About eight years ago, my middle child, my daughter Callie, and I took a gardening class together. We planted a fairy garden, which is now popular again. Together, we chose just the right planting bowl that was really the grand setting for our fairy tale garden. We filled it with soil, and then it was time to plant the ‘trees,’ ‘shrubs,’ and ‘lawn’.
Among various herbs and miniature plants we made the landscape come alive for our fairy. We added some small pebbles for the walkway, a teeny chair, teeny pail, miniature manual lawn mower, and some garden tools for the fairy to use. The last step was to choose which fairy would live and create mischief in our garden.
Not only was the landscape and setting created for our fairy garden, but also our fairy’s story was created along the way. Now, the story was that the fairies, including our fairy, slept during the day and awoke during the evening; I suppose a nocturnal fairy.
During those evening hours, the fairy was busy moving things around in the garden, relaxing in her chair, and mowing the lawn. Actually, the job of trimming the shrubs and trees was left up to my daughter. When things needed some cutting, Callie used a child’s scissors to touch things up just right.
All summer long, Callie and I shared this special garden story with each other and our fairy. Local garden centers are offering such classes once again; creating fairy or gnome gardens. There are even mini cottages, lounging chairs, and wheelbarrows, to place in the garden, to help create the special setting for the fairy or gnome or maybe both.
Gardening is certainly a special way that we can connect with our children. It allows parent and child to share planning, creating, imagination, responsibility, conversation, and fun.
My daughter and I had so much fun choosing the plants, putting them in just the right spots, adding the accessories to the garden, naming the fairy, and then observing the growth of the fairy’s garden, as well as grooming it and watching for the fairy follies that the fairy would instigate during the night.
I still have the pot, the fairy garden tools, and the fairy. This year, my youngest daughter and I will create another fairy garden. Together, we will choose the perfect plants, a couple more accessories, and maybe, a gnome to add to the fairy garden. We will create our own fairy and gnome garden story, full of adventures between the two whimsical characters that will inhabit our garden. I am just as excited as her to embark upon this magical adventure with her.
This will be the start of our summer “fun in the sun.” As spring is here and summer is fast approaching, it is a good time to start thinking about some shared summer memories that we can create with our children. The fairy gardening may even be something that my children will do with their own children someday, reminiscing about their little girl fairy garden memories.
I hope that this will happen one day.