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!

15 comments:

Leanne said...

We love it SOOOO much, a million thank yous. She's been out there mornings and afternoons, dragged in when it gets too dark... it's amazing!

fairegarden said...

Oh what a doll, Leslie! The fairy garden is so wonderful, and those little stepping stones you made are perfect. There will be many enjoyable days of play in this, even into adulthood. You are the best grandmother ever! :-)
Frances

Carol said...

How sweet and cute. My garden fairies are quite envious of it, as am I!

Helen @ Gardening With Confidence said...

Leslie, this turned out so sweet. I love the look on Sweet G's face, she obviously loves it a lot....and talk about creating a bonding moment and creating a love for gardening!

Diana said...

Wow - that is so impressive. Carol is right - it's off the charts o the cute factor. I loved that little garden in Buffalo, too. You're so creative!

Gail said...

Leslie, it's wonderful~I know several little girls who would love this wonderful box and probable several 'older girls'! gail I wish more children were given time for imaginative play instead of scheduled into activities.
gail

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

It's darling Leslie, and so is she. I like your step by step instructions.~~Dee

Commonweeder said...

what a wonderful idea. Those are great links. Of course, I'll have to do this with GREAT-granddaughters. Not that I'm bragging.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

This is the most darling thing! I need to track down a box so I can make one for the girl. You are the best grandma.

Layanee said...

When my granddaughter is just a bit older....I will make her one.

Rose said...

This is so adorable! I came here by way of Mr. McGregor's Daughter, Leslie, and I'm so glad I did. This is the perfect gift for a sweet granddaughter. Not only will she enjoy playing with it now, but you're fostering an interest in gardening in the future as well.

Cindy, MCOK said...

Leslie, that fairy garden is just adorable and clearly the Sweet G is delighted by it. What a wonderful way to keep her linked to you even though you're apart. You did a fabulous job!

Jan@Thanks for today. said...

Your charming creation can only be outdone by your granddaughter's cuteness!

dining table said...

This is a very nice idea for people who want to have a garden but have no space at home. It really is beautiful.

Agnes said...

We just loved it, you have given such a beautiful idea for making fairy garden the steps are so cute. I will make one for my daughter. Thanks a lot!!