Monday, July 11, 2011

Our little Fairy Garden

Many of you know my daughter Grace and know what a promising young gardener she is becoming.  You have probably bought some of her flowers that she sells at GardenFest every year -- she starts most of them herself from seed.  She does the seed trays, she transplants the seedlings and she takes care of the whole process.  (I help with the watering and the transporting for her.)
Here is a picture of Grace and I at our booths during GardenFest 2008.  She has grown up quite a lot in the past 3 years and now is as tall as I am!
For the past few years we have talked about doing a Fairy Garden.  Grace has enjoyed many books about fairies in the garden and has done some research on it.  But we are always too busy in the spring with the greenhouse and garden shows that by the time we get around to doing something in our own yard, the weather has turned too hot to want to do much of anything too demanding.
This year has been a little milder -- or at least we have had some up and down weeks in the tempurature.  So it has allowed us a little more stamina to be creative around the house and yard.  We had picked out a nice spot under one of the maple trees.  It is in the side yard where there is not much foot traffic, but it is visible from the front porch and driveway.
Grace spent an evening digging out the sparse patch of grass beneath the tree and then working some composted material and some potting mix into the area in an effort to enrich it and loosen it up for some tender new plants to take root.
I suggested that she plant as many 'tiny' plants as we could find in the garden - because fairies are small and like tiny plants with small leaves and blooms.  We planted some Corsican mint which has tiny, tiny leaves and even tinier blooms.  The little blooms are lavender colored and it will add some nice fragrance to the garden with its minty smell.  We also had some miniature lamb's ears and some native geranium that we had gotten at the Hancock Co. Herb Society plant sale. 
Thyme is absolutely a "must have" plant for a fairy garden.  Not only does it have tiny leaves and blooms which are pleasing to fairies, but it is reported that the fragrance of thyme will help you see the fairies!
We added some blooming plants to the garden that Grace had grown herself - zinnias, cosmos, and galliardia.  I thought they would be too big, but Grace assured me that we needed to add some larger blooms to the bed because fairies use those blooms to make their clothes!  Something that I hadn't thought of.  Those blooms will also attract bees and butterflies to the garden -- friends of the fairies.
Grace as she is placing her pots of plants in the garden - deciding what plants will go where.
A fairy statue to adorn the fairy garden.
Since she planted her fairy garden about 4 weeks ago, she has come up with many new ideas of things to add to the garden.  She has added some rocks that will serve as a resting platform with smaller rocks as steps.  More rocks will be added as we find them and used as edging in the garden.  She plans to add a tiny swing made of twigs and jute.  And another fairy has been added that was given to her as a birtday gift 2 years ago.
Grace looks very satisfied after planting her fairy garden.
I'll post more pictures in a later blog as she adds more items and the plants start to fill out.  I can't wait to see what it will look like in another month!

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