This time of year as our lilies are sprouting from their old homes and the color green makes its general appearance, our kids start talking about where their annual Fairy Garden will be. They begin to collect small items from their treasure troves, and I make a trip to a second hand store to find a few additional items. All these trinkets and buttons and old, tossed-aside coasters and potpourri pinecones get re-used into a magical, tiny space. Just for fairies.
This year, we happened to have a little painted bird house from a birthday party that became the main abode for our garden. We tucked it away under a lily leaf awning, with the idea that it would be more and more hidden as the summer spurs on. And if you aren’t familiar with Fairy Gardens, that’s critical… to be hidden away. The old coasters became a path, buttons made steps to the door, a toy ladder snuggled in, and a variety of pinecones and other items that came in an unwanted potpourri bag at a second hand store became edges and fences and… well, whatever kid imaginations think of. A tiny doll comb was left, just in case, and I think a few crumbs will make their way outside in the next few weeks, just in case a fairy needs a little sustenance on a journey.
Our Fairy Garden isn’t big or extravagant, and that’s the beauty. Any small object can be repurposed. Our kids love to work in this bitty space and arrange the treasures into a new world. It’s magic.
Fairy Gardens seem to really be catching on, and I have come across a number of garden nurseries that now stock items as readily as pots. Not only that, but some even offer classes on how to make them.
But you don’t have to spend a lot (or anything, for that matter) or take a class to get one started. Stop at a second hand store to look for re-usable tiny treasures, or look around your house for shells, buttons, tiny bowls or stones. Your kids will check in on it the entire summer long, and will remember these special spaces long after. And who knows… you might even find things moved around in your Fairy Garden after a summer storm or rainy day. And you can know you were a gracious host to a tiny friend.