OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS, fairy gardening has become a popular trend OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAamong…adults. Why do grownups love fairies? I mean, not that there’s anything wrong with that. My grandmother often told us of the fairies that slept on the moss-covered tree roots beneath the giant oak tree on the farm where she grew up. On tip toe, they would hop from root to root dancing and spreading sparkling dust in their wake. Even now thinking about that story kind of makes me wish that fairies were real…and mermaids. And Hogwarts. My mother and sister both have fairy gardens at their homes, but I have always shied away from partaking in the fairyment thinking my rowdy boys wouldn’t enjoy something so “girly” and it would end up getting destroyed by a passing T-Rex. However, when I retired an old birdcage from decorating my living room (trust me it wasOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA time) an idea of making a portable fairy garden that would also keep T-Rexes at bay changed my mind. For inspiration, I looked at several fairy books by Cicely Mary Barker including How to Find Flower Fairies and A Deluxe Book of Flower Fairies. Her beautiful drawings and charming poetry were very inspiring for my black thumb. Here is my favorite: whitecloverfairy I’m a little White Clover, kind and clean; Look at my threefold leaves so green; Hark to the buzzing of hungry bees; “Give us your honey, Clover please!” Yes, little bees, and welcome, too! My honey is good, and meant for you.   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy mother’s Fairy Garden is permanent with an actual cemented stone arch entryway. She found tiny furniture at Hobby Lobby to ensure her fairy’s comfort, but some chose a more organic approach. Check out Barry and Tracy Kane’s book, Fairy Gardens…Everywhere! for ideas. My favorite ones are in the chapter called Fairy Houses on the Beach. My sister’s is enclosed in a giant lantern and has small homes and figures from Hearthsong inside. My niece finds additions on her “nature walks”–her fairies have a large assortment of bird feathers, rocks and broken twigs because obviously, fairies need them to do fairy things. It was really nice to be able to do something with my boys that we all enjoyed. It’s funnyOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA they don’t enjoy Nordstrom, and I don’t like wearing the giant Hulk Smash Fists and running around the house like an idiot. We filled a plastic plate with potting soil and planted a baby fern and some mint to make the “floor” of the fairy garden. A little mulch concealed the edges of the plate. Next we arranged a tiny table and chairs as well as some sunflower stepping stones inside the birdcage. I went a little crazy at Hobby Lobby in the teeny tiny department, and ended upOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA buying more things than could fit inside; so the addition of a front yard became necessary. Although I was sure to purchase boy fairies, James felt a tiny basketball goal would help to ensure this was, in fact, a boy activity. I had no idea, however, that the boy fairies would be confrontational, but when attacked by Buzz Lightyear and Donatello, I’m proud to say they protected their new home well. Caleb obligingly shared a Milano cookie and a Capri Sun when the battle was over, as if to say “Let bygones be bygones.” Post some pictures in the comments if you have or decide to make a fairy garden. Would love to see! You can also see some ideas on my Sadie’s Potting Shed pinboard on Pinterest. Ciao for now-Lauren

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