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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Forest Flame Lily of the Valley

Forest Flame Lily of the Valley

On the first of January I welcomed the new year and a new plant into my garden. I've had Lily of the Valley in my yard before but have not had luck with keeping it alive. I saw this plant during a trip to Home Depot and because it's meant to be a hearty bush, I wanted to give Lily of the Valley and second try. This particular flora is known as a year-round interest which means it's meant to live a long time and constantly change color and appearance. This will grow to be a large bush but I decided to put it in a container first. It will soon be too large to create a fairy container garden, but it will be put in the ground to make a lovely background for a section of my garden (I haven't decided fully where I want to put it yet). Unlike most container gardens that I start in a terra cotta pot, I purchased a self-watering plastic pot to try out. I've had one other experience with a self-watering container in the past, but the flowers I placed in it wound up getting root rot and I never used it again. I saw this pot at Home Depot and figured I'd give it another try, if only for a few months while the Forest Flame gets comfortable. 


Forest Flame Lily of the Valley, Viola and Alyssum were all purchased at Home Depot.

Because of my previous experience with the self-watering container, I decided to put some rocks in a coffee filter and place it at the bottom of the container in hopes of preventing my past mistake. My goal is to prevent the roots from resting at the bottom of the container, soaking up an excess amount of water (it's my assumption that the last container didn't drain properly). Also, because this is a heartier plant than the flowers that were placed in the first self-watering container, I assume it will have a better chance at survival. I also picked up Viola and Alyssum during my visit to Home Depot and decided to include them in the container. I'm hoping this arrangement will remain vibrant as I plan to enter it into a flower show in April (I'll keep you updated). 

The fuchsia stem and dainty bulbs were what caught my eye on this Forest Flame.

Jump forward 5 weeks to this morning when I took the following pictures. Can you believe this is the same plant!? Well, it is, I promise you (I made sure none of the fairies or gnomes were playing tricks on me).


The soft, pink bulbs have outgrown their color and many have begun to blossom. The stems are no longer fuchsia and blend better. The most alarming change is the protrusion of red leaves, standing out amongst the cluster of green leaves. The coloration is this Lily's name sake and in time more will spring up. I'm amazed by how quickly the changes happened. 

This fresh growth of red leaves are a deeper color and resembles a small flame.

These flowers are small and beautiful and perfect for a miniature fairy garden.



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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Very Special Valentine


Caspian, left, seen chatting with Tink.
It's been quite a while since I've sat and talked with Grace but just this morning she came to me, asking for my help. It turns out that she's been quite busy with The Fairy Bugle which is a newsletter she's been in charge of that helps keep all the fairies in the know, especially busy fairies like the Queen and distant friends like Buddy the Elf. Grace asked if I could bring my camera to the garden to capture a special moment she was tipped off on. I was eager to help and followed her, being sure to be discrete. Before hiding amidst the greenery, Grace pointed in the direction she wanted me to focus on. I looked toward a red tin container with some colorful flowers and also noticed two fairies, Caspian and Tink. I assumed this was what Grace wanted me to capture so I kept my distance and took some pictures.

It turns out that Caspian had informed Grace ahead of time that he planned to ask Tink a very important question and wanted to capture the moment in photo and story. 

Caspian pulled out a bouquet of flowers and offered them to Tink.

"These are for you," Caspian said. "I realize I get you flowers every Valentine's Day but these are a special kind of flower."

"Oh?" Tink questioned. "How so?"

"This bouquet is actually not your Valentine's gift. I admit, I didn't get you a Valentine gift this year but it was because I was planning something much better. This, Tink, is an engagement bouquet and I am offering it to you in hopes that you'll accept it, and me as your mate."

Tink immediately jumped up and down excitedly. "Of course I do! Yes, yes, yes! Absolutely, one hundred times yes!" Her wings took her up into the air and head over feet into a few aerial tumbles before she flew back down and wrapped her arms around Caspian who was laughing.


Tink took the bouquet in her arms and smiled wide, finding it hard to keep from giggling with glee. Grace came out of hiding to congratulate the two and let Tink know that this would be in the newsletter and that photos had been taken to preserve the moment. Grace and I left the two to enjoy each other's company and talk about all the possibilities the future has.

Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours. Did anything great happen to any of My Fairy Folks this Valentine's Day?


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Lonesome Love



This week many of the fairies are fluttering around being extra friendly, helpful and romantic. I did however notice one fairy secluded in one area of the garden. This is Alaina.



This cozy camper is a perfect home for lovers, a cobblestone path leading right to the door. But there is no one inside.



This is one of Alaina's favorite spots; her garden complete with a bench for two. Unfortunately, this Valentine's Day it will remain empty because her true love will not be home. He is out of town helping to build a home for his brother.



Alaina's love put together this swing for her so she will spend Valentine's Day with the memory of him and hope for a speedy return.



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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Lovely New Purchases


I purchased some lovely decorations recently that are going to be perfect for Valentine-themed gardens. The trailer in the middle is from Hobby Lobby and is actually a birdhouse, but birdhouses make wonderful additions to fairy gardens.


Here is the back of the trailer, with a cute little flower box under the rear window.


I purchased this item at Jo-Ann's. This floral bench would help set the scene for a park or mini-garden and could even seat a fairy or two if you have the right size and flexibility.


This item was purchased at Michael's. I was pleasantly surprised when I got home and realized that the pink flowers here matched the bench I had also purchased that day. I'm always on the look out for new fairies.


Here is the rear view of the swinging fairy. Her wings are so colorful and there are pink mushrooms at the base, which is a bonus for me.



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Monday, February 5, 2018

Fairy Garden Class: Valentine-Themed Scene


It's February (wasn't it just New Year's Day, goodness how time flies!) and time for another Fairy Garden Class. This month's theme is, of course, Valentine's Day. These cherubs were found in my house and I thought they'd make a good addition to this month's container garden.

Alyssum, purchased at Home Depot. This 6 pack was under $3.00
Violas, purchased at Home Depot. This 6 pack was also under $3.00
Primrose, purchased at Home Depot. This flower was $1.50

I decided that the Primrose would make a bright, beautiful focal point in my small container garden. Based on that, I made sure to get supporting yellow and white flowers to surround it, settling on the alyssum and viola. 


This metal container is relatively new. I received it during the Christmas break full of candy and it is a beautiful, deep red that I felt would be perfect for this theme. The cherubs and alyssum are a bright white and the viola I used was a soft yellow which helped to make sure that the primrose would be the star of this garden. 

Because this will be a short-lived themed garden, I didn't feel the need to put drainage holes in this container. I don't plan to leave these plants in here for more than two months, and I made sure to keep the Primrose in it's original pot to prevent it's roots from reaching the bottom and risking root rot. If you ever plan to plant in a metal container, you'll need to drill in drainage holes yourself. If you are like me and feel you might want to repurpose the metal container for non-plant things in the future, make sure to re-home your plants within a month or two and not to over water. 

As always, place a good amount of small stones at the bottom of your container. This will help with drainage and is especially important if your container does not have drainage holes. Again, this is only meant to be a short-term home for these plants; any long-term container for plants need drainage holes at the base. These rocks will also prevent the soil from retaining all of the water and causing root rot. Since I kept the primrose in it's pot, I placed a layer of soil over the rocks, placed the primrose in the center and poured the remainder of the soil around that. This also will make extraction easier when I'm ready to move the flower to a more permanent location.


After placing all the flowers where I want them, it's now time to add decor. Here I have the cherubs to fit the theme as well as an 'iron' gate and pebbles for ground cover (purchased at Dollar Tree for $1.00). The pebbles would keep the container bright and cover up the dark soil. I then added the accenting gate and cherubs only to find that the cherubs were blocking the view of my planned main feature! I had to rethink this garden. It was obvious that I had to abandon my plan to have the cherubs and primrose in the same garden. I decided to use a different container and a taller plant so that it wouldn't be blocked by the cherubs. Since I recently brought ferns into my garden, I decided to use that, especially because I know ferns are a tall plant.


Yes, this is much better. The cherubs do not block the fern and this now looks like a quaint little park scene where two cherubs flirt on a park bench with a tall tree behind them. It was unfortunate that I didn't get to use the primrose with the cherubs, however, I'll find another use for them next week. If you have any photos of a container garden that didn't go according to plan, email them to me and a story about what happened and I may share it on the blog. 


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Friday, January 26, 2018

New Purchases - Hobby Lobby

 

Here are the items I purchased recently at Hobby Lobby. See, I didn't go overboard. I told you I have self control!


Have you ever tried to find a little girl gnome? It's almost as hard as finding male fairies, but voila, here she is! Also, I have no idea where to put this chair but I knew I needed it.


This miniature park bench looks overgrown with ivy, perfect for an overgrown looking container garden.




Can you guess where these beautiful mermaids will go in my garden? I'm sure you've correctly guessed Fairy Shores. You'll see them again late Spring.

A week after this shopping trip (yay, payday!) I went back to Hobby Lobby and purchased the pink trailer that I plan to use in the upcoming Valentine's Day themed garden. Keep an eye out! Do you have any plans for a Valentine's Day themed garden? Send me some pictures and a description and I can post it here on my blog.





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Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby is widely known for their low prices but did you know they offer a good selection of Fairy Garden items? I have found that, for the most part, Hobby Lobby has lower prices and better quality than similar stores (like Jo-Ann and Michael's). That sounds great, but there is a downside; the availability of fairy garden supplies drastically reduces outside the months of January through April.

These adorable, pink trailers were too cute to pass up and might be hard to find considering I grabbed up the last one at my local Hobby Lobby. 

A birdhouse can be a cute use for a fairy dwelling, especially when they're 40% off.

You might be surprised to see that my business spotlight this month is Hobby Lobby, considering I tend to feature local nurseries, but I did make a purchase and felt it needed some explaining. Yes, I like to support local and small business but I also like to save money. 

A wide selection of houses, buildings and miniature decor.

Adorable miniature decor including fencing, doors, gnomes and more!

There are quite a few kits available for purchase to make themed fairy gardens.

These wire baskets have deep discounts and are great for container gardens, especially with overflowing flora.

These lanterns were 50% off, and while most might see them as home decor, I see them as unique fairy scenes. The fact that these allow viewing from most angles gives you unique opportunities to get creative!

This cobblestone, two-story home was calling out to me with the oversized mushrooms and welcome mat.

This uniquely shaped home could very well belong to an outgoing gnome, set between two bridges.

I managed to stop myself from buying everything my heart desired and will show you in my next post all the lovely things I brought home.







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