As we were learning about fairies–reading and rereading books, and telling stories–we were also using what we were learning to create our own fairy garden. We hoped to get a glimpse of our tiny backyard friends. While the adults never did “see” our miniature friends, Molly is sure she saw a blue glow that was the Fairy Queen! For a book that will jumpstart ideas for miniature plants, quotes about fairies, favorite legends, and suggestions for tiny accessories, we recommend:
Flipping through the pages of this photo-rich book, you realize right away that gardening and plants will play a key role. We appreciated her sections on hints for design, even though our yard is a Portland city lot, and we were rather haphazard in creating our garden, letting spontaneity play a key role. Betty Earl has some very practical suggestions for how to start small, and includes wise hints for apartment dwellers to use pots and containers. We enjoyed the lists sprinkled through the book on “Signs of Fairy Presence” and “Ways to see Fairies” with the other suggestions and tips.
Most of all, we heeded her advice: “Tap into the minds of your children for ideas.” Based on our summer backyard adventure, we can recommend some activities that we found to be great fun:
1. Build the garden together.
We went on a walk in the woods and gathered bark and stones, and reorganized plant pots to get started. Molly and Jacob decided we needed a sign to invite the fairies, and they drew, hammered, and installed their own creation.
2. Use the children’s inspiration.
Molly was sure the fairies needed bookshelves for their library, and with the help of beloved family friend, Lisa, she used nail polish and popsicle sticks to create a glittery bookshelf. Laughing, planning, and telling stories kept this project going longer than we imagined!
Jacob thought we could use a small box and create a button roof for an additional cottage. He was very particular where we glued old buttons from the button box, including the large white buttons that were the back step floodlights!
3. Get interactive with the fairies.
On the front of Jacob’s box/house, he wrote: “Welcome fairies! Please write back here_____________________________.” Surprise! they did, asking him if he likes baseball as much as they do, and leaving a tiny miniature baseball bat for him.
The fairies wrote several pages back, and it was even signed by the Fairy Queen!
We also made fairy tea, left blueberries and little chocolate chips for them, which were naturally gone in the morning.
It was fun, magical, and allowed us to let our imaginations and playfulness soar. There’s no right or wrong; remember that fairies love the sound of children’s laughter, so the sheer enjoyment will keep your backyard fairies coming back for more.