The Philadelphia Flower Show Gardener’s Studio
I am going to present at the Philadelphia Flower Show Gardener’s Studio on March 4th and am very excited about the topic. Since the theme for the flower show is Brilliant!, which is celebrating Great Britain, I thought that designing fairy gardens would fit right in, kind of like gardening with”A Mid-Summer’s Night Dream” in mind.
I am frantically creating, and designing miniature gardens, houses, and fairies so that I am well supplied with examples to display. I sold most of the ones that I made in the spring, so am starting from square one in getting ready.
But if you can’t make it to the Flower Show, here are my guidelines and helpful hints about creating a masterpiece yourself.
Miniature Plants Suitable for Fairy Gardens:
There are tons more that are available, but I find these work well for me.
Acorus, Sweet Flag
Ajuga ‘Chocolate Chip’
Ajuga ‘Black Scallop’
Ajuga ‘Burgundy Glow’
Alchemilla erythropoda, Dwarf Lady’s Mantle
Armeria – Thrift
Campanula ‘Blue Waterfall’
Dianthus ‘Tiny Rubies’
Hypericum ‘Brigadoon’, St Johns Wort
Lamium ‘White Nancy’
Lamium ‘Purple Dragon’
Leptinella ‘Platt’s Black’
Lysimachia ‘Minutissima’, Creeping Jenny
Ophiopogon ‘Nana’, dwarf Mondo grass
Sagina, Irish Moss
Sedum ‘Blue Spruce’
Sedum ‘Blue Carpet’
Sedum ‘Lemon Gem’
Sempervivum, Hens and Chicks
Sources for Accessories and Materials:
The woods and fields around your house!
Michael’s Craft Stores
save-on-crafts.com (one of my favorite sites for generally everything crafty!)
Model train and dollhouse stores are great also
Materials for Making Fairy Houses Outside
Mullein Leaves (soft and fuzzy – makes good blankets)
Lambs Ears Leaves (soft and fuzzy)
Moss, Sheet, Bun, and Reindeer
Smooth Pebbles (get these in the floral dept at Michaels)
Beach Glass and Pebbles (Michaels)
Seeds and Pods
Milk Weed Pods
Potting Mix – Use a good quality soilless mix
Taking Care of Your Garden, both inside and outside
- Do not let moss dry out in the summer, spritz with a mister
- For portable containers, set them outside in high shade for the summer if the plants are tender bring them in for the winter and keep it on the dry side – the moss will go dormant
- Fertilize sparingly – you want the plants to grow slowly!
- Trim and prune regularly to keep plants in bounds
- Every few months, tune up the garden by replacing plants that die or grow too large
Creating an Outdoor Fairy House
When spring comes, I like to make a fairy house to set into the garden. Each year it is different. Here is one that I made this year.
To put this together, I gathered some large pieces of bark. I got mine from a tree cutter. The bark was about 1 1/2 inches thick and curved so I cut pieces and glued them together to form a house about 15 inches tall and 12 inches around. Then I cut a hole through the bark for the door. I traced and cut a circle out of wonderflex which is a composite material used for theater costumes, for the roof. It is very strong and water proof. I twisted the wonderflex into a cone shape and hot glued it together. This formed the basis for my roof.
I then took a very large Sugar Pine cone that I picked up at Lake Tahoe years ago. It was about 1 foot tall! I took apart the scales which are nice and large to cover the roof.
I hot glued the roof to the base and added some more natural things to make the house more interesting – antler pieces, and twisted branches. Allium seed heads are great additions.
You can set this as the centerpiece of your outdoor fairy garden, and put fencing, paths, and landscape around it with moss and plants. The house should last several seasons if you take it in for the winter. I hope to see you in Philadelphia!
- Broken Pot Garden- Home for a Gnome! (thegardendiaries.wordpress.com)
- Philadelphia Flower Show’s exhibitors inspired by English gardens (nj.com)
- Edgeworth Garden club members get in spirit of creating all-natural abodes (triblive.com)
- Mini Garden in a Basket (thegardendiaries.wordpress.com)
- Philadelphia Flower Show is Truly ‘Brilliant’ in 2013 (phillylovesfun.wordpress.com)