Scrapbook layouts, Trash-to-Treasure, Frugal Scrapbooking Tips, Altered Art, Mixed Media, Card Making, Boy Scrapbook layouts, Girl Scrapbook layouts, Heritage Layouts, you'll find all of that here at one time or another! This is my home away from home, where I play, have fun, and meet up with my scrapping friends! Welcome, grab some "sweet tea", and sit a spell!
Well yesterday my lovely fashion forward granddaughter Madison graduated from 5th to 6th grade! That means she will now attend Jr. High School! Wow, where has the time gone! She received two award's tonight. One for Language Art's, and another for year long Honor Student.
Chris, Sequita, Matthew, Buddy, and I were all there to see her get her diploma. She did great.
Of course Lake was also there, as they are both in the same grade. He, and Madison are pals.
Papa Buddy was especially proud of her!
Fun was had by all, then it was off to Golden Corral for a surprise dinner,.
How to build a Fairy Garden on a Budget Step by Step
So I've been looking at all the neat things you can make, and do on my time killer nemesis Pinterest, and I happened upon a few post's on building a Fairy Garden. Let's see I love gardening. I like fairies, and it's something I could build with my granddaughter Madison. Who is 11, and is plenty big enough to do all the heavy lifting..... I mean help me with the planting. So after browsing Pinterest for several more day's.... I mean hour's all in the name of research of course. I thought it was a do-able task. I had to make a Pinterest board on Fairy garden ideas of course (You can find it here: Fairy Garden Ideas ) so that I could have it on hand for eye candy / reference. So Madison, and I were well on our way to our magical fairy garden.
First we picked out a spot for our Fairy Garden. This spot looked like we couldn't do anything to it to make it look worse. so we picked out as many weeds as possible, and made sure it was pretty level. If however you want hills, and valley's that is fine as well. For best results please chose plants suited for your garden location. Shade tolerant plants for a shady area, and sun tolerant plants for sunny locations. If you are going to place your fairy garden on a porch, or patio you don't have to worry about steps 2, and 3, and you can skip on to step 4.
Step 1 photo
We didn't plan on spending a lot of cash on this Fairy Garden so instead of laying down a commercial weed barrier, we choose to lay down several layer's of newspaper's instead. Both of these would work great, but for us the newspaper was a more affordable option. I would suggest at least 3 -5 layers of newspapers for the best weed control. Madison was an expert at this step, as she could bend over easier than I could. (At least that is what I told her, but by the look on her face I am not sure she believed me!)
Step 2 photo
Now to keep the newspaper's from flying away we added a row of run of the mill aka "whatever we had laying around rocks" all along the border edges to hold the paper down, and to keep the mulch in place. Then we added the mulch approximately 2 inches deep all around. For our small garden it took just one large bag of mulch,( approx $3.00) you may need more, or less depending on your garden's size. Our garden was about a 5 x 3 foot triangle. Instead of a rock border you could also use timbers, retaining wall bricks, pavers, whatever fit's into the landscaping of your home. As you can see this is already a 1000 times improvement from the first photo. If you wanted to you could just add some larger gnomes, and fairies statue's here, and call it a day, but not for us, we wanted more...
Step 3 photo
Now on to choosing your fairy garden container. Your container can be almost anything from a galvanized tub like ours, a clay pot, urn, kitchen bowl, wheel barrow, or even an old wagon, etc.etc.. If you can imagine it, then you can make your garden in it. It just has to have proper drainage, and be able to hold enough dirt to keep your plants alive. You can also make it directly in your landscaping instead of in a container, if you want to. It's your garden, have fun with it.
Our tub already had a hole in the bottom so we were fine with drainage. If your container doesn't have a drainage hole you must make one, or your plants will get water logged, and die. Before putting your container in place remove the mulch out from underneath it, that way it has a very stable footing, and won't shift later on. Once you have chosen your container you will need some rocks, or packing peanuts for the bottom of it, especially if it's a large container. Otherwise you will need a LOT of potting soil if you are using a large container like ours. We used a good brand of potting soil to give our plants the best chance of surviving. You can see in the photo that we mounded the soil up into a small hill shape in the back. This will become our hobbit house. (Please disregard the ugly underside of the porch, that will be covered with lattice in a later project. At least that is what my boyfriend keeps telling me.)
Step 4 photo
Now onto putting the roof on our hobbit house. We chose several small moss/grass looking plants for our hobbit house, and garden. Trying to vary our plants in shape, color, texture, and height. Keeping in mind that if the plants get too tall, or wide they would have to be replaced with something smaller later, or they would have to be trimmed back down to size. We also chose a few succulents to add some variety. We kept the taller plants to landscape the lower portion of our garden with. (The lower portion will be landscaped in a later post, as my helper had to go back to school tomorrow) When adding the roof on your hobbit house try to keep as much of the plants root's intact as possible. Our moss/grass was root bound (large mass of roots) so I split them in half right up to the green section of grass, and planted them that way, layering them over the small hill in a roof type shape. It is important to keep the roots in the ground, and not let the air get to the root's or your plants will die. So we made sure the back of the hill/house had plenty of dirt covering the roots as well. The roof is also higher than the rest of your dirt so it will dry out faster than the rest of your garden, so please add water to it accordingly.
Step 5 photo
After adding the roof we pressed the area in front of the house flatter. Then we added the lawn of our fairy garden, Removing any extra dirt if need be to plant our plants, and still have a pretty flat lawn. We chose a lighter moss/grass for the lawn area for contrast.
Step 6 photo
Next we planted some small succulents on either side of the house in the corners. For the front of our hobbit house we just broke twigs from dead branches in the yard, and inserted them in the dirt in front of the house. It was easier to chop them with garden sheers, but depending on how dry they were you could also just break them with your hand. We really didn't measure the sticks, just made sure they were all about the same thickness, and then pushed them down further in the ground if they were too long. Super easy. For door's, and window's my granddaughter used clay, and molded a round circle door, and small square windows. Those were not dry yet so they will be sprayed with a sealer, and put on later with some water proof glue. I'll update with a photo when they are dry.
Step 7 photo
For our picket fence we added drawer divider's from Ikea. I don't know how much they cost normally as we found our's at Goodwill. All we did was push them into the dirt till they stood up securely. You could have also just used sticks like we did on the front of our house, or any other decorative items you liked. There are lot's of Fairy Garden accessories out on the market if you have a larger budget to spend than we did, but for us this worked out great.
Step 8 photo
Next we added some gravel paths. We used a light blue gravel from Dollar Tree, but you could have used stones, marbles, small tiles, floral stones, or even a different kind of grass, whatever you like for your garden's theme. We also added a leaf designed plate that we purchased at Goodwill to help keep the dirt stable on our hobbit house, and in order to help hide the ugly foundation of our real home. On the left we added a gazebo plate to make it look like you were walking the path to a gazebo. On the right we added a man's bust to look like a garden statuette. (He later lost his spot to a group of ponies, incense holder, and a flower paperweight. ) All of those item's also came from Goodwill. Step 9 photo
Step 9 a photo of gazebo plate
When I told Madison that we were going to make a Fairy Garden she immediately started building tiny furniture. (She's crafty like her granny) So she built a bench, a table including food, and a chair. She also took a pine cone and painted it yellow, and she told me that was her bee hive. Of course all of those thing's made it inside the garden. She did a great job making these item's and I was quite impressed with her work. We also planted some blue flower's on each side of the gate., and some more moss like grass on either side of the path. Now this is where you get to start adding furniture, and fairies, or gnomes! We have not added any Fairies yet to our garden as Madison is still trying to decide which faires she want's to put where. The gnomes were purchased at Dollar General, and were $1.00 each. You can see she also added a piece of mulch to look like a chimney to the roof of the house..
Step 11 photo Bench
Step 11a Table photo, and gnomes
Step 11 b more gnomes
Step 11 c more gnomes that are made to hang on the side of something.
Step 12 DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP
After you have everything in place you now MUST water your garden. I would suggest watering it at least everyday for a week, (unless it's raining) until your plants have had time to adjust to their new surroundings. Be careful of succulents, however as they can become water logged very easily.
I hope we have inspired you to make your own Fairy Garden. We are still not finished with our's, and have lot's of plant's left over just waiting to be added to the lower portion of our garden.
Supply list: Galvanized tub, or your choice of container, news paper, garden soil, large border rocks, or landscaping bricks, Lowe's: Plants, Mulch Dollar General: Gnomes, some of the "Welcome to my Garden"signs Dollar Tree: Gravel, word printed rocks, solar lights, fake succulents-(real succulents came from Lowes), Goodwill - Plates, bust, Ikea drawer dividers, incense burner, flower paperweight. Till next time! Love Penny