Month: March 2016

Funny Fairy-less Garden

My first fairy garden, with Mickey and Minnie!

image     Everybody creative seems to be making fairy gardens, so I decided to give it a try. You may not believe some of the things I did.

A windy Texas night blew a great empty plastic planter into our yard.  It would have been impossible for me to return it, even if I had an idea from which of twenty lawns on our block it came. (Giant note here–I have mobility issues that keep me tied to a medical alert in case of falls, bad feet, and weak legs. So some things that would be easy for most people are giant challenges for me.) But I really wanted a fairy garden to enjoy with my youngest two grandchildren.

I read on a garden tip to use empty plastic bottle to fill some of the space in a planter.  That would allow for better drainage and require less soil.  On the same day, I read on my news feed that scientists somewhere believe plants can grow with much less soil.  When I stick a potato into half a jar of water, it grows tendrils and leaves all over, doesn’t it?

When I had the planter more than half filled with plastic, I used my walker as a wheelbarrow to move the planter and my other supplies to an old table on the back patio.  Everything has to be waist high so I can reach it. I added about $.50 worth of potting soil.  As I added and smoothed the soil, I removed a total of five pint bottles, leveling the dirt to the normal molded edge.

Planting flower bulbs in March in Texas to grow outside is not a normal practice, but fools rush in . . .  I bought a few caladium bulbs, a few gladioli bulbs, and a bunch of packs of flower seeds. They weren’t my favorite flowers, but they were half price or less! These cost a total of $2.00.  I may as well admit: I have the blackest thumb God ever made. I kill cactus with overwatering and dry up water lilies. I usually apologize to the plants I buy for their inevitable but untimely deaths.  But hope springs eternal.  After the bulbs were tucked in, with minor adjustments to the bottles under the soil, and the seeds were tamped in gently, I added $.50 worth of spagham moss on top.  I like spagham because it is lightweight and finely textured.

Now for the real fun! On my last trip to Family Dollar,  I set my budget at $10.00, no more than a dollar an item, to buy things for the garden.  I looked for fairies, but they were hiding, so I found a little Mickey and Minnie Mouse.  I bought four little plastic succulents, just like the ones I found on Pinterest. A welcome sign, a metal trellis, a stalk of butterfly flowers, all in fairy garden sizes.  My last and favorite purchase was a tiny set of cupcakes, found on the stationery aisle because, of course, they are actually erasers.  On the patio, I found some blue caps from some toy, and some chunks of concrete to add in.

Putting everything together, one handful of soil at a time, took about an hour and a half.  I was exhausted, but I actually can hardly wait for something to germinate. And don’t tell my secret–I just can’t wait until tomorrow to have an M&M tea party in the garden.

Thanks for encouragement and help from Janice Wald of, the ladies at, Susan and Donna at, and hundreds of posters on Pinterest.