Saturday, July 25, 2015

How To Invite Fairies to Live in your Garden (Tutorial)

Fairy magic adds enchantment to my gardening life

Wegman's Nursey ( Redwood City)  helped me prepare for fairies

How To Invite Fairies to Live in your Garden
Ice plant and succulents enhance this tea party garden

1)Find a nice pot - I got mine in my Wegman's Fairy Garden Class /Workshop.
 You might get creative here and re-purpose a pot, large bowl, can, or any open vessel you already have. Fairies are not picky. Make sure you have a hole in the bottom, or some kind of drainage.
2) Fill the pot nearly full with potting soil

3) Decide on a story you want to tell in your garden - the sleeping green fairy below had a very warm bike ride to a cool lake. He parked his cycle, walked across the stepping stones over the lake, and is enjoying a  snooze next to some frog friends on a leaf that's big enough to serve all of them as a little island bench in the lake
4) Pick out a few little outdoor or indoor plants to enhance the story. Tiny ground cover  plants might work well. In my Wegman's class, I included Australian violets/Australian bluebell and some Irish moss. I had some spider plants at home that had shot out spider plant babies, so I added several of those as well. 

In other fairy habitats - such as the tea party themed one above - I've been using (flowering) ice plant, thyme and a lot of the succulents I've been repurposing from pots. With these I often use pea gravel to fill in as a natural stream or landscape. Non-miniature plants like geranium/pelargonium and iris stems can stand in for trees.

5) Find a fairy, and some items that she or he might enjoy. I used a
There are Fairies at  the Bottom of My Garden
fairy, a leaf bridge with frogs, and a fairy bicycle. You could also use little toys - like tiny dolls. You don't even have to include a fairy. Just creating the perfect environment , may well encourage a fairy to move in with you. Just because you don't see one, doesn't mean they aren't living there.
 6) Rocks, gravel, broken pottery shards, sand and other textures add greatly to the story. In the Fairy Garden class I went too we had access to crushed blue and green glass (you can buy bags of it) and broken shards from a turquoise pot. Those items made me think lake when I spotted them.
Waiting for fairies Just because you don't see them, doesn't mean they aren't living there.
Fairy garden is in-progress - keeping my eyes peeled for additions
If children live in or visit your house, make sure they have access to and maintenance rights over the fairy garden.

My fairy gardens live on my patio. I hand water them when it gets dry. Small garden like these are great during our drought, because they takes very little water. In fact, when we often re-purpose leftover water from other domestic events for watering our pots.

Both these Disney Garden books inspire my theme gardening style, which is so vital for a fairy gardener. I like the tabbed-cookbook style of DISNEY'S GARDENING WITH MICKEY when I want to quickly review the steps for creating a hanging basket or well illustrated how-tos for small topiaries. (There's lots of good info for larger topiaries and garden sculpting as well - I just haven't tried it out) In addition, there is good gardening (yard or pots) basic techniques as well as many recommendations for plants that work well for specific themes and temperatures. I highly recommend it, because I have used it a lot over a period of several years.

I also turn regularly to my Secrets of Disney's Glorious Gardens book. It has a lot of similar techniques and information as DISNEY'S GARDENING WITH MICKEY and it also has lovely, lovely photos that inspire me. So when I want to sit down and just get ideas for themes or gardening styles, I pour through the photos in this book.
Fairy magic is adding enchantment to my life, when it comes to gardening.

~ ~ ~
There are Fairies at the Bottom of My Garden

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

California Summer at the Beachside Boardwalk in Santa Cruz( SF Bay Area Field Trip)

Back around the turn of the 20'th century, amusement parks were a big summertime draw for regular folks - middle class and the lower middle class. With the railroad making close by day trips doable - people took weekend trains out to the edges of urban areas to ride fast rides, eat funnel cakes, compete for cheap prizes and enjoy a little fresh air at a plethora of public amusement parks.

The railroads, having acquired massive tracts of territory
through power private and public land grabs, often owned these temporary fun towns. The trips increased train ridership, 
even though the actual take at the gate didn't provide much in the way of profit for these major corporations.

A Trip to the Boardwalk inspires thoughts of Appliqué
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk was a part of a chain of seaside parks along the West Coast of the United States. Built in 1907, it is the oldest such park to surviveand, though no longer accessible by train, it  still makes for a wonderful weekend field trip from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

There are Fairies at the Bottom of My Garden-California Patio Garden that is)

Fairy magic adds  enchantment to my gardening lif
There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
They often have a dance on summer nights;
The butterflies and bees
Make a lovely little breeze,
And the rabbits stand about and hold the lights.
Did you know that they could sit upon the moonbeams
And pick a little star to make a fan,
And dance away up there
In the middle of the air
Well, they can!

There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
You cannot think how beautiful they are;
They all stand up and sing
When the fairy queen and king
Come gently floating down upon their car.
The king is very proud and handsome;
The queen, now can you guess who that would be?
She's a little girl all day
But at night she steals away.
Well, it's me!
      "There are Fairies at the Bottom of our Garden" - Liza Lehmann, 1917

Enjoy the Comedy Julie Andrews singing There are Fairies at the Bottom of Our Garden


Fairy magic adds  enchantment to my gardening life