Thursday, June 16, 2016

Fairy Garden!

I love small things; I always have.  I also have better luck with container gardening than with any other kind.  Put these together, and I seriously have NO idea why it's taken this long for the idea of a fairy garden to sink into my skull.

Now, of course, I'm making up for lost time.  I lose DAYS to Pinterest.  I have piles of bark and twigs all over my house.  I have PLANS.  Somewhat unlike me, I also have the start of a fairy garden.  While my long term plan is to make most, if not all, of the things in my fairy garden, I'm also WAY too impatient to wait that long.  But, since Squeak, I am on a MUCH tighter budget and it's amazing how expensive little things are.

So, I hit some clearance sales over winter, and I scored some stuff at Big Lots, and I hoarded it away like a squirrel.  Then I found the PERFECT wheel barrow on Craigslist for $25.  Yay!  Time to start!

After I put my wheelbarrow where I wanted it, I tried to drill drainage holes.  I was torn, because I didn't really want to drill holes in it, but I didn't want to drown my potential garden either.  And then the drill bit broke after one hole, so I decided that was a good compromise.  After I drilled *the* hole, I put down some screening, and covered it with rocks.  Then I added a bag of top soil, and watered it.  (This was an excellent hint that I got somewhere else - the soil will settle, so if you don't water it and let it sit for a bit before you add your plants and furniture, it'll end up shifting.)

Because I'm impatient, I let it rest as long as it took to set up the water table to entertain Squeak.  (Other people do fairy gardens for/with their kids.  Squeak couldn't care less.  This is all about me.)  Anyway, I had a bit of the layout in my head, but I hadn't looked at my hoard for a while.  So I dragged everything out and played around with the still-potted plants and the fairy stuff for a while.  (My hoard was bigger than I remembered.  I have a fairy house, chair, bird bath, wheel barrow, garden tools, bridge, mailbox, fence, a metal chest, a fairy door and a couple of windows in a set, and a really cute little sleigh.)

I know you're supposed to get wee little flowers, but mostly I went with what I thought was pretty.  So, the plants are verbatim, festuca, kona hot pink aloha calibrachoa, kona midnight blue aloha calibrachoa, artemisia, pomegranate punch calibrachoa, lemon slice calibrachoa, and sanvitalia.

It just felt like it was missing that certain "something."  I couldn't quite put my finger on it...

Ah.  Yes.  Godzilla makes it all better.  I pushed over the wheelbarrow and scattered the tools, like he's on a rampage.  Heh.  This entertains me.  (It pretty much horrified my neighbors.  They don't know me very well yet.)

I left it like that for a couple of weeks to let the plants settle in and decided how I like it.  And I got the idea of a fountain stuck in my head.  I looked at LOTS of ideas around the interwebz, but I didn't care for the fake water ones.  And, I've been meaning to set something up for the birds/butterflies. So, I went ahunting and found a solar pump at Harbor Freight that interested me.  And then I fell into zulily one day and found an electric fountain.  Score!

The new fountain arrived yesterday. so I set up the water table for Squeak and went to play in my fairy garden.  For now, at least, Godzilla is back in the flower bed because I needed the room.  The fountain says that it's indoor only (even though the picture showed it outside) but the wheel barrow is positioned half under the overhand of the house, so it's pretty protected.  (I was thinking fountain pretty early, and intentionally put the wheel barrow near the outside outlet.)

So, here is the garden now:

My next goal is pathways.  I'm torn between slices of wood and pea gravel.  I'm also weighing the pros and cons of pre-mounting versus just leaving it loose.  I've seen a couple of fairy garden pictures (thanks to my hours of pinterest browsing) that laid out their pathways like mosaics and I'm kind of fascinated.  But I would also like to be able to move stuff around and if I make the path, I can't really do that.  So many decisions.

I also think I want to paint the mailbox, the wheelbarrow, and the garden tools.  They're currently brown and they kind of blend in, so I think I'll paint the tools and the wheelbarrow red and probably light grey/silver for the mailbox. 

In addition to pathways, I also want to add fencing because I think it makes it much more finished looking.  I found some fencing at Big Lots, but it is also brown.  And I don't love it.  So I may try altering it, if I can find my soldering iron.  And then paint it, probably white.  Or - here's Pinterest influencing me again - I may just try to make my own out of twigs.

I also want to make a twig ladder from the wheelbarrow (near the mailbox) to the ground.

The little metal chest, the fairy door and windows, and the sleigh aren't in here either.  I have an ash tree between the road and sidewalk that has a hole near the bottom that is perfect for a fairy door, but the door would be over a foot off the ground.  So my plan for that is a deck with stairs down to the ground.

And there's another tree on the other side of the house that is also perfect for a fairy door.  While I was galavanting around the country earlier this year, I found a teeny tricycle in an antique/junk shop.  So, in my head, I'm laying the foundation for basically a fairy village around my neighborhood for people to discover as they walk.  We'll see how much of this actually happens but right now, I'm excited.  Yay, fairy gardens!