Archive for ‘Fairy Gardens’

April 7, 2013

Fairy Gardens 2013

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Last week I caught the Fairy Garden exhibit, called Tiny Treasures: Fairies and Gnomes, at the MN Landscape Arboretum.

I’ve done a couple of posts on Fairy Gardens in the past and thought I would share a few pictures of the 2013 exhibit for inspiration.

Gnome Succulent Garden

Gnome Succulent Garden

Gnome Succulent Garden II

Gnome Succulent Garden II

Bird Bath Fairy Garden

Bird Bath Fairy Garden

 

Bird Bath Fairy Garden Close-up

Bird Bath Fairy Garden Close-up

Zen Fairy Garden

Zen Fairy Garden

Gourd Fairy Garden (Grow Gourds!)

Gourd Fairy Garden (Grow Gourds!)

Tree House Fairy Garden

Tree House Fairy Garden

Tree House Close-up

Tree House Close-up

Fairy on a Bridge

Fairy on a Bridge

 

There were many more than shown here, but I chose to show you some of my favorites.

As you may have noticed they added Gnomes to the mix this year.

Which garden did you prefer?

Do you like Fairies or Gnomes better?

Are you inspired?  Would you make your own?

Kate

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March 20, 2013

16 Things to Do Now to Make it Feel Like Spring

It’s here!  It’s here!  Spring is here!

Yes, I know, you wouldn’t know it if you were to walk out your front door in Minnesota today.  In fact, you might think it were the middle of January.  I awoke this morning to the weather update of wah-wah, wah-wah, wah, wah with an -18 degree windchill.  Yikes!

If you look at Facebook at all today you’ll see a lot of whining, particularly here in Minnesota.  Unfortunately all of the meteorologists have been touting the weather we had this week last year at 70 and 80 degrees above zero making all of the complaining even worse.  The problem is, last year was NOT THE NORM.  The norm this time of the year in Minnesota is 35 to 40 degrees, which while a high of 18 today isn’t exactly tropical, if you compare it to being 20 degrees off the norm instead of 60 degrees off a record, it’s a little easier to chew.

Weather aside, or maybe because of the weather, I thought it was about time we all got excited for spring so I came up with a few things you can do to get by until the weather catches up with our eagerness.  Some of these things are specific to the Twin Cities area, but similar events are happening across the country.

  1. Force branches. Cut branches off of spring blooming trees and shrubs that need pruning, bring them in and put them in water.  In a few days you’ll have spring inside regardless of the weather outside. Learn more about which kinds of trees and shrubs and how-to here.
  2. Plant an indoor bulb garden.  Many nurseries and garden centers are now carrying bulb gardens that you can watch grow, or better yet, buy bulbs and make your own.
  3. Plan your garden.  Grab plans, pictures and notes from your garden journal and plot out your plan for this season.
  4. Build a plant stand with grow lights and start seeds indoors.
  5. Plant edible spring planters.
  6. Buy yourself some cut flowers.  It doesn’t have to be expensive, even $5 can bring a nice burst of color and a smile to your face.
  7. Go to a flower show.  Macy’s Flower Show is traveling the country.  Check here to see when they’ll be in a city near you.
  8. Make a fairy garden. Need inspiration?  The MN Landscape Arboretum is hosting Tiny Treasures: Fairies and Gnomes through March 31st.
  9. Visit a Farmer’s Market!  This Saturday, March 23, 2013, the Bachman’s on Lyndale will be hosting Fresh From the Freeze the Kingfield and Fulton Farmers Markets in the Greenhouse from 9am – 2pm.  There will be music, entertainment, beer, wine and hard cider too.  A vendor list is posted on their site.
  10. Looking to add some spring to your home?  Check out the Bachman’s Spring Ideas House 2013 from April 4th – April 28th.
  11. Visit the Como Park Conservatory. Can’t get there?  Check out the 360 degree view of The Sunken Gardens and The Palm Dome.
  12. Get baby chicks! Our chickens have brought so much sunshine and joy to some of the coldest days.  Egg|Plant Urban Farm Supply has chicks arriving on a weekly basis.  Order yours now. (I also know of a possible source if you’re local, contact me and I’ll connect you.) You can build your coop while they grow!  Not ready for your own?  Stop by and visit them.
  13. Start a windowsill garden.
  14. Plant grass in egg shells or a basket.  You’ll be ready for Easter.
  15. Take a trip down South.  No, actually I don’t mean on a plane or in a car.  Grab your jacket, don your hat, slip on those boots and head to the South side of your house, apartment building, what have you.  The South side of buildings gets the best sun and typically retains heat making that area a little micro-climate where the ground thaws early and plants emerge first.  A friend told me just yesterday that her tulips are “up” (poking through the ground) on the South side of her house.  Take a trip and report back on what you find!
  16. Feed the birds!  According to the birds spring is definitely here.  Don’t believe me?  Shut everything off, radio, TV, your kids 😉 and listen.  The birds a singing their sweet little heads off.  Want to hear them more clearly?  Hang a feeder in your yard (or fill-up that empty one), they’ll be singing songs of glory for you!

If all else fails, call me!  I’d be happy to chat about and help you plan your yard and garden for the upcoming season!

Happy Spring everyone!

Kate

February 9, 2012

Fairy Gardens

Fairies.  There’s something magical, mysterious about fairies, or at least that’s what I think now.  My earliest memories of fairies were of the Tooth Fairy and Tinkerbell.  Although I knew the Tooth Fairy brought money for my teeth, which was exciting, it was also a little creepy.  How did she know that I lost a tooth?  How did she get into our house?  And my room!?! How did she know where I put it?  What if she was short on her allotment of teeth for the month and needed more?  Could she just snatch an extra while I was sleeping?  And what the heck did she do with all those teeth anyway?  And then there was Tinkerbell, she was a little creepy too.  Or maybe it was the essence of Captain Hook that clouded my memory, making me want nothing to do with her.

Twig

Twig

Okay, so my memories of fairies as a child we’re all that fanciful.  And honestly, I don’t think that changed until I met Twig at the Renaissance Festival a number of years ago.  A friend of mine and I brought our kids to the “Ren Fest”.  As we wandered the grounds chatting and laughing we saw a small crowd of people gathered around something, or rather someone, on the ground.  Twig, a woodland fairy, was sitting, perched, playing her flute and flirting with children and adults alike.  She was beautiful.  Her hair, her eyes, the sparkle that seemed to hover around her.  And while she didn’t speak a word, the way she played the flute was memorizing.  The kids stood, as if in a trance, not taking their eyes off of her.  And then she would put her hand into the little pouch that hung so gracefully from her shoulders, and from it she would take a small stone and place it ever so gently into each child’s hand.  The children would close their fingers tightly, hanging on to their stones until they would finally turn, slightly dazed and go back to their parents to show them what they got.  Each child unfurled their little fingers to reveal a magical stone covered in fairy dust.  I fell in love.  While I knew in my grown-up mind that Twig could be easily be a friend or relative playing the role of a fairy, there was something magical about her.  I went traveling back oh, so many years to become that little girl again who believed in fantasy.  This time instead of being creepy, it was dreamy, more like my visions of princesses, only with wings.  It felt amazing.  Every year since, I seek out Twig to catch another glimpse of that magic.

I’m not sure if it was before or after my first encounter with Twig that I discovered Fairy Gardens, but the timing was pretty close.  I remember being in Bachman’s, a garden center in the area, and seeing a little wooden box.  In it stood a miniature world.  A pebble pathway meandered through tiny plants blooming the smallest flowers I’ve ever seen in my life.  The path led to a miniature bench.  Beside it stood a tiny bird bath, a wheel barrow and a couple of tiny pots tipped over on the ground.  The whole area was surrounded by a little picket fence.  Amazing.  Some genius had just transformed what I formerly knew to be called “Alpine Plants”  (which frankly I had no interest in) into something I suddenly became extremely interested in: Fairy Garden plants.  All of a sudden I had to have them, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Actually, I’ve had a couple of rounds of Fairy Gardens at my house.  Both have died due to neglect.  I tend to get a little busy in the summer months and although Fairy Gardens don’t require any more maintenance than other plants, they simply were forgotten about during the busy outdoor garden season.  This doesn’t stop me of course.  I’m about to plant up another one.  I’ve had a lot of inspiration over the past few months to get it going again.  My son made a fairy house out of a tree stump at the Arboretum this past summer fully furnished with a twig ladder, branch furniture and crab apples on the wooden dinner plates. Another garden center I frequent, Uncommon Gardens, had an amazing little Fairy Garden this summer on a little larger scale.  It was planted up in a raised cedar garden planter elevated off the ground.  It even had a little stone cottage, I could just envision the fairies coming out of their little cottage when we weren’t looking and tending to their tiny gardens…

Fairy Garden

And then the Arboretum again, I never cease to find something of interest there!  While attending another function last week, I took a few extra minutes to visit the Tiny Treasures: Fairy Gardens and Gnomes display.  Oh, what inspiration!  More little gardens, more little houses. It must have been obvious that I was enchanted because while we were visiting the gift shop later and I happened upon a Fairy Garden book, filled with more Fairy House inspiration entitled “Fairy Houses and Beyond!” and my dad was kind enough get it for me.  I can’t wait to get started!  If you’re thinking about starting one of your own Tonkadale Nursery put together a nice gallery of Fairy Gardens as well as a step-by-step to get you started.  You can find more info on their Fairy Garden page.

One of the things I love about Fairy Gardens is that they are perfect for kids.  If you’ve ever wanted to have a children’s garden and didn’t know where to start, Fairy Gardens are a perfect.  They are kid-sized.  They have small plants, small benches, small worlds for their imaginations to run wild in.  We’ve had mysterious and magical things happen in our Fairy Gardens at home.  Gates left open, pots and wheelbarrows moved, all sorts of things… you never know what you might find when you have a Fairy Garden!

Even if you don’t have kids, but you’re still a kid at heart, Fairy Gardens can be quite fun.  The scale of them makes it easy to incorporate bonsai trees into as well.   Plus, sometimes it’s just nice to have a small place of wonder to visit and escape from reality.

So with that, I blow a little bit of fairy dust on each of you and hope that even if you aren’t as enchanted as I am, I hope you’re at least “a little” amused.  🙂

Kate