Friday, April 22, 2016

Local Happenings: Flower Show and Fairy Garden Festival

Saturday, May 14, 2016 -- "It's a Small World" Standard Flower Show and Fairy Garden Festival.  Historic Kendall Place, Plymouth Village Campus, 120 E. Palm Avenue, Redlands, CA 92373.  Open to the Public:  10:00 am until 4:00 pm.  Admission:  $5.00 for adults (donation) and free to children 12 and under.  Also included:  Fairy Garden Adventures; Educational Seminars; Hands-On Workshops; Silent Auction; Opportunity Drawing; Unique Artists/Vendors; Lady Bug Release; Bubble Bonanza; plus goodies and more.  General Chairman:  Karen LeBlanc (909 792 7378); Horticulture Consultant:  Gloria Aminian (661 900 4747); Design Consultant/Reservations:  Beverly Brett (909 425 1152).  Coming soon:  The Schedule.

Plymouth Village hosts many events, including the Redlands Floral Show in November, 2015, pictured above.

I made a few calls and have been informed that the hands-on Fairy Garden workshop will cost $15 and include everything you need, excluding the container. I will be in attendance and would love to see your faces there as well! This is not a class I'll be hosting, but it should be fun none-the-less. If you'd like to learn more about the Garden and Floral Arrangers Guild, please visit their website by clicking here.

I would also like to give a shout out to Mother Earth as it is, if any of you are unaware, Earth Day today! If you haven't yet, take a step outside and admire our lovely planet.


Fairy Garden Class - New Paint, New Life

This Fairy Garden Class post will be split between two projects that represent what a little paint job can do. A little paint and a little patience can go a long way in saving you money and beautifying your garden.

This fairy garden lawn decoration was given to me by my daughter a few years ago. Due to it being made of metal and being in my garden with the natural elements, it unfortunately became rusted. One day I'd finally had it with looking at the colorless decoration and took it as an opportunity to share with My Fairy Folks how to turn an eyesore into a completely new item!

First, clean your item very well. There's no sense in painting something that is dirty because then the paint won't be able to evenly coat the item. I had a plan in my mind, but if you need to draw out a plan or make notes to remember your plans, feel free to do so. For this project I needed to purchase a few things.

  • painter's tape
  • spray paint
  • acrylic paint (for small details)

I was lucky enough to already have some spray paint in the colors I wanted to use so that brought my cost down a bit. After my item is clean and dry and I have laid out some protection for the surrounding work surface, I sprayed the entire piece with a white spray to act as an even base coat. Patience is definitely a big player in this game, especially if your working area is outdoors in the elements. Wind and rain make it hard to work on a project that involves spray paint and paint of any kind needs time to dry, so be sure you don't have a tight deadline for your project. Also, be sure the paint you are using is appropriate for your medium. My fairy decoration is made of metal so the paint I bought was Rust-oleum brand which is good for wood, metal and plastic.

After being sure the paint was dry, I used my painter's tape to tape off sections that I wanted to be different colors and proceeded to spray paint those sections. Be sure your painter's tape is pushed completely flat so no color strays.  And again... patience.
Lastly, once all the paint has dried, I can add detail. Through a little trial and error, I decided that acrylic paint was the way to go for details. Below you can see the details that were added on with the acrylic paint.

While I had sprayed the white base on both sides of the fairy, I only added color to one side, deciding that the other side would be in different colors, giving the illusion that the fairy had two sets of clothes that I could alternate between.

I realize that this garden decoration is something not all of you will already have, so I also did another paint job with some items that might be easier for you to get your hands on.

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I began with an urn that was given to me by a friend. It is made of plastic but with the right paint, can be made to look like the real thing. I also grabbed two terra cotta pots that were less than $1 each. If you're into gardening and see terra cotta pots at the dollar store, you'd better grab them up because there is always a use for them. Since I already had the white spray paint from the previous project, I used that.

After a good cleaning and covering my workspace, I sprayed each item with paint and let it dry. Pretty simple. And the rest is also pretty simple and has been explained in previous classes; small rocks, potting mix, plant the flora and water thoroughly. Putting the three containers together in my garden makes them pop.

As an after thought, I'd like to apologize for this class post being late. My schedule and Mother Nature's wind and rain clashed this past month making painting outdoors difficult. If you have any questions, feel free to comment here or contact me via email.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

A Shiny, New Council Square

The video above shows some fairy houses I purchased last year that I was very happy to find. In my experience with fairy gardening, I've come to discover that while wooden houses and decor for the garden may look lovely, they do not hold up to Mother Nature very well. These houses are hand-painted ceramic which are then "baked" to lock the color in. The glossy finish is also water resistant which makes cleaning them even easier.

I bought these pieces all those months ago knowing they would be perfect for a Council Square upgrade, and here we are. Here's a look at the Council Square before the update.

Council Square, October 2014

I decided this area would benefit from wood chips. California has been under drought warnings for a few years now and wood chips help lock in moisture (much like moss which I use in smaller fairy gardens) which allows me to water my yard less without starving my plants. 

I placed a fresh layer of potting mix before planting new additions to this area, then covering with wood chips.

After the flowers have filled out the space a bit more, I now have a better idea of where I should place the council buildings.

Yellow Iris

White Daffodil

Yellow Daffodil

Radella can be spotted just outside one of the new buildings which is accented by Amaryllis and Tulips.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Celebrating California Poppies

This morning I caught Grace chatting with Queen AmberLynn. The topic was the poppies that have sprouted in my garden. I sat down to join the conversation. "Did you know that today is the official day to celebrate the California Poppy? It's California Poppy Day!" Grace was excited to learn more, the information sponge that she is, so I went inside to grab a newspaper article that I had just read that morning and spouted off some facts.

"The plant's full name is Eschscholzia californica. In 1903, this poppy was given the honor of being the state flower which was found to be particularly fitting for the Golden State (California's nickname) based on the vibrant gold color of the poppy. We've been celebrating the flower on April 6 since 1973."

We admired my fields of gold, both Grace and AmberLynn commenting on how happy they were with my choice to plant so many poppies and I let them know that all the poppies I have in my garden surprisingly came from merely one packet of seeds that cost me less than $3. They were especially excited to learn that I have plans to put in even more poppies within the next few months.

Do you have any California poppies in your garden? How about any other species of poppy? Feel free to send me an email with a picture and some information about the poppies and you and we will post them on the blog later this month.