While shopping for wedding florists recently I stumbled upon a shop in Encinitas which offered some unexpected surprises. At Twigs by Teri, located just inside the Sunshine Gardens Nursery area you’ll find among the buds and blossoms tiny pieces of Victorian lawn furniture. Lining the shelves are miniture bird baths, gazebos, picnic tables, even candelabras and bell jars. When I asked the shop owner, Teri Brand what these were for, she explained cheerfully “for your faerie garden!”
At the time, I myself could not boast to having said faerie garden. Mrs. Brand then told me about the class offered by her store, which teaches prospective faerie keepers how to set up their own little nook for the wee folk. I decided to attend a class with my fiance, to find out just what faerie gardening was all about.
We arrived at the class promptly a 12:45, and were handed a plastic bin with a baggie of moss, a spray bottle, a plastic spoon, a chopstick and a little tin bird ornament taped to the side. We were then instructed to pick out a container (boxes, flower pots, tin troughs, anything to hold the garden.) We selected a long, basin style tin trough.
Next, we were told to select from an assortment of miniature plants set out on the table. Having a taste for the exotic, we chose a prickly succulent type plant and another called “string of pearls” which looks very much like it’s name suggests.
Our plants in hand, we moved on to select our accessories. There were tiny lawn chairs, park benches, lamp posts, swing sets, nearly anything your heart might desire. We chose an old stone table (which reminded me of the table from C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe) a lamp post (keeping with that same Narnian theme) a candelabra, and a set of bell jars.
With all our pieces at the ready, we began the process.
Without giving away any trade secrets, I can tell you that you want to began by lining your container with plastic, to prevent any leakage when watering. This of course only applies to faerie gardens using living plants, if you chose to work with silk or plastic greenery, this isn’t a concern.
Next, we filled our container with gravel (to hold the plastic down and serve as filler) and a layer of soil, which we patted down till flat.
We used our spoon to dig out two holes where our plants could rest, and added more dirt so that they could get properly nestled in. We used a small paint brush to dust away any excess that spilled over on to the leaves. We gave our plants a few healthy squirts from our spray water bottle, and moistened the dirt, then we were ready to begin placing our decorations.
There really is no wrong way to do a faerie garden. You can place pre-made decoration, or make your own from household items (that’s what a resourceful faerie would do anyway, don’t you think?) For example, a ridged toothpaste cap glued atop a marble or a bead makes an excellent lamp. A pincushion can become a beanbag chair and pizza savers (those three pronged plastic things stuck in the top of delivery pizzas) are just right for patio tables. We laid down a bed of moss for color, and low and behold, we had created our very own faerie refuge.
I went around, looking at other gardens. Many of the guests at this class were young ladies of grade school age, who were absolutely brimming with creativity. Some girls had brought along miniature animals, such as turtles and bunnies to inhabit their gardens. Another actually had a ceramic fairy resting on the side of her pot. The variations of your own faerie garden are limited only by your own imagination.
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