For reasons far too complex to go into, yesterday was the day I made a fairy garden. I did have a break at lunchtime when I was a good citizen and went and had a couple of pints of Guinness – well it would be rude not to while I am in Ireland – by the way the pumpkin has raised 400e for the autistic unit so far – but I completed the garden when I returned. Fairy gardens are, I believe, an elaboration of the ‘plate’ gardens we all made as kids but, with everything having to be more complex these days, they are usually stuffed full of bits and pieces and created as homes for fairies. I deliberately did not do any research on this one and just went with my gut instinct. I didn’t have a mini bird house or any props apart from a gift of some chickens and rabbits so I just got on with it.
Obviously fairies don’t want to live at soil level where it is damp so I had to install a tree. I cut off a gnarled apple branch and screwed that into a base piece of timber and that was screwed through into two ‘runners’ underneath so the tree was good and stable.
It was screwed into a pot saucer. If doing it again I would choose something more rigid.
Without a home for the fairies I had to be creative so cut a ‘dry oasis’ block into sheets and used that to make a ‘home’. I know this will restrict the use of this garden because it won’t be very weatherproof and the only plants I had to hand are hardy so this garden will have to be put in a cool place inside or a covered spot outside. I covered the house with dried oak leaves.
I glued it in place and tidied it up later to cover most of the visible foam – it is funny how it shows far more on the photo! I put one of the hens in the tree too.
I then filled the tray with compost for the plants. One of the weeds I am tackling is mind-your-own-business (helxine*) but it is useful for lining hanging baskets and a lump of that made a grassy mound. A small conifer, armeria and gaultheria made up the simple planting. I smashed up a slate tile for the path and some grit made a place for the hens. I made a ladder and fence from some apple twigs.
If I was giving this to a young child I would omit the slate because the edges are a bit sharp.
This is really basic as it is but a child would soon use their imagination and add lots of bits and pieces.
Gaultheria procumbens is a cute little plant and the red berries are not poisonous.
I didn’t have any mini carrots for the rabbits so they can nibble on the helxine.
And the chickens can scratch away in the grit.
* I know helxine is really Soleirolia soleirolii but who can get their tongue round that lot!