Fairy Garden Renovations

Are you familiar with the old adage, “one thing leads to another?”  The classic children’s book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie uses this concept with great humour.

The book is known for its playful, circular pattern. A boy gives a cookie to a mouse. The mouse asks for a glass of milk. He then requests a straw (to drink the milk), a mirror (to avoid a milk mustache), nail scissors (to trim his hair), and a broom (to sweep up). Next he wants to take a nap, to have a story read to him, to draw a picture, and to hang the drawing on the refrigerator. Looking at the refrigerator makes him thirsty, so the mouse asks for a glass of milk. The circle is complete when he wants a cookie to go with it. – Wikipedia

So, if you give a friend a craft store gift card (thank you Stephanie), she’s going to want to use it.  When she goes to the crafting store, she’ll discover cute little stencils.  She buys those stencils along with a few acrylic paints.

Martha Stewart Craft stencilsDSC_0007

Martha Stewart Craft stencils

Since the garden nursery is *right next door* to the crafting store, she’ll pop in for a look.  While there she’ll find the perfect, over-sized plant trays and the wheels begin to turn.  Fairy garden renovations, here I come!

Large plant trays

Large plant trays

She’ll rush home with the loot, but days will pass before she has time to play. She moves the project from the garage workbench to the kitchen counter, thinking she’s more likely to work on it there.  She’s right!  Racing the clock, she stencils one of the trays before heading off for another appointment.  Family memories say lovely things, spurring her on.

stenciled tray

Stenciled plant trays

The stenciled trays must wait to dry.  Once dry, they need a sealer. Once sealed, they need some soil. Mother’s Day rolls around and she wants nothing more than an afternoon renovating the garden.

Fairy garden on Deck

Fairy Garden on Deck

Two planter trays are the perfect size and shape for my garden bench.

patio fairy garden

Patio Fairy Garden

The perfect spot for the newly renovated fairy house.

fairy house

Newly renovated fairy house flying the rainbow flag

Fairies can cozy up in a Magnolia petal hammock.

magnolia petal hammock

Magnolia petal hammock

A log bridge connects the house and the garden.

reading garden details

Log bridge to the reading garden

My son painted the ceramic plate, the focal point of the reading garden. The chair, lantern and glazing ball are gifts from Alyster the Gnome.

reading garden

Reading Garden

There are already signs of visitors: a tiny deer behind the house, an open copy of Fairy News and the faintest movement from the wishing pond. Ahhhh….

Fairy Garden Activity

Fairy Garden Activity

So if you give a friend a gift card…well, you know the rest.

Fairy Garden Cottage: Apply Within

If you talk to any realtor, they’ll say this cottage is move-in ready.

  • Friends and fairies will love this exclusive home, tucked among the ferns
  • Freshly painted inside and out
  • Brand new green roof
  • Window treatments included
  • Stone facade so *no one* can blow your house down

Here’s the scoop.  My teenage son, a huge Halloween fan, loved creating a ‘spooky village’ when he was young. Over the years, we purchased foam crafting kits, balsa wood trees and this cute little house pictured below.

fairy house halloween

He painted the house black and grey and affixed ‘haunted house’ decor. The house went on display in his room for the month of October, along with the other assembled kits.  Then as quickly as it began, it ended.  Last year he said, “You’re free to get rid of it all, Mom.”

The foam houses made it into the shrubs at Halloween providing hide and seek entertainment for the day-care kids next door.  I couldn’t bring myself to toss the house, though.  Where he saw trash, I saw potential.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been rehabbing the balsa house, taking it from spooky to kooky, fairy style.  My hands are a wreck from all the painting and glueing, but my heart is happy and whole.  I’d forgotten how relaxing this creative process is.

Three coats of paint

Three coats of paint

While waiting for layers of paint to dry, I looked at cottages on the net. I liked the idea of a thatched roof and a stone facade. It would be fun to add a small window box  too.

As always, I try using the materials at hand. I like the challenge. Some of the building materials came from the garden. I pulled the rest from “the drawer,” that special place in the kitchen where items of interest lie in wait.

Fairy house remodel

Fairy house remodel

First up, some trim from an old pair of sandals. They were the perfect size for the pitched roof. In the center is a bottle cap, layered with an amber gem. The gem and the curtain lace were once wrapped around a gift from Boomdee. Next, I glued tiny pebbles to the facade and added a front door. I fashioned a door from the outer bark of a sword fern. The tiny handle is a seed.

Using a small scrap of paper and some double-sided tape I made quick work of the planter box. All it needed was a few snips of purple Statice and a window to call its own. Dried moss keeps the house warm and dry. Liberal use of glitter adds the sparkle that fairies know and love.

Please pop in tomorrow for the full reveal: the fairy house is move-in ready, with all sorts of little extras to make a house a home.

St. Patrick’s Day Whimsy

St. Patrick’s Day means different things to different people. For me it was always an excuse to wear green (my favorite color) and to act silly.

Image my delight to find another gardener in our neighborhood who feels the same way. I discovered her clever shrubs last fall on my morning walk. She prunes the plants into orbs, then gives them different haircuts. In October they had a Halloween theme. My one regret was not getting back there with my camera. Then last week, I saw this:

Neighborhood garden

Neighborhood garden

This is a gardener with a fabulous sense of humour. I popped over there Sunday morning when the light was still good, and took some closeups of these delightful merry-makers.

Happy go lucky

Happy go lucky

green hedges with faces

Too much green beer?

Back home I spent a few hours greening up the fairy garden while visiting with my sister.

I may have to stay up all night to see if I spot fairies *and* leprechauns in the wee garden.  Wouldn’t that be great fun?

fairy garden

Fairy garden

Creating fairy gardens is a wonderful way to relax.  It blends creativity, a bit of gardening and the challenge of using what you have on hand.  If you’ve never tried it, why not give it a go. You’re in for a pleasant surprise.

Even Kermit the Frog eventually agrees, it’s okay to be green. ♣♣♣

hint of a rainbow

Just a hint of a rainbow

green glass path

Follow the path

fairy garden

Can you see the pot of gold at the “end” of the rainbow?

frog on the path

The path offers a bit of camouflage

What’s in the Fairy Garden?

  • Miniature white cyclamen
  • Baby’s tears (transplanted from the back garden)
  • Miniature ‘trees’ (name escapes me)
  • The tiny frog and deer flew in from Canada (gifts from Boomdee)
  • The craft foam fence is a cast off from my son’s craft kit
  • I made the pot of gold from left over gold leaf, paper and a small clay pot
  • An old string bracelet is now a rainbow ‘flag’ near the pot of gold
  • The ‘flag pole’ is a piece of dried Hardenbergia vine, once wrapped around a trellis.
  • The shamrock buttons and green glass were a splurge from last year. Honestly, how can anyone resist shamrock sparkle buttons at eye level in the shop?

Love Shack

What do you think?

love shack

♫ ♪Love Shack, that’s where it’s at) ♫

It’s my desk-top, love shack.  I’ve been smiling and humming the song all week.

The lovely fairies on Quinto Way left a tiny treasure on my doorstep last October. It sat on my desk for a while before I knocked it to the floor and broke it. [Insert sad face here].

Thankfully it was a clean break. Mike used his magic glue and now the mushroom looks as good as new.  Today it stars in the Love Shack debut. Isn’t it adorable? Those Quinto Way fairies are the best.

fairy card

This sweet card came with the pink mushroom

Build it and They Will Come

I started with an old eyeglass case. I lined the inside with bits of leftover crafting grass and moss then added a tiny silver mirror.  The mushroom rests on a wooden block once intended for a rubber stamp. It needed some extra height.

I cozied up the place with a shiny red heart from my friend Bunny. A piece of coral adds interest.  The coral has been showing up in various places around the house for years, but no one knows where it came from. Perhaps a fairy left it on her journey.

The X.O.X.O banner was a gift last year from the crafty goddess of goodness at Boomdeeada.  It too travels around the house and brings cheer wherever it goes.

Love Shack Collage

Love Shack Collage

Quality control, aka  Mouse the ‘neighbor’s kitty’ did an up-close inspection. All systems go.

I love the B-52’s and enjoyed seeing them in concert many years ago. I hope you enjoy this upbeat, nostalgic video performance as much as I do. ♥

Fairy Garden Valentine

cake and flowers

Cake and flowers await

brick wall

“Brick Wall” ribbon

tiny fountain

Tiny fountain made from small colored pebbles and candle holders

tiny deer

Darling Deer from Boomdee

While pulling weeds in the garden, I bent my ear to the earth. I heard the faintest whisper.  Garden fairy voices carry with the wind. You have to listen intently to hear what they are saying.

“We love Valentine’s Day,” they breathed.

You don’t have to tell me twice.  I got to work on the fairy garden with little time to spare.  The day of whimsy is in one week. February 14th is also a full snow moon so I’m expecting magical happenings in the world of imagination.

I’ve dedicated one of my kitchen drawers to fairy garden building materials. To the uneducated eye, it looks like a drawer full of junk. Look again and you’ll see tiny fencing material, tables and chairs, a small fountain and a dance floor.  Magical trees, hearts and flowers live in that drawer, too.  When time and inspiration strike, I forage through plastic lids, discarded wrappers and pieces of ribbon and then I get to work.

I challenge myself to use materials on hand, pulling together a bit of this and that. I’m never sure how things will turn out, but always have a great time with the process.

valentine fairy garden

Fairy’s eye view

Fairy Garden Frivolity

I’ve dedicated a page on my blog to fairy gardens.  You can see seasonal versions by clicking here.

Valentine’s Day Giveaway

There is still time to enter the Valentine’s Day Giveway. Simply follow this link and leave a comment there including the word ENTER. Deadline is midnight Sunday, February 9th.

Valentine's Day Giveaway

Valentine’s Day Giveaway

Fairy Garden Additions and The Great White Terror

Good thing I took photos when I did. As soon as I turned my back, a neighborhood squirrel dug a hole in the center of the fairy garden. I guess he wanted to put his own mark on the place, casting aside the pistachio walkway and planting a peanut in its place. Rabble rouser! He could have asked first.

I added a small fence and a ladder to the garden, both courtesy of my son’s art project cast-offs.

spooky fence

Spooky fence

this way

This way

When I bent down to take pictures, curiosity overwhelmed the cat.  Mouse that is. He’s never far from the action, and the fairy garden is no exception. So, up he went. Good thing the fairies weren’t about. Imagine how frightening.

DSC_0127 DSC_0128

They must have left in a hurry, as I found a tiny shopping bag at the foot of the stairs. I’ll hang on to it for them. I’m sure they’ll be back to collect once the great white behemoth leaves town.

pea shopping bag

Shopping for peas

If you’re reading this Friday, I hope you have a terrific weekend. For my friends in the Southern Hemisphere, I’m so happy to know that Spring is under way. Enjoy!

Halloween Countdown:

Pumpkin Mischief Maker

Pumpkin Mischief Maker

Halloween in the Fairy Garden

We’re ‘Halloween people.’ We love everything about the season, and find ways to enjoy it throughout the month of October.

While my 13-year-old son occupies his time setting up larger-than-life inflatable spiders on the front lawn, I work in reverse, decking out the fairy garden in pint-sized Halloween decor.  As in the past, I spruce up the miniature garden with found objects from around the house and garden. I admire the beautifully furnished fairy gardens I see around the web, but it is so much fun working with what I’ve got.

So, blink once, twice and imagine you’re a visiting fairy.

Once the type on this page appears to turn orange, you’ll know you’re the perfect size for a visit.


To enter the Halloween garden, please climb the rocky stairs…

battery bridge

…then cross Battery Bridge.

eyeball river

Don’t look down! Eyeball river is flowing fast and furious.

pistachio walkway

Now meander down pistachio-shell walkway (don’t worry, the squirrels already took the spoils).


You’ll see a slinky black cat frolicking in the woods, with glossy pumpkins nearby.


There’s another one! She looks just like Blossum!


Soothing water flows down the waterfall. You can catch a few drops before your journey home.


Did you hear a ghost? She’s shouting “that was the best lavender I’ve ever tasted!!!”

lavender forest

Be sure to breathe deeply as you meander through lavender forest. Lavender soothes the senses, preparing you for your journey home. Thanks for stopping by. Please come again soon.

fairy goddess

Fairy Goddess Stands Watch

halloween countdown

Halloween Countdown: Boomdee Pumpkins

Sweet 16 in the Fairy Garden

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, Sweet 16

No one is more shocked than I am.  My oldest son turned 16 today.  He’s grown into a tall, charming and kind young man, nice enough to compliment me on the fairy garden, even though the idea of one is long past its prime.

We’re serving birthday cake down among the moss-covered stones.  It would be lovely if you stopped by for a wee slice.

fairy sized birthday cake

Fairy-sized birthday cake

Happy birthday, C!!!

cat proofing

Thwarting the curious cat: small links attach to the bench, keeping the fairy garden upright.

My fairy garden decor is often a mix of ‘this and that.’  It’s fun challenging myself to use what I can find.

  • The garden table base is the metal cap from a wine bottle, topped with a scrap of paper and a geranium leaf.
  • The birthday banner uses scraps of paper and string
  • I re-painted the chairs, featured in last year’s fairy garden, in my ‘June Bugs’ favorite colors.
  • The table and chairs rest on part of a broken fountain.
  • I purchased the tiny cake from my friend Donna’s booth at antique colony.  They once belonged to her young daughter.  They’re making the rounds.
Tile Chairs

Tile Chairs for my “June Bugs” born 6/4 and 6/18

Fairy Garden Fail: Are You Laughing Yet?

Bunny ear with a bit of laundry lint for the birds.

Bunny ear with a bit of laundry lint for the birds.

Some days you get it right and some days things go terribly wrong. Today fell into the latter. My concept for the Easter fairy garden was simple: The merest suggestion of an Easter Bunny watching over the little garden. Perhaps I should have quit with the bunny ears subtly peeking out from the fescue. I completely forgot the cliché ‘quit while you’re ahead’ and kept going. Now its dark and starting to rain so I’ve no time for a do-over. When I downloaded the pictures, they were, well…kinda of creepy. When my son saw the photos and burst out laughing, I knew I was doomed.

So…here is what I initially wrote, and the pictures that don’t quite go with it.

Tiny eggs appeared in the fairy garden today.  I guess the Easter Bunny started his rounds early.

Easter eggs

Easter eggs!

I completely understand.  I started my own rounds by reaching into the bag of tomorrow’s candy so I could do a little ‘quality control.’  No sense making my kids sick on untested chocolate.

So far, so good.  🙂

The Easter Bunny seems to have grown since we last saw him.  Like many of us, he’s suffering from a bit of middle-aged spread.  He wears it well though.  Perhaps I need to wear more pink…or eat less chocolate.

Big Boy Bunny

Big Boy Bunny

Nah. I’m searching the web now for the latest in pink confections..I mean fashions.

Happy Easter!

This little deer found an egg.

This little deer found an egg.

Look left little frog...you're getting warmer

Look left little frog…you’re getting warmer

Bunny ears

Bunny ears!

Cute 'little' bunny with a tulip petal nose

Cute ‘little’ bunny with a tulip petal nose

deer and Alyssum

I hope you’re laughing, too.

Marauding Leprachauns: A Race Through the Fairy Garden

Mischievous Leprechauns passed through the fairy garden yesterday. Guess what they’ve been up to?

For starters, they turned the garden path a glossy emerald. No stone was left un-greened.

Leprechaun Path

Follow the emerald-green path

As they skipped along the path they tossed Mardi Gras beads hither and yon. I missed the parade! Our precious little deer caught a few baubles. She looks surprised at the turn of events and wonders if she should have stayed in Canada.

Festive Deer

Festive Deer

Nah…she’s having fun! Really.

Those crafty Leprechauns turned the garden furniture upside down, then dotted the path with sparkling shamrocks. I sure hope the fairies have a sense of humour. I think I spotted a pot of gold but no rainbow. Months with barely a drop of rain means the pot of gold is at the end of a dry, brittle twig.

St. Patrick's Day Fairy Garden

St. Patrick’s Day Fairy Garden

I wonder if Leprechauns negotiate? I’m willing to return the pot of gold for a week of spring rains.  Sounds like a fair exchange to me. Let me know if you see a friendly Leprechaun dashing through your garden.  I’m ready to make a deal.

A glimmer of gold

A glimmer of gold

Pot of Gold at the end of a very dry stick

Pot of Gold at the end of a very dry stick (no rain, no rainbows)

St. Patrick's Day Fairy Garden

Sea glass, Alyssum, pot of gold, tiny cyclamen, fescue, and a fashionably dressed deer. Lantern by Tim Holtz

Many thanks to Boomdee for the charming ceramic deer.  You can see her cousins Grace, Alyster and a couple of charming gnomes at Boomdeeadda.