Following the coronavirus lockdowns, many of us are all spending more time at home and in our gardens.. One absolutely delightful activity is to create a magical fairy garden.
Years ago when my children were young we spent time one evening creating two magical fairy gardens in trays while they were sleeping to surprise them when they woke up. We found little toadstools made out of wood, and created a house made out of wooden lollipop sticks, with little lights all around them. We wanted to trigger their imagination, but not complete the gardens.
Despite these rather rustic offerings, in the morning when we showed my daughters the little gardens, they were entranced by the thought that while they were sleeping fairies had moved in. My youngest daughter made tiny sandwiches and hunted through her dolls’ houses to find a miniature tea set for them to sit and have drinks.
The fairies always left them little notes to say thank you and each time they came home from school we tried to add something new, so the girls would come running in and straight out into the garden to see what had arrived.
Fairy gardens can be quite sophisticated, if you search online, or visit garden centres you will find many examples of houses and accessories,
But somehow those very first examples that we created and the children made their own by running around the garden collecting small flowers and decorating the little houses with leaves and flowers, was the most wonderful and joyful moment, and a memory I will treasure forever.
Even now that they are older I think there is something so precious about creating magical spaces within your garden. Just a little string of solar fairy lights can make a dull space or corner come alive at night. With the evenings starting to warm up we can now start to spend the night sitting outside and just watch the sunset, getting together out in the fresh air, playing cards or board games.
We have the tiniest garden, a little courtyard and I have been racking my brain thinking of ways to make it look prettier. When I started the garden was covered in pots and my mini greenhouse, but I managed to re-house the pots and greenhouse around the corner leaving a small area free to convert into an area where we could sit and have some time outside as a family.
I invested in a small seating collection and a sail that would provide overhead protection, and bamboo screening to cover the rather dull background of the shed. Within minutes of it being set up, the girls were able to sit outside and cuddle up under blankets. My eldest daughter who had learnt to knit when she was younger, but had never really practised it, decided to create a beautiful blanket for us all to snuggle under. At night we have solar powered fairy lights and a citronella candle to keep the bugs away.
With the addition of a small fire pit, we can roast marshmallows and sit and talk under the stars surrounded by our little patch of nature.
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