Julia came home from a trip with her in-laws and made this announcement: “Juanita and I think it’d be fun to get the cousins together and make mini gardens.”
I’ll be honest- I really knew nothing about mini or fairy gardens. So the research began. Sherman even bought Julia book on fairy gardens for Valentines Day. She was all inspired and found 21 red clay mushrooms on Amazon for $.79 total and free shipping. So she made a big purchase.
Suddenly I realized that if I didn’t get inspired- my garden was going to be practically a “graveyard of buried hopes” (thanks Anne of Green Gables) So- I started looking up ideas and chatting about it with the people I was traveling with- my many trips to Lancaster these days provided lots of opportunities for “the quest”. Juanita spearheaded the project and so we all knew that all plans needed to be in place by March 26.
Obviously the first thing we needed was a container and a theme. I had bought a cute little stucco house in Nicaragua and I found a wash tub/planter. But then I picked up a table and chairs and came to the sad realization that my house was smaller than my table. Ooops. So I spent a lot of time trying to plan out my garden in my mind- where things weren’t so out of proportion. And it wasn’t until the morning of- as I was discovering I was running out of time- that the solution hit me. Typical
First stop on our day was the greenhouse of my mom’s green-thumbed cousin-in-law. Wow and what a stop that was! Anne had piles of succulents and cacti and lots of wonderful advice- we left with the trunk full. We ran down to Millmont to finish the quest and then returned to where the fun began.
It was getting close to lunch- but we spread all of our scenes out and had a blast finally seeing everything take place. And I’m not sure any of us wanted to take a lunch break. 🙂 We filled our containers with pea gravel, then the charcoal product the professional recommend, the moss also advised and lastly, potting soil.
A game plan is really important here- and I know I still did some replanting whenever this plant needed to be moved here or there. Plants went in first, then the path, and fences and last the little extras. Julia made a bunch of little wooden benches and chairs. Juanita provided picket fences.
We had a wonderful supervisor team too 🙂 When they saw how many plants we had, they voted that we had WAY too many for the amount of containers we had- so Plans B and C were implemented, and more containers showed up 🙂 The thing that’s fun about a mini garden is that any container works. So we ranged from a piece off an old tree to a tea kettle, a honey dish, and a goblet. The best thing about working as a group is, there were so many more people to exclaim over each new production. I know I’m sounding like I’m raving- but we had so.much.fun!!
We laughed at how our personalities came out in our gardens. Some of us spent a bit more money than others. Some had perfectly neat paths, while some… Let’s just say that quite obviously VDOT was not planning my roads. Conrad’s wife Sarah had some sort of salt clay that she’d molded, then baked and painted. So she created the sunflower scene. God know what He’s doing when He handed out talents, if I were capable of such things, I’d be out of control.
Julia also had a Nica house. She made this one for a friend- be sure and notice her bike parked by the door 🙂 Meanwhile, I’m obsessing over my chickens 🙂 I loved the fact that Anne had the plant called “hen and chicks” How appropriate is that?
And my solution to my quandary: Layers. I found the bottom to an old clay pot, and added that to my scene. I wanted the house to seem like it was back a ways from the table scene and I think this helps with that feel. A little ladder works for the neighbors to visit, and Julia donated a mini bike to the cause. (Also notice the broom by the front door 😉 )
So here we are with several of the 26 created 🙂 Would I recommend this? Absolutely! But do it with a couple friends. 🙂 Ideas, plants, advice, cheering over some perfect discovery- creating memories that will long outlive these little planters; It’s meant to be shared!
I had two social events this weekend where my newfound bunny friends added to the occasion. Who wouldn’t want to eat soup with this little guy watching every move? 🙂