Have you ever had the experience of time standing still while you are immersed in a project? That happened for me this past weekend while building a fairy garden in my backyard. I wanted it to look straight out of a fairy tale and the style that popped in my head is the Garden Design London.
I lost track of time completely as I played in my imagination to create this fairy village wonderland. It was so very fun to browse about in my house for objects to make the space welcoming, calm, nurturing and inviting.
I found some old pebbles, crystals, an old drawer hinge, a tiny vase, an abandoned tabletop fountain, a wooden candle lid left over from a candle long burned out, and a neglected owl necklace. Next, I went on a scavenger hunt around my neighborhood for acorns, pinecones, feathers, bits of bark and exotic twigs, (different from those native to my backyard).
To create the space, I began by clearing a few branches from between two large forsythia bushes next to the beautiful fence built by the Fence Builders of Dallas . This created a little cave-like secluded place. (I read that fairies like that 😉 ). We purchased some fairy houses at our local gardening store–but you could easily make your own. Here’s a site online to inspire you: SallyJSmithArt.com
Next, I placed the fairy houses, first building a hill out of old logs that were taking up space under the back steps and then by nestling the other house just down a stone placed path. The third fairy house hung above the other two.
My partner built a suspension bridge and a walkway bridge using twigs and a hot glue gun which we gently placed to add definition while I planted and watered moss around each walkway, the old fountain, the tiny bench and pretty much everywhere since it is such a wonderful delight for the eyes!
Lucky for us, strawberry plants already framed the area so I planted a few columbine flowers and some bleeding heart plants along the edges to fill in the greenery.
The final step was to entwine the entire area with battery operated fairy lights and to hang a Greenman to watch over and to protect the space.
This creation was an absolute joy. I would encourage you to consider creating a fairy garden for you and your child. It really doesn’t matter if it is inside or outside, big or small, using real plants or ones created within your imagination from items found around the house. What matters is time together to play, imagine and share in joyful wonder and creation. That’s some of the best relaxation, available always when we slow down, open our hearts and minds and are just present with one another.
However, immersing in nature, and co-creating the space with respect and reverence for the plant life, mother earth, and the soil beneath your feet is good for the body, mind, heart and soul!
I encourage you to practice mindfulness and deep breathing during this practice. Pause often to feel the soil beneath you, the texture of the plants, the smell of the rain or damp moss, notice the beauty, take it in, and talk with your child about ways we can care for the planet, starting with your own back yard or or your own recycling practice.
Creating a fairy garden was an excellent journey into our imaginations. We activated a sense of awe and wonder, and delighted in the beauty and simplicity of nature. When I was finished, I felt as if I had just returned from a nature retreat, refreshed, rejuvenated, and so deeply grateful for this little sacred space in my own back yard.
I placed a human-sized bench in front of this little garden. I love to spend evenings having a tea and gazing upon this pretty space and then return there again in the quiet of the early morning with a journal to listen to the cheerful chatter of the early birds. And, each day I place a gift there, sometimes lighting a candle too, my symbol to honor nature’s infinite treasures. It’s become a sacred space, a ritual of celebration, a place for quiet contemplation.
And I am quite sure that the fairies are at home… 🙂