The UT Gardens had a workshop in March about building Fairy Gardens. We were not able to attend the workshop but my toddler has had the pleasure of finding the example Fairy Gardens form the workshop tucked all over the Garden. So far we have discovered three! If you are wondering, a fairy garden is a diminutive landscape, often in a flower pot, which includes a small residence for fairies.
Ispired by these examples, my daughter wanted to increase the fairy real estate in the grater Knoxville Area and she was very bent on doing it quickly after the first time we noticed the Fairy Gardens at UT.
So upon arrival home we threw this together: The recycled Fairy Garden (for the eco-concious fairy).
98.9% Post consumer materials!
We used a planter that was made from an old tire and painted purple with spare house paint-- I cleaned the paint roller we used to paint our back door by rolling it on the finished tire planter- fabulous and easy results from paint that would have been discarded otherwise. Making the planter, which we did about 5 years ago, is another story--It required cutting the top rim off a tier and then flipping the tier inside out, which will be a quick process for you if you routinely wrestle alligators. We already had snap dragons and a mini pine tree growing in the planter. Alexandria found some shells from vacations past and stones from our drive way to make the path and yard ornaments. The house is made from a small disposable purple plastic flower pot and a large shell. We used a sharpie pen to draw on the windows and flourishes on the house and I cut a door in it with garden sheers. This residence is already occupied and it was on the market for less than 2 hours!
With results like these it was clear that Knoxville was due for a fairly housing boom. So we decided to go into mass production-- we scheduled a Fairy Garden Party to occur on the anniversary of Alex's birth and have invited several little builders ages (0.5 to 7).
These fairy houses are modular homes made out of little unfinished bird houses which my husband spent several weekends sawing doors in with a tiny hand saw. We will provide paint, stickers, shells, glue and ribbons for the little builders to finish them with. Then each little builder can install the fairy house at his/home garden.
Alex and I built a model home to help advertise the Development. We painted it red and white like a Mario mushroom. We bought succulents from the famers market and put it all together in a little rock pot with some fancy stones and wine bottle corks. I used a smashed-up pine cone and rocks at the bottom of my pot to cover the drainage hole without clogging it. We also found some doll house fences to make the small lot size less noticeable. (There will be a community pool rather than each house having its own!)
Here it is all assembled. It is going to be the center-peace (yes "peace") for the Birthday table and then it will be moved to its permanent residence next to one of our roses.
The Seawind Unit.
The little builders were very enthusiastic and creative. One very blond builder did end up with a perfectly punk rock streak of blue tempera in the front of his hair. So all went as well as it could have!
Surely no fairy house is complete without a blue glow in the dark Spider.
You can follow the chaos that is ~10 toddlers painting fairy houses on my blog at http://alexandriasgarden.blogspot.com/2013/06/fairy-gardens.html