Thursday, March 24, 2016

Greenery and Growth in Poppy Lane

Here is a never before seen picture of the area we now refer to as Poppy Lane. Back in early 2014, before I even started this blog, it boasted an array of succulents and other life. Hiding under the soil are the beginnings of my experience with Sunflowers.

The video above shows how Poppy Lane started back in March, 2015. Unfortunately, at that time, there weren't any poppies in bloom and coverage was minimal.

Just a few months ago in January, I posted about our beloved Poppy Lane's renovation in progress. I added a cinder block border that allowed a natural spacing for poppy planting as well as a variety of succulents. It was the beginning of a new hope for my yard which I was very excited about. In the short amount of time from then to now, look at the growth in Poppy Lane!

January 2016

March 2016
Not only has Poppy Lane grown out, my lawn is so much more green and I've gotten so many compliments from my neighbors!

January 2016

March 2016
It's so wonderful to have a plethora of poppies in Poppy Lane for a change! The fairies took notice to the attention I gave this area of the community in the last few months and took it upon themselves to do some upgrades of their own!

Beautifully accented by the array of flora and succulents, this home is great for a fairy that loves sunshine. There is also an even smaller house nearby for a small animal companion or child's playhouse.

A closer look inside suggests that whoever was here last night had a fun celebration with Elderberry Wine.

Surrounded by vibrant poppies, another sunflower is well on it's way to it's journey toward the sun.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Clancy and Fagan Bring the Celebration

This morning as I was watering my garden, my attention was grabbed by the sounds of music and laughter. When I went to investigate, I noticed two new faces. These leprechauns introduced themselves as Clancy (left) and Fagan and announced that they had been celebrating since the wee hours of the morning when they arrived.

Clancy is a cheerful and boisterous fellow. He is often telling stories of Ireland and the tricks that he has played on the townspeople and farmers. Clancy is translated to mean "Red headed".

This "little fiery one" (the meaning of the name Fagan) knows how to have fun but he does have a short temper so the fairies make sure not to make any short jokes around him.


My Fairy Folks: Joy C.

One of My Fairy Folks have been kind enough to send a picture of their own fairy garden. I'd like to introduce you to the garden of Joy C., a local enthusiast who participated in my fairy classes last year over at Sunshine Grower's Nursery in Yucaipa, CA.

Here you see a fairy house, nestled amongst succulents, Dusty Miller and purple mushrooms. If you look closely at the bottom right, just above the shadow, you will also see a fairy.

If you have a fairy garden you'd like to be featured on my blog, please email me a photo or two with a description (especially names of your fairies and plants), being sure to include the name you'd like to be identified by on the blog and location (city isn't necessary but a state or country would be nice).


Thursday, March 10, 2016

New Season, New Love

Last year I introduced a gnome family on my blog; The Ferns. Zookned lived with his mother Leeann and father Zane who helped him raise his two children, Bobby and Sue, in the absence of their mother who passed away.

Zookned recently shared with me some great news; while he will always love and miss the mother of his children, he has found a new love. In September, a gnome named Genevieve came to celebrate the King's Return and met Zookned during the Festival. Since that time, Genevieve has come back multiple times to visit with Zookned and his family so I was pretty sure I knew what "news" was about to be shared with me.

An engagement had been exchanged and accepted! Zookned and Genevieve have not set a date yet but you can imagine the flurry of excitement around the garden here. I'll be sure to keep My Fairy Folks in the loop. I would like to ask my readers for some wedding suggestions (theme, colors, location in the community, etc.) for the happy couple. While I may not be planning the wedding for them, I would like to help them in any way I can and I feel offering suggestions would be a good start.


No Sunflowers in Sweden

This morning I was out in my garden creating a new centerpiece and taking pictures of my sunflowers when I noticed a fairy sitting all by herself amongst them. I had seen her around in the past few months as she had arrived from Sweden for the King's Return Festival but had never had time to sit and talk with her. Now, going back through my photos, I realize I've never posted one of her here.

These sunflowers grow on a stalk,
multiple blooms at a time, which makes
it my favorite Sunflower plant.
Ingrid is her name and she looked a little sad so I sat with her and found out that this was her last week under the California sunshine as she was preparing to return to Sweden. She had been invited by the King to stay for the winter - she was mesmerized by his tales of our warm weather since Winter in Sweden is very cold and very dark. She admit that, although she was sad to be leaving such a beautiful place, her heart was in Sweden and she was happy to be going back home but sad she couldn't take some of the color and warmth back with her.

Ingrid asked me to take some pictures of her next to my sunflowers to help her remember her visit. Perhaps the memory of California will warm her when she looks at these pictures. She has promised to come back some time in the future and we will be here waiting for her.
A busy bee at work.
This sunflower is a perfect example of the fact that sunflowers are not just yellow, as often depicted. This particular flower was grown from seeds labeled "Sunflower, Autumn Beauty." They come in mixed colors.

Here is the arrangement I was working on when I found Ingrid. These sunflowers are all from my garden.


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Fairy Garden Class - Channeling Easter

As with most of these garden tutorials, we begin with a container and a theme. This month's theme is Spring but more specifically, Easter. As far as the container - get creative. Size, color, shape; that's all up to you but of course make sure you have a container that will fit all the decor you've planned for it. After choosing your container, place about an inch or two of small rocks to allow drainage before filling in the rest with potting mix. Be sure not to fill to the rim of the pot; leave an inch or two. This will insure that water and soil doesn't spill out and it also helps to give your plants support.

I always suggest in my classes that you visually plan a layout before planting your flora. This means setting them in the location you'd like there forever home to be and taking a step back to make sure things are even, fitting and visually appealing. Once your eyes have given you the okay, dig and plant. You might also want to think of making the "back" of your arrangement a bit more elevated. This allows you to place decorations without blocking any of your plants.

In this particular arrangement, I've actually allowed the tulips to remain in their container and buried it under the soil. The reason for this is because I know that the tulips will bloom and wither but the plant is not dead. Once the color is gone, I will pull up the tulip container and have it live alone for a bit before re-homing it, allowing the Daisies I've planted to have more room to spread. 

From front to back the plants I've used are white Viola's, light blue Pansies, darker blue Pansies and finally white daisies with a yellow center that corresponds with the tulips.

I'm fond of using moss in my miniature gardens because it locks in moisture, gives it a more woodsy feel and adds visual appeal. Pre-soaking your moss allows placing it in your arrangement to be more manageable; it becomes moldable, stays where you want it and allows better full coverage.

Once you're happy with their living arrangement, it's time to decorate. I found the three brown bunnies as a set and the rest were part of a bigger set, all at Hobby Lobby (and 40% off, woohoo!). I knew they would be perfect for a Spring themed garden.

I would love to see pictures from anyone who has created a garden based on my online tutorials. Please feel free to post them as comments or email them to me.


A Spring Discovery

I was out looking in my garden today and look what I found. Three new arrivals coming this Spring. No one is positive what this eggs will grow up to be but I think it will be a fun mystery to think about.