We chose to include colorful and interesting plants this year, like bright pink snapdragons, celosia, and coleus as well as some very fun ornamental spiral grass and a bed of corsican mint.
Earlier this year my hubby was helping his great aunt move, and she passed along some fun garden ornaments to us, one of the items was this cute little fairy planter, we knew right away it would make the perfect magical fairy fountain. We planted corsican mint around it, and added some rocks decorated with peridot green glitter. We love corsican mint, it is a lovely little ground cover that smells wonderfully minty, it is fun to brush your hand over it to release the minty smell. We used to grow large patches of it in our old garden, our current garden gets too much Labrador foot traffic, so it should be much safer in the fairy garden.
We kept our seating from last year, and added a tree stump table, as well as a stand for the lantern. Behind the seating area are the celosia which look like a bright forest. We still have our fairy gazing ball and added a brown glittery rock.
Scattered through the garden are little flags made from bits of scrapbook paper, glued onto twigs (which I gleaned from last years Christmas tree, and have on hand for crafting) I covered them in clear packing tape to hopefully protect them from our Pacific Northwest rain.
Here is the spiral ornamental grass we found, which we knew was a must for the fairy garden. The grass is very sturdy and it is amazing how it spirals. Hidden behind it is a decorative garden rock with a Celtic band design around it, sort of a nod to Stonehenge. ;)
Lastly, we have a little garden area, where the fairies can tend the Snapdragons, with all the garden tools needed. I am hoping to use my new wood burner to make a "Beware of Snapdragons" sign. I think snapdragons are one of the funnest flowers for children, it's so fun to make them talk!
I thought it would be fun to glitter some rocks for the fairy fountain area, the process is very fun and easy. Clean and dry your rocks, then using a sponge brush, apply a layer of Mod Podge, then sprinkle with fine glitter, I use Martha Stewart's fine glitter but any fine glitter will do. Let it dry for an hour or so, then top with a layer of Mod Podge, let that dry for and hour then add one last layer of Mod Podge, this will help seal the glitter to the rock, and weather proof it a bit. A layer of wax paper it the perfect surface to work on so the glue will not stick to the surface.
The peridot green rocks are for the fairy fountain area to blend in with the corsican mint, the blue and brown are just pretty colors to tuck into the garden.
With all this fairy gardening, I thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite fairy themed books. This first set of books are from The Fairy House series by Tracy L. Kane and Barry Kane, as well as a DVD called Kristen's Fairy House based on the book series. This series is fun for kids and adults, it is about a girl who is vacationing on a small island off the coast of Maine, while she is exploring the woods by the cottage she finds little fairy houses that people have built in the woods, then she builds her own. The idea of these fairy houses is to build them using only natural material- nothing living (so you don't disturb the forest) and nothing artificial (so you can leave it and it won't harm wildlife). Very very fun series, Fairy Houses Everywhere includes pictures of fairy houses people have built. After reading this series we had fun making fairy houses in the grassy hills by the beach using gathed items.
You can read more about these books through my links at Amazon.
The next set of fairy books are the Fairyopolis series of books by Cicely Mary Barker- when these first came out when my daughter was younger we had so much fun looking through these books, with their wonderful illustrations and pop-ups and lift-a-flaps, and little envelopes. Very fun books with lots of information about Flower fairies, I never tire of these books, fun also from a gardener's standpoint! We have quite a few Cicely Mary Barker Books and there are still many more out there that we hope to add to our library.
Here is an example of some of the imaginative illustrations in these books, this is a pop-up from Flower Fairies Magical Doors.
You can find more about Fairyopolis as well as the many more books in this series at Amazon.
Lastly, I have a nice little boxed set of fairy books that I purchased years ago, written and illustrated by Margaret Tarrant, who was a writer and illustrator from the 1920's and on. In a style very similar to Cicely Mary Barker's these books are beautifully illustrated, with little poems. I am not sure if they are still in print, but if you come across them, they are very nice old fashioned children's books.
This set came with Seashore Fairies, Weather Fairies, Forest Fairies, Flower Fairies, Twilight Fairies, and Wild Fruit Fairies.
I will leave you with an excerpt from one of Margaret Tarrant's Poems called Half A Fairy
It is better to be a bit of a fairy,
Than not be a fairy at all.
I know someone, half a fairy,
Who lives by the forest tall.
She looks like everyone else by day,
As she sweeps up leaves and sings.
But at night she takes from her kitchen shelf
A pair of fairy wings!
Check out all of the wonderful fairy gardens The Magic Onions Fairy Garden Contest 2012.