A welcome visitor to one of my fairy gardens. I think he enjoyed the moist atmosphere!
is a fun and fascinating pursuit. Warning! It can become addictive. I don't remember whether I started by making a miniature stoneware house and then deciding it needed a garden to be in, or vice versa. But I truly enjoy both making the buildings and creatures as well as creating and tending the gardens. I find it soothing to sit and look at one of these little gardens, getting lost in my imagination.
Take a Tour of a Few of my Miniature Gardens
The Kindly Shepherdess
This fairy garden is unusual because it doesn't have any buildings. But it does have an interesting landscape with a higher terrace on the right with stone steps leading up to it and a branch arch at the top of the steps.
But mostly what it has in a sweet group of figures, the Kindly Shepherdess, her corgi sheep dog, and her charges - five fairy sheep. I made the figures from stoneware. The sheep have gold collars made from an old, broken bracelet, and feelers tipped with tiny crystals. It's fun rearranging the flock!
The shepherdess' sheep dog and two of the five sheep
This is the largest structure I've made. It's stoneware and is 17" tall.
It's my fanciful version of a medieval tower.
The windows spiral around the tower, as if there were a spiral staircase inside. The tower has eight sides and towards the top of each corner I've added a gargoyle type figure, each of the eight unique. The walls are carved to emulate stone.
I've left the tower unglazed because I really like the color of this clay. It's a nice buff color with tiny darker speckles throughout.
The tower sits in a wide, shallow flowerpot which is filled with potting soil, as is the tower. The window make nice planting areas for trailing vines and I have a small beech tree in the top.
An alert dragon stands guard.
Tabletop Centerpiece Garden
This is the first miniature house I made. There are several feature I really like, including the off-center roof peak, the upturned corners of the roof, and the second floor balcony on the back of the house. Also, the roof comes off so I can easily put a battery-operated candle inside.
The ivy in the back is growing on a small cluster of tree branches that I anchored in the soil. Also, behind the house is an arch I made out of copper wire and topped with a small sweet pink glass drawer knob.
Fairy gardening surely invites you to use your imagination. I think that's one of the reasons I love it so much.
Beowulf at the Gate to his Girlfriend's Garden
I took this photo soon after I finished planting this garden. By the way, yes, I know the real Beowulf was a human, but I borrowed this dragon's name from him.
My Beowulf is standing in the arch entry to the garden, and the stoneware structure you see behind him is his girlfriend's house. Maybe "lair" is the more appropriate term. I built pockets for soil in the rear part of the roof, and I was hoping the baby tears I planted there would take over. But I met limited success. I hadn't built the pockets in the right shape to prevent soil erosion. Well, live and learn!
In any case, I think both Beowulf and his girlfriend (you can't see her, but she's looking out her window) are happy here.
The container is a simple box I made from cedar fence slats, fancied up a bit with the jeweled drawer knob.
Majik Happens Here
"Majik Happens Here" is inscribed on the banner over the door of this little house. It's one of my very favorite designs with its worn wood door and crows on the roof. I've sculpted the roof to simulate thatch, and the wheat staves on either side of the door add a earthy decorative touch.
The container is a galvanized metal tub. The flowering plant is a bedding snapdragon. It's a perennial and so comes back every year. I appreciate it's trailing habit which helps make the little garden a perfect candidate for placing on a pedestal!
This larger fairy tower dominates this garden. It's planted in a shallow clay flowerpot which sits on a metal stand. There aren't many plant elements here - a few miniature daffodils, a miniature columbine, a violet, and this shrub with variegated leaves (don't know what kind, though). When I look into it, I feel safe in a deep, dark woods.
I named this house from the plant which dominates its garden - a cottoneaster.
The top photo is from the year the garden was planted.
In addition to the cottoneaster at the left, there's a miniature holly beside the house to its right and a miniature spruce on the other side. I don't know the name of the spreading plant which forms the "grass." A bit of baby tears somehow appeared in the right front. You can see the little bird bath and gazing ball I made to go with the house.
The next photo is from a year later and from a different angle.
The "grass" in the "yard" has filled in nicely and the cottoneaster has grown quite a bit. In fact, I've pruned it three times so far and as a result it's grown lusher. This spring it was filled with small light coral-pink flowers, and there should be a nice set of bright red berries this fall.
The border around the yard is the rim of an old clay pot which cracked off cleanly and found a new use.
This garden is pretty simple, but it's one of my favorites.