I guess it's pretty safe to say I am not a summer blogger. It's always on my mind, but just can't tear myself away from these beautiful days I'm enjoying with my boys.
Anyway...as a continuation from my previous post, yes...twenty-three days ago, I had promised to share a bit of the process of how these fairy gardens come together for my preschoolers. It is a four day camp that lasts three hours each day, so we spread the garden building out a bit and approach each step slowly, working on one piece at a time. The rest of the day is filled with stories and books about fairies and gnomes, we blow bubbles, go on nature "gathering" walks (for supplies), play "fairy, fairy, gnome" (our version of "duck, duck, goose") and talk about the basics of building a garden and taking care of plants.
Here's how to begin:
Start by gathering all of the supplies
Each child gets her own 18 inch planter saucer to build a garden in that they will take home with them at the end of the week.
Look for a variety of plants with different textures, colors and sizes. Succulents work well as they add a lot of character to the garden. Also, fragrant plants like rosemary and mint add lovely scents.
Go on a hunting and gathering walk. I took my boys down to the creek to gather sticks, bark, moss, acorns, pincones and anything else that we thought we could use. With the kids in my camp, we could only walk around the neighborhood and while we still found interesting stones and seed pods, the creeks banks were rich with treasures.
Look for a variety of small stones and shells to use as pathways and decoration...these I got at the thrift store. Corks came in handy to make bird baths (with a shell glued to the top) and also made small seats.
Time to begin building:
The fairy house is the first thing we add to the garden. A fairy house can be built in a variety of ways...a simple mound of spanish moss works well, or a large curl of birch bark with twigs covering the top for a roof, or build one out of twigs and bark.
Once the house is in place, the children choose their plants and begin the garden layout and carefully begin planting. While I'm assisting with the plants, I have dishes of small stones out so those who are ready can begin laying out their paths.
We talk about some of the elements the garden needs to create a good space for a fairy. We have already planted the rosemary and mint to add fragrant plants, but we also add a bit of lavendar buds and orange zest to help attract a fairy to the garden.
To add a little magic for the children I sprinkle fairy dust (super fine glitter) across a spot in the garden. Below you can kind of make out where I left some on the chair and stone of this little boys garden. I also added tiny crystals to their acorn top "bowls", water to their shells for a bath, a dragonly (brad) pearched on a shell or table and mushrooms that appeared to have just sprouted.
The kids screamed in delight when they made the discovery their fairy had "moved in" already.