Thursday, July 2, 2015

Tea on Thursday and Fairy Gardens 101

Have you made any fairy gardens yet? They're the hottest growing trend in gardening for four reasons:  inspiration, imagination, innovation and resourcefulness.
I give presentations on fairy gardens and become enthused when I see my audience bringing out their inner child.
My first fairy gardens were pretty much medium to large figures placed in the garden as seen below.
There weren't many fairies available and certainly not small ones. Now, there are lots plus accessories on the market making it easier to fulfil the demand for those who believe.
Do you believe?
The trend is not for putting statues and figures throughout your gardens, although this is fun too. It's about creating miniature gardens in containers, large and small so let's have a look at how to begin.
Anyone who creates dollhouses knows about ratios and with fairy gardens the suggested is 1:12. This means that 1 inch = 1 foot so a 7 inch arbour would be 7 feet in reality.
Have a look at the photo on the left - would you put this fairy with the house beside her? Or, would the little girl on the right be a better fit? 
Personally, I don't measure and to be honest, the fairy on the right is likely still too big but as with all guidelines, that's just what they are. The fairy gardens I construct appear to be in proportion and I'm happy with them so that's all that matters. 
When choosing a container and planting it with soil, drainage holes in the bottom are essential so all your work doesn't float together in a heavy rain. Where you place the finished container will depend on the plants in it which can be sunk into the soil in their little pots or planted right in. This garden was planted for part shade with only some morning sun which the polka dot plants and hosta  like. The blue-eyed grass will grow in full sun but is happy under these conditions as well. The little green shrub at the back is a spirea 'Little Princess' seedling. I keep it, and the blue-eyed grass small by trimming with scissors.
Look around the house and garden for accessories you can construct yourself. I glue pruned branches into the caps of acorns for mushrooms and made a gazing ball by glueing a marble atop a branch.
Pea gravel, coloured stones, sand and flat rocks help for a base with furniture or to create streams and pathways. My small pea gravel came from the neighbourhood play area, coloured stones from the dollar store and the flat rocks are broken pieces from the waterfall. I do purchase fairies, furniture etc.
Many nurseries are selling fairy garden accessories and there are on-line sources as well, I have a couple of favourite Canadian websites I've ordered from.
Inside a moss basket filled with soil I've used a bag of moss from Michael's to cover the surface and inserted a piece of driftwood that has air plants pushed into the crevices. Pruned branches around the garden keeps my dog from running through and knocking everything over.
The fairy house teapot is made of resin but I've seen some homemade houses of wood and moss that look pretty good.
Source: Pinterest
Make fairy gardens in wagons, wheelbarrows, overturned clay pots, bowls, birdbaths...even a teacup!

 And don't forget a fairy garden or two for indoors. This is just a small one I made in a saucer to use  the Tea Room figurine I've had and wondering what to do with. Underneath the moss is sahara (dry foam) to fit the bottom so I could stick in the flowers and shepherd's hook with the silver teapot.
I have another indoor one in progress...did I mention that creating fairy gardens is addictive?
Hopefully you've picked up a tip or two or maybe you have something to add in a comment.
Now I'm off to make myself a cup of tea in this pretty cup.

Happy Gardening, Take Time for Tea!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Mosaic Monday #48 Lavender Fair

I ♥ Lavender!
My lavender is flowering so I'm having a lavender fair of collages this week.
The lavender hedge that runs along the front of the house is stunning when in bloom.
I grow mostly 'Munstead' with a few 'Hidcote' plants and occasionally the annual 'Stoechas'.
Bees, butterflies and other pollinators love lavender too.
Lavender linens.
Lavender tea in the garden.
Lavender china.
For my tips on growing lavender, visit the Lavender and Lace page under the header.

Welcome to Mosaic Monday
Link the Url from a post containing a mosaic or collage about any subject. 
Please link back to this Mosaic Monday post so that your readers can find other wonderful mosaics. 
Linked posts not including a mosaic nor linking back to Mosaic Monday will be removed in fairness to other participants.
The meme is capped at 50 participants so please only one entry per blog.

Thank you for participating and sharing your creativity!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tea on Thursday and my Garden Journal

Let's take a walk around and see a few of the flowers blooming this week. I don't want to photo overload so will start with some roses along the front walkway.
 light pink carpet rose
dark pink carpet rose
an unnamed beauty
 (climber 'New Dawn' died back to the ground over winter so will be flowering later than usual)
and in the backyard bird garden, Candy Oh 'Vivid Red'
The walkway continues along the south side of the house where there is no turf grass.
'Happy Returns' is dotted along the slope by the house.
Evening primrose in the backyard.
A garden club plant sale purchase which appears to be a form of euphorbia but I cannot find a name for it. Any suggestions?
Blogging sister Vee suggested I should mention what I do with my peony petals. Many years ago I wrapped some ribbon around the handle of this small wicker basket and added a bow and rosebud. Each year I collect a few handfuls of spent petals and toss them in to dry out. On the left is last year's faded and dusty collection and on the right, a fresh addition. They don't keep their fragrance for very long so I will add a couple of drops of a scented oil now and then. Homemade pot pourri.
I went strawberry picking earlier in the week, came home and baked a Queen Victoria sponge cake. A sliver with my afternoon tea is all I need as there's lots of whipped cream and calories involved.
 I was wanting an infuser to fit a couple of teapots that didn't come with one and found this at David's Tea.
 A perfect fit for my birdie teapot.
Steep with the ceramic lid on, then lift the whole thing out and put the teapot lid back. It's a fine mesh that keeps rooibos leaves and their powder contained. I'll show the iced tea infuser pitcher I purchased as well another time. (anyone who doesn't have a David's Tea nearby, they have a mail order service)
My newest fairy garden. I've been thinking about how to use the miniature tea room house and decided to put it in a saucer. The bottom is lined with sahara (dry medium for flower arranging) so I could stick the rose and iris garden in. The terra cotta pot has a face moulded on the front and the shepherd's hook has a silver teapot hanging from it. Such fun creating these!
Next week I'm going to write a fairy garden 101 post as a few bloggers have expressed an interest in creating their own. 

 Happy Gardening, Take Time for Tea!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Mosaic Monday #47 - As Summer Arrives

With the arrival of summer I've been busy gardening or sitting in the garden by the pond enjoying the birds and blooms. These days I'm not visiting my blogging friends as much and sometimes not leaving a comment for when you're cooped up inside over a long winter, spending as much time out of doors is at the top of the list - even above housecleaning. I am trying to visit everyone at least once a week and if you participate in Mosaic Monday, even then it may take me a couple of days to get around to you.
Every morning there's a blue jay that is trying to train my husband and I to throw peanuts in the shell on the deck for him. We're getting better at heaving a handful out before he starts squawking and alerting other jays and squirrels in the area that the peanuts are out.
Any day now the free for all will start in the serviceberry tree, the berries you see as my background photo. The cedar waxwings will arrive in numbers and every other backyard bird will be trying to get their share. Sometimes the robins will gang up on the other birds and chase them off but the tree is loaded with berries this year and enough for all.
I attended a fairy gardening workshop with a couple of friends on the weekend at a nursery and afterwards we had lunch outside at their cafe. A caesar salad first, then local fresh pickerel with a couple of jumbo shrimp, steamed vegetables, baked potato and a slice of herb butter for the main entree. 
Dessert was a chocolate hazelnut torte with a berry coulis and ice-cream. 
I give presentations on fairy gardens to garden clubs yet find I always pick up something new at a workshop. After all, others have different ideas which prompted me to add a moss basket for height to the above garden and a piece of driftwood with air plants tucked in the crevices. A package of moss was used to hide the soil, and there's now a troll under the bridge. 
One of the fairy gardens at the nursery, this one in an oversize low birdbath. 
Happy summer! 

Welcome to Mosaic Monday
Link the Url from a post containing a mosaic or collage about any subject. 
Please link back to this Mosaic Monday post so that your readers can find other wonderful mosaics. 
Linked posts not including a mosaic nor linking back to Mosaic Monday will be removed in fairness to other participants.
The meme is capped at 50 participants so please only one entry per blog.

Thank you for participating and sharing your creativity!

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