Fairy Garden Plant Abuse

The instructions and care tag for this plant should be ……”provide unrelenting abuse”.

air-plant-abusedI am ashamed to admit that I am not the best plant nurturer around, but this time I’ve out done myself. While shopping for a few plants to use in display gardens for a show I impulsively grabbed a few interesting things called air plants. I believe they were $1.50 each . I went home armed with all the information I had about these plants which was..they were called air plants at the nursery and they had been displayed laying about on a screen.

I deduced that soil was undesirable. I loosely wrapped a bit of thin wire around them and ‘picked’ them into a sandy area of an arid fairy garden display for the show. And away we went out into the snow storm to the show.

After the show I  didn’t see the air plants in the bottom of the box I was unpacking and they were stowed into the attic in the empty box for about 2 weeks . When I next discovered them I brought them downstairs and just popped them into a small empty clay pot so they would stand up. Next thing I knew the cat had them! I rescued one immediately but the cat was on to me and dashed up the stairs into an inaccessible crawl space under the eaves.  For several days I could sometimes hear the cat playing with plant. This involved biting it, tossing it in the air, batting it around up and down the stairs etc. All the usual cat nonsense.

Finally, I did get my hands on the poor abused plant, popped it back in the clay pot and down graded the abuse to simply ignoring it completely. I couldn’t really tell if it was alive or not. It looked about the same as when I had last seen it…I’m not even sure how long ago that was, but today I noticed that it is growing and starting to flower!

I fully intend to rectify my complete ignorance about this plant. What do you know about these marvels?

As always keep having a  fairy good time …and hello, welcome and thank you to all my new followers. Feel free to shoot me a line. Always happy to hear what others are doing in the fairy garden and miniature garden DIY world.

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Where did all this fairy garden nonsense come from anyway?

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I was poking around in Google Trends the other day doing some keyword trend research and discovered a few interesting tid bits of information. I was looking at the historical popularity  or the two search terms’ fairy garden’ and ‘miniature garden’ and here’s what I found.

The data starts in 2004 and of the 6 most interested nations in the term fairy garden only the United States shows enough interest to have data ranging back to 2004. however the US comes in at only fourth in over all interest.The other five in order of most interest shown in fairy garden and miniature garden and when it started to show is shown below. I all cases fairy garden was a more popular term than miniature garden.

‘Fairy Garden’                                               ‘Miniature Garden’

Australia 2007                                                 2011

South Africa 2007                                            not enough interest for data                                           

UK  2006                                                         2007

(US 2004 and beyond)                                    2004

Malaysia 2012                                                 not enough interest for data

Canada 2012                                                  2012

So now we know ..all this fairy garden nonsense came from the good ol’ US of A.

What does this data mean? I’m not sure. But I  was surprised that fairy gardening seems to be an enduring American interest rather than a trend or fad.  I had suspected that I would find that the UK showed a more historical interest. I also hope it means that Canada is just getting started and that this interest will endure:) That would be good news for fairygarden.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business, I love Pinterest and Fairy Gardens

What does Pinterest have to do with fairy gardens? If you are not a ‘Pinner’ then you just don’t understand! Slide over there and put in a search term for fairy gardens, fairies, gnomes, fairy doors, fairy houses or what have you and you will soon see that Pinterest has everything to do with fairy gardens and miniature gardens.

I am a member of  quite a few groups that find things to say about fairy gardens. Social media groups, webrings, networking groups – in fact what ever group I can find that has anything to do with miniature gardening in general and fairy gardening in particular. It’s my business after all. And these groups are great , have good content and the means to start a conversation with other people in them.

Pinterest, however, is the eye candy queen of the world for fairy gardens. Micro, mini, full scale, outside, inside, in a tree, on a boat, you name it Sam I am. Its there! Bar none the best place to find interesting new ideas and inspiration.  Although you can’t message other people on Pinterest many photos link back to places where you can connect – or – find a group. Some link back to blogs, other photo gallery sites, stores and people. In short the content is rich with discovery.

And Pinterest isn’t monetized yet so no paid ads. They are looking at ways to monetize the site in the future. For now they  have Pinterest for Business with  some handy features, blogs, how-tos and some widgets for your site or Blog beyond the simple Pin It button. One of their newer features for business helps you adjust your sites product photos to include product, store and pricing information when they get Pinned from your site. Pin your site photos your self to a Pinterest board of you’re own and if it’s unique or interesting or just plain cute watch it  fly around  Pinterest getting collected on other ‘pinners’ boards where they share it with their friends both on and off Pinterest. And maybe they will ‘Follow You’ becoming an audience for your future Pins.

One day last week I did a search in Google images for ‘polyclay gnome’ and presto – there was one of my  pictures recently loaded up to Pinterest. The URL and link to my store was displayed and still embedded. The immediate source was listed as another ‘Pinner’.

Pinterest shows up in your Google Analytics  under Referrers in Aquisition>Social. You can see how much traffic it is generating directly and you can determine the quality of that traffic by looking at the various other information attached – things like average bounce rate, time on site, and how many pages viewed. Pinterest is my number one Social acquisition stat over Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and my other groups. It also out performs the many  business directories I’m listed in all put together! But even if this wasn’t the case I’d still be there to keep an eye on what my customers are finding that fires them up, to get inspiration for craft ideas and just enjoy the eye candy.

So I’m a ‘Pinner’

Screen Shot, Pinterest, Zoomed Out, Search Term: Fairy Garden

screen-shot-pinterst-fairy-garden

Fairy Garden – Miniature Garden – Whats the diff?

Do you have a fairy garden or a miniature garden? What’s the difference between the two? And does it matter?

fairy-garden-kit-classic-gardenFrom my vast research and experience…(insert guffaw) I have acquired some  opinions, although no real definitive answers, on these weighty questions. For what it’s worth – here are my thoughts.

Miniature gardening is a combination of two hobbies really. Gardening and miniatures and there is a strong focus on both. The gardening part is important and great attention is given to the choice of vegetation in the miniature garden just as in any other garden. Like other miniaturists miniature gardeners are concerned with scale. The object to the exercise, apart from simple enjoyment,  is to create a tableau in which the parts are realistically proportional to each other and of a constant proportion to the real world. The most common scale is 1:12 where 1 inch represents 1 foot in the life size version. The choice of plants is geared to seemingly  be proportional as well. Structures and other miniatures are meant to mimic real life objects.

fairy_girl_sleeping_in_a_nest_by_alvarofuegofatuo-d5gbfxpFairy gardening on the other hand  does seem to wander from scale in all directions. Fairies not being real ( sorry believers) , no one really knows what size a fairy is and so choosing a scale is not so important. Fairies are often depicted as using whatever is on hand to suit their purpose, making a bed of a birds nest or a home in a purse. But fairies inhabit a world with other fantastical beings who have a scale of their own and fairies –  well, they pilfer indiscriminately from all!

gnome-home-fairy-and-gardenPlant choices with fairy scenes range from none at all or artificial plants  to the same kind of attention given to these matters as seen with miniature gardeners.

Realism is almost always completely abandoned with fantasy structures and companions as real as the fairies themselves in abundance. It’s in this area that fairy gardeners can enjoy the wild creativity allowed by their non-chalance.

Both fairy gardening and miniature gardening are a delight to those who enthuse over them – so in the end- does it all matter? Possibly yes – to miniature gardeners- and probably not at all to fairy gardeners.