Fairy Garden Containers

The ingenuity of fairy gardeners in choosing containers for their gardens never ceases to amaze me. Wheelbarrows, logs, crates, shoes…just about anything goes. It’s all part of the fun.

pink-vintage-tub-gardenThis week at The Fairy Garden I’ve been very busy getting ready for an arts and craft show. My first. I’ve been rushing about gathering items to help me prepare. I spent a whole day scouring the second hand shops for likely containers for my fairy gardens. I poked through  my own collection of things I’ve dragged home – including one item that I filched from someones garbage – yes I’m one of those.  A pink enamelware wash tub.

Ihandcrafted -fairy-garden-in-a-chestAt the shops I found a little chest, a miniature suitcase, an attractive wooden salad bowl and various pieces of glassware suitable for miniature garden terrariums. My rule is to pay no more than five dollars.

The hunt  is all part of the fun of fairy gardening and it allows me to make some little gardens with attractively low prices. My goal was to have at least two miniature gardens that I could sell for under twenty five dollars. By using my re-purposed containers and decorating with  handcrafted items I manged to accomplish this.

mini-suitcase-fairy-gardenNow if only that snow storm that’s threatening to arrive will just hold it’s horses –

Happy hunting…and, as always…have a fairy good time.

Marthe

Moss in the Fairy Garden ( for beginners)

moss-garden-kyoto-japanI think the moss garden in Kyoto Japan is probably one of the most beautiful places on earth. Someday I hope I to visit …but for now I have contented myself by building a little moss garden of my very own. A fairy moss garden of course.

First I needed to learn a little about moss and how to care for it properly. What a delight it was to find that it so easy to nurture.

moss-outdoors-on-rockI discovered that moss is not like other plants. It does not have roots or a what is called a vascular system which other plants need to gather nutrients and moisture. Instead it absorbs everything it needs through its leaves. Indoor or out it never requires fertilizer, pesticides or herbicides. Out doors and in terrariums, once established, it doesn’t even require watering! In a planter indoors misting regularly is recommended to keep it nice and colorful.

The main requirements for moss to be happy are: to place the moss firmly upon its substrate or host – it does not like air under it;  plant moss  in shady areas outdoors and indoors place it where it does not receive direct sunlight – a few hours of morning light is all it needs; make sure it has good drainage – moss does not like to be kept wet. And that seems to be just about it. As it is not the first two seeks of August, it is still winter here in Canada :), and so I am going to make my DIY moss gardens indoor ones. To start ..being the seriously tiny lover that I am I just had make a little micro moss terrarium with the tiniest gravel ever and a bit of colored sand.

tiny-glass-teapot-with-sand-and-moss

For a more thorough moss education and some other optional suggestions for moss terrariums I found this article from the Eugene Daily News very helpful.

As always, have a fairy good time!

Itsy Bitsy Fairy Garden Stuff

Pill Bottle Fairy House

Pill Bottle Fairy House

I’m just nuts about seriously tiny fairy garden stuff. Micro things.

One day I happened upon an open tub of drywall compound (not at all unusual in our house) on my way to toss out an empty prescription bottle. The urge hit, and I quickly had the top half inch and the cap sawed off the bottle and dunked into the muck.

There’s always some buckets of pebbles and stone on hand where ever I am, so I poked a few into the muck – chopped up a bit of bark –  pinched a tad of artificial moss from my fairy garden supplies – a bit of glue -a drop of  paint – voila! A miniature fairy house.

It’s not fancy, and it’s not going to sell on Etsy …or anywhere else for that matter. But the few minutes taken out of a busy day to follow my whim was sheer delight.

Now, the teensy weensy miniature garden pebble chairs and table? That’s another fairy garden story. Now go make a 15 minute fairy garden story of your own!

As always, have a fairy good time! Marthe

FB Group Rescues the Stone Fairy House

In December 2013, along with picture below, I wrote a post on building a stone fairy house for your fairy garden. The instructions included using a technique for the main part of the house that I described in another post. Well , the main part of the house has worked out fabulous. Not so the roof!

I admit I am a little clumsy and I dropped it on a cement patio stone – the first time – and it hit the edge of a counter the second time. Still, I like to be able to put my fairy houses outdoors. I worried that the roof being on a different kind of plastic base than the bottom, was more brittle and determined that I would find a fix.

DIY Stone Fairy

DIY Stone Fairy House

After trying some silicone suggested in an online article and not being happy with the mess and difficulty of working with it, I decided to turn to the experts. People who do these kinds of crafts all the time. Namely, the members of a great group on Facebook called Miniature and Fairy Garden Chat. I posted my pic, expressed my frustrations and not very long afterwards I had a wealth of great tips, suggestions and information.

Nanci Z-S thought I was on the right track with the silicone and offered a great tip to make it easier to work with. She says she squeezes her silicone into a dish of water with plenty of dish soap and pulls out what she needs with soapy hands. The silicone will not stick to your hands but will stick to everything else. I’ll bet this extends the working time too.

Several people suggested using a sealant of some sort and Melinda T said she uses mortar after gluing the stone down. She added  that using cheese cloth to wipe the excess mortar away does a good job of cleaning all the residue from the stone. Gluing something to the plastic before the stone was also suggested, such as plastic mesh…I tried burlap and it does seem to be helping make the stone adhere easier.

The first suggestion made was jewelery glue, and the discussion came full circle back to this when  Debbie G mentioned E6000 and Jill A-H and Colleen F started to sing the praises of this apparently very useful adhesiveE6000-adhesive- product.

The product description found on Home Depot says  “Amazing E6000 Craft is a unique adhesive formulated to meet high performance industrial requirements, thus making it an excellent crafting tool. Amazing E6000 has exceptional adhesion to wood, metal, glass, fiberglass, ceramics, and concrete. It also adheres strongly to leather, rubber, vinyl and many plastics. Amazing E6000 dries clear and once cured, it’s waterproof, washer/dryer safe, can be painted and is safe for photographs.”

Sounds like ‘amazing’ stuff. What do you use for difficult fastening jobs?

Keep crafting, and, as always…have a fairy good time.

Marthe

 

 

 

 

Fairy Garden Terrariums

Building a fairy garden terrarium is a great way to chase away the winter blues. I quickly put this one together and forgot all about the snow swirling outside my windows.

With so many choices in sand colors, gravel , plants and ornaments to choose from, it’s easy to make one to suit any decor.

terrarium1-1200px-no-logoIn my previous post – Fairy Garden Supplies – A Unique Source you can find some suggestions on where to buy some of your fairy garden supplies at a very reasonable price.

This 16″ H terrarium has one 2lb bag of colored sand, about 2cups of gravel and enough soil to make two plants comfortable in the middle. My succulents will want to be fairly dry so I used preserved moss for this particular fairy garden. I will need to leave the lid off for my plants to thrive…but the picture looked so much prettier with the lid:)

Well take a look at using live moss in a miniature fairy garden terrarium next time.

As always..have a fairy good time

Fairy Garden Supplies – A Unique Source

I wonder if many fairy gardeners also have fish? If you don’t keep fish, then you probably haven’t discovered that the aquarium store is a surprisingly great place to get DIY fairy garden supplies!

mushroom-log-aquarium-decoration

Mushroom Log Aquarium Decoration

The aquarium decoration isle will yield some interesting results.  This mushroom log is 8″ x 4″x 7″ and sells (in Canada) for $15. It just needs a little DIY fairy door to make it a wonderful fairy house for your miniature garden. Bonus – aquarium decor is non-toxic.

aquasand

‘Aqua Sand’ Aquarium Substrate

Now for landscaping your fairy abode. The substrate section alone can fascinate me for an hour. The unbelievable variety of stone, gravel, and course sands- aka miniature landscaping aggregates- comes in quantities that are ideal for various sized fairy gardening projects. Many of the substrates are coated with 100% environmentally friendly resin, – no dust. The coating also keeps them looking pretty and prevents any undesirable elements leaching into your garden when you water. A 5lb bag runs around $7. Next, take a look over in the reptile section.

small reptile feeder

Small Reptile Feeder

Reptile feeders are designed to blend in with a rock, stone and wood environment and need to have uneven surfaces for reptiles to crawl on. This makes them ideal for use as a miniature fairy garden ponds! Add a little acrylic water and decorate with  some miniature lily pads, a frog or some fish. This feeder measures 4.5″ x 4″ x 1″ and retails for just  $4.

While you’re in the reptile department also take a look at some of the bedding. You can find some nice sized bags of bark chips for your garden or DIY fairy house project. They also have some reptile carpets that make nice lawns that are meant to get wet.

As always- have a fairy good time…this time at the aquarium store! Let me know how you make out…