I blogged a few months ago about making fairy houses with our daughter Sophie from match boxes. Then a few weeks ago Sophie and I went into a garden center where they had put together fairy gardens. Fairy gardens! The fairy gardens on display were in low, wide containers and had little arbors, benches, plants and houses for fairies. The gardens included “fairy plants” which are small-leafed plants that work well with the small scale of the accessories they used. “Can we do this as a Mommy-Sophie project?” Sophie asked.
Ever since she turned nine this summer I’ve been aware that her childhood has reached the halfway point. In another nine years she’ll be out of the house and off to college. I’m trying to make a point of living in the moment so I really enjoy these next nine years – or until she becomes a teenager and doesn’t want anything to do with me – whichever comes first.
So we searched high and low for an appropriate container for our fairy garden. It needed to be wider than deep and have a diameter of at least 24” or so to create the landscape that Sophie had in mind. Remembering that we just took down a 60’ tree next to our house, need a new fence and have to have the house painted, I walked away from the beautiful, yet pricey, ceramic containers. We found an ugly plastic faux barrel that was the perfect size and we decided to spray paint it. “Silver!” Sophie said. “Fairies like sparkly things.” After we painted it, Bill looked at it, laughed and said, “So you decided to “pimp” the fairy garden?” “It’s a girl thing,” I replied.
We drilled a hole in the bottom for drainage and filled it with potting soil. I let Sophie decide on the placement of the house and plants. We had some dark pink celosia around so she decided to use them for pink trees. I ask you: what fairy garden would be complete without pink trees? At Petco we found some chunky rocks because as odd as it seems, we don’t have rocks in our garden or neighborhood. Apparently our neighborhood was part of Lake Michigan millions of years ago so we have sandy soil and no rocks.
Anyway, I guess our trip to France earlier this summer made an impression on Sophie because she placed the Hens and Chicks in the center of the garden and said, “Ya know, like at Versailles.” I love it. Versailles for fairies. The house makes it. Its roof has a hinge so we can place a tea candle in it at night. We placed the fairy garden at the base of the stairs to our house and every visitor has commented on it. It makes me smile every time I pass it and remember to make the most of the next nine years.