Fall Fairy Gardens
Create an Enchanting Fall Fairy Garden
Fairies have always played a magical role the lives of young and old alike. From Tinkerbell to the Tooth Fairy we all love to visit that fantasy world where magic and wishes can, and do, come true. So what could be more fun than creating your very own enchanting fairy garden?
With spring right around the corner, it’s time to get outside and prep the lawn and garden for the growing season. And while Fairies certainly don’t need our help to survive, they enjoy our efforts when we provide materials and even gardens for them to enjoy.
Creating a Fairy Garden is fun for everyone and can be a great way to channel children’s energy and imagination in a creative and educational project. Fairy Gardens can be an inside or outside project. In this article, we’ll focus on outside but can easily be modified for an indoor activity. For Home Schooling, this project can easily become a series of lessons to tie into your curriculum.
If you are using the project as a lesson, the first step is a lesson on planning. This is a great opportunity to teach the basics of project planning. Some things to have them consider:
· What type of garden? Inside or outside?
· If outside, have them survey the yard for the perfect location. Have discussions on the advantages, pros and cons for the different locations. Let them make the final decision. Sometimes failures are the best way to learn!
· Will the garden include plants? Herbs are a great addition to any garden and have the additional benefit of being tasty! This also allows a lesson on planting, growing and harvesting. If planting herbs, always leave a portion of the harvest for the Fairies. Here’s your opportunity to talk about sharing with others and giving back.
· Budget. Introduce a lesson on money management. If appropriate, give them a budget to work with and help them decide how to keep track of expenditures and manage the costs.
Since Fairies are close to Mother Earth, up-cycled materials are a perfect way to honor their traditions and keep costs down. Here you can tie-in importance of recycling, up-cycling to create something new, reusing and creative reimagining.
Broken clay pots – They may have outlived their value and not much good for plants but are perfect raw materials for the Fairy Garden. Broken pieces create interest in your garden and make excellent retaining walls and terraces for tiny plants and points of interest. They can also be used to create stair steps up to a higher level or can be painted as a door.
If working with broken pottery or bricks, clean and dry to prepare for painting. Make sure to smooth any sharp edges. Have fun painting or decorating the pieces with acrylic paints. If it is to part of an outdoor garden, use a protective sealant to keep the design fresh longer. Larger pots and old bird baths can contain the entire garden – a great alternative for an inside garden.
Moss, small plants, miniature furniture and artificial flowers can all be a fun part of the garden. Driftwood, pretty rocks and stones, which can be painted and decorated, all add to the enchantment. Flat rocks, sand and glass pebbles create interesting walkways and paths into and around the garden for Fairies to come and go.
Fairies are known to be playful, mischievous but they can also be very shy. Create interesting layers and hiding places with interesting stacks of stones or bricks. And while Fairies love all animals, most are not very fond of cats and need a quick getaway if one threatens them. Rumor has it they love chocolate, so leaving little gifts is one way to coax them out.
Since Fairies can be shy, the teachable moment is how to respect other’s personal space, and feel ok if they themselves are shy.
Fairies are very close to Mother Nature and protective of other creatures. They can get very upset and mischievous if someone is cruel to animals. Here’s a perfect chance to teach the importance of being gentle with animals and pets.
Like any garden, weather and wear create the need for upkeep and maintenance. This can be incorporated into the planning process, and like any chore, become part of the routines. This is a great time to teach the responsibility of garden care.
Fairy gardening can be simple or elaborate, inside or out and is always a fun activity with the family. Materials can be found around the house, the garage, online, at some garden centers and specialty shops.
Written by, Susan K. Edwards, L.S.H., owner, Wildhair Studios’ Rock Shop, home of the Enchanted Fairy Garden. Located at 311 Broadway in historic downtown Paducah, they have a large selection of fairy gardening items and classes on how to create your own enchanted space.