

5. Butterfly Bush
6. Carnation
7. Chicory
8. Chrysanthemums
9. Clover

10. Columbine
11. Cone flower
12. Coreopsis
13. Cosmos
14. Cowslips

15. Daffodil
16. Daisy
17. Elderberry
18. Ferns

19. Flax

20. Foxglove

21. Gardenia
22. Helitrope

23. Hollyhock

24. Honeysuckle
25. Hosta
26. Hyacinth

27. Impatients
28. Iris
29. Jasmine
30. Lady’s Mantle31. Lamb’s Ear

32. Lavender
33. Lilac
34. Lily
35. Lobelia
36. Marigold
37. Milkweed
38. Morning Glory
39. Nasturtiums
40. Pansy
41. Peony
42. Periwinkle 43. Petunia
44. Phlox
45. Pincushion
46. Poppies 47. Primrose
48. Pussy willow
49. Roses
50. Rosemary 51. Snapdragon
52. Sunflower
53. Trees: apple, cherry, pear
54. Tulip 55. Violet
56. White Lotus
57. Yarrow (fernleaf)
58. Zinnia

Next…Fairy Garden Accessories and their sources

Amy

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“When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.”
― J.M. BarriePeter Pan

The idea of fairies has been around for a very long time. The word fairy is believed to derive from the Latin word fatum or fates. The characteristics given to fairies have changed over time. They began to be seen as small winged creatures during Victorian times. Before that they were seen as normal human sized beings that used magic to transport themselves. They often were not considered to be benevolent but fearsome and nasty when irritated. They might steal babies and replace them with a fairy child or changeling. They might pinch you in your sleep or drown you in their watering hole. Iron was thought to be dangerous to fairies and was used to make ornamentation to keep them away.

In modern times, fairies are often seen as nature spirits who protect and nurture plants and the environment. They are beings who are more closely aligned with the physical world than are angels and more easily accessible to humans than angels and other spiritual beings.  Recycling and picking up litter are just some of the activities which fairies would see as favorable human pursuits. Likewise, polluting the environment and abusing the natural world would irritate them. (I totally agree with this sentiment.)

Jasmine Beckett-Griffith

Here are a few of the “famous” fairies through time:

  • Oberon, Titania and Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William ShakespeareFairy King and Queen from a Midsummer Night's Dream
  • Tinkerbell from Peter Pan and Wendy by J. M. Barrie
  • Fairy Godmother from Cinderella
  • The Cottingley Fairies: a pictorial hoax that fooled many including Sir Arthur Conan DoyleHoax
  • Sookie Stackhouse (only part fairy), Claude, Claudine and Niall from the Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris adapted in to the HBO series, True Blood 

Perhaps fairies and fairy lore will soon be as popular as vampires and werewolves. Who is your favorite fairy?

Next…plants for attracting fairies.

Amy

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Well, I didn’t think this would be so difficult to write, but for some reason it has been. Fairy gardens and miniature gardens seem to be different names for the same thing for the most part. Perhaps an analogy would be that a square is a type of rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square.  So a fairy garden is a type of miniature garden, however, not every miniature garden is a fairy garden.

Miniature Garden Example

Fairy Garden Example

Miniature gardens are whimsical and can include objects that look like very small people could use them. Bonsai where trees are trimmed to keep them dwarf sized fit in to this category. Terrariums are miniature gardens enclosed in glass containers. Since terrariums are in theory closed ecosystems, they require significantly less effort to maintain.

Bonsai Example

Terrarium Example

Fairy gardens can be indoor or outdoor gardens. They are usually whimsical and are frequently made with the intention of attracting beneficial fairies to your home or at the very least paying homage to them. When found outdoors, they can be either in a container or be a part of a traditional in ground garden. In a garden variation, a tree or tree stump can be the foundation for some very unusual and adorable settings.

A Tree Stump Fairy House

Whether you still have a place in your heart for magic or Tinker Bell has always been one of your favorite characters, fairy gardens are a fun way to be reminded of the magic of the natural world. From time to time most of us need a respite from technology and the challenges of the modern world. We are reminded of childhood when all the most wondrous possibilities existed.

A child in garden. Photo by Paul Jones

Next post…Fairies: Getting to know them to build a garden around them

Amy

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