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Fairy gardens

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Threnody posted 6/10/2013 20:50 PM

The kids are only here until June 29th, then they leave for a month to visit my parents. Before they go, I'd like to work on a project with them in the afternoons. When they leave, I'm going to expand on it.

I'd like to build a fairy garden. With the kids, we'll be using an old blue glazed birdbath to make a container fairy garden. After trying to figure out a place to put the completed container garden, and then trying to figure out where else I could build a larger-scale garden, I think I've hit on the perfect spot.

We're in Central Texas. It's hot and dry in the summer, and we don't have much shade here except between our house and our very good friends/neighbors'. Their back yard fence extends toward the street about six feet beyond our own, making a nice 6' x 6' (approx.) alcove between their fence, our fence, and the side of our house. That area only gets direct sunlight for a couple of hours, right at midday, so I think mosses will be fine. There's enough room to eventually put a bench for us all to use. We're their baby daughter's godparents, and I'd love to have a place for my children to play pretend and eventually have her join in.

I've followed a few Pinterest boards featuring fairy gardens, but I wondered if anybody here in the hot Hell of Zone 8 has any recommendations for plants which can be used for miniature landscaping (mosses, small plants which can be bonsai-ed to look like trees, etc.).

I've been obsessed for over a year with bonsai and penjing, but I haven't had the chance to do anything about it. I still have two little ones who play pretend and I think a fairy garden may give us all a nice project and a place to be imaginative. I'm excited to get started, so long as I can get Mr. T to buy into the idea. He thinks I'm crazy so far (I am, but that's beside the point) and that I'll get the birdbath part done and be all "Eff this, it's hot out here. I'm going inside." What's glorious about this region, though, is that a proper garden can go all year 'round. Our little garden can actually cycle through the seasons, and we can be out there to enjoy it.

So. Thoughts? Recommendations? Support for Mr. T?

MovingUpward posted 6/10/2013 20:58 PM

Just toss some of the christmas card glitter around. Bam. Done.

jo2love posted 6/10/2013 21:10 PM


I don't have any suggestions, but I love your idea for a fairy garden. Very cool idea!

Threnody posted 6/10/2013 21:28 PM

I still have glitter from 2010 in the back yard. Every now and then a sun-bleached foil snowflake gets raked up with the mulching.

Sad in AZ posted 6/10/2013 21:37 PM

Rather than moss, you might look into a low growing thyme or oregano--Mediterranean herbs that grow under harsh conditions. Rosemary & lavandar are other Mediterranean herbs that can grow under harsh conditions but still look lush.

Threnody posted 6/10/2013 21:42 PM

My backyard herb bed is nearly overrun with rosemary, and I had planned on taking a cutting from it to put in one of the corners. The lavender I have is healthy, and I'm afraid to touch it to take a cutting. It took me three tries to grow the stuff down here.

I did see one fairy garden that I adored but that I could never pull off in our heat. It was a stack of broken pots, with the shards forming a spiral stairway from the "ground" to the "balcony." Every plant on the thing was a kitchen herb. It was gorgeous, and looked as if it must stand 3 feet tall.

I'm probably going to bonsai some boxwood to look like little shade trees. It's possible I could get some small fern to grow. I've seen ivies used, but I don't even want to go there because we're already battling wild morning glory. We get a lot of stray prairie seeds blowing in on the winds, so I'll need to be out there at least once a week to weed and make sure we don't end up with buffalo grass or something.

Sad in AZ posted 6/10/2013 21:48 PM

There are a lot of sedums and other succulents that look like little trees--you might consider them too.

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