Monday, January 03, 2011
Fairy Garden in a Box
Last July's visit to Buffalo for Garden Blogger Buffa10 may be half a year ago but I am still thinking about and processing ideas I got there. One of my favorite things was something I saw on Lancaster Street on the morning of the last day. It was a darling little garden in a box that the owner, Annabelle Irey, called a touching garden and I liked it so much that the next week The Sweet Granddaughter and I put together an impromptu mini version that she enjoyed all summer. Think 'doll house' but the garden version! Right away I began searching for things to use in what I planned would be her Christmas gift. I had a field lug, a wooden bin about 18"x24"x9", that I bought at a garage sale in the mid '70s. I knew that would be the container and in preparation I sanded it and then coated it with white house paint.
I then painted grasses, flowers, and insects on the outside. I used Patio Paint, an outdoor acrylic paint I bought at Michael's. Don't be afraid to experiment...children's books are great places to get inspiration for your artistic endeavors. I painted a dragonfly, a snail, and a monarch butterfly and then I hid a tiny ladybug on a blade of grass and a line of ants along the bottom of one side.
Meanwhile, I ordered an arbor, bench, and small terracotta hanging pot from Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center, after my friend Dee at Red Dirt Ramblings sent me the link. I already had a couple small pots potted up with succulents from the trial touching garden and I got three more pots and succulents to add to the new and improved version. Succulents in small pots are great for the three-year-old gardener as they are very forgiving when subjected to sporadic watering patterns.
The soon-to-be-owner of this particular touching garden is a big fan of imaginative play, especially when fairies are involved, and almost every one knows fairies love to live in gardens! So when I was looking for play figures to add to the garden I was excited to find Playmobil garden fairies, gardeners and fences. There was even a bird house and tiny wheelbarrow!
I had been looking around for some tiny terracotta tiles to use as stepping stones but time was running out. My friend, Mary Ann of Gardens of the Wild Wild West suggested I make my own from polymer clay which I did by rolling it out, cutting into squares and baking in the oven.
I lined the box with landscape cloth and upon delivery filled it with two bags of pea pebbles. The new owner has been playing with the garden for a week now and it is definitely a hit with her. I liked making it so much that I am on the lookout for more field lugs...surely everyone deserves a fairy garden in a box!