Fairy Garden Dwelling Delightful

 

A friend and I went to the Georgi Museum in Shushan this week and saw this enchanting multi-level fairy house complete with chairs made from twigs and branches, bowls that were acorn caps, and part of the structure had a large mushroom for a roof.

There was no one home when we were there, but it was still enchanting and inspiring too.  Making one of these imaginative houses might be a fun garden activity this summer.

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Fairy Gathering a Huge Success

I left the gardens about an hour ago, but the smile on my face will likely last for days

What a wonderful day for the gardens.  We had about 125 fairies and friends of fairies participate in the fairy gathering at Pitney Meadows Community Gardens.

Thank you to Susan Rivers, our fairy godmother, for her generous support of this event.

A big round of applause to Jess Clauser, our girl scout badge coordinator, who organized the fairy house decorating with over 30 scouts. The houses were delightful and many are still in the gardens for everyone to enjoy. I’m so fortunate to have someone of such extraordinary talent and such a kind heart in the gardens.
Thank you Charlotte. You are such a joy. Your willingness to lend a hand in so many ways is deeply appreciated.
Thank you Kim Fonda, one of the fairy village landscape architects, who worked along with Jess. You both did amazing work.  There were constant “ohhh and ahhs” by everyone as they walked along the border. Thank you for all you did from planting to planning and for selling T-shirts for the farm.
Thank you to Jan DeMeo for your help with the signs.
A big thank you to Judy B., who helped make pretzel fairy wands, decorated with a magical touch and made the treats table look enchanting. And, who with Sharon S. and Kathy R. from the Senior Center were hostesses at the treats tables. We served fairy water, cookies, enchanted eggs, pixie stix and these incredible cookies made by Heather V. that were admired by everyone. Look an the image of a fairy admiring one below. Her expression says it all.
Music for the Fairies
Thank you to Andy Roth for playing music with his guitar and harmonica for us.  Andy, the children loved it and one parent made a point of telling me how the music added to the “vibe of the day.”  So true. Thank you.
To Anne Curtin, our sunflower contest coordinator, for helping the children plant seeds for the sunflower contest.  She had many fairies lining up to plant to the delight of everyone.
And for our energetic fairies, Chris Marsh organized ball games in the field. It was a delight to see the fairies with their wings running after the ball. Siblings of fairies were out there too having fun.
What a day. I will treasure the memory. Thank you all. I couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you.
You make the community garden work. You made this a magical day.
And, I am grateful.
Natalie

Great Sunflower Wreath Making Class with Suzanne Balet-Haight

Screen Shot 2017-10-14 at 1.56.40 PM Suzanne Balet-Haight taught a wreath making class in her greenhouse on Nelson Avenue Extension this morning using the sunflowers grown in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens.

It was great fun and each person’s wreath came out very different.  There were Adirondack style wreaths, country cottage wreaths, and even a very elegant wreath.

What did they all had in common? Sunflowers and lots of them.

Suzanne, an excellent teacher, showed everyone the proper way to attach the sunflowers using 22 gauge wire. She demonstrated making bows with grasses and how to secure different flowers she had on hand to the grapevine wreaths. Participants used marigolds, amaranths, Dallas blue grass, cedar, statice, sedums and more.

Lots of Fun and Beautiful, Too

She began by demonstrating how to make floral sprays to attach to the wreath.  Everyone in the class heard the same instructions, but the results were an individual as the participants.  A truly creative experience.Screen Shot 2017-10-14 at 1.55.30 PM

Suzanne teaches floral decorating and wreath making throughout our area. She has taught classes on creating Christmas and hydrangea wreaths, and boxwood tree centerpieces.  If you’d like to try your hand at one, contact her through her website,  Balet Flowers and Greenhouse. She is a talented artist and knowledgeable teacher.

Also, a generous one.  The proceeds of the class today were donated to the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens to put towards the Spring fairy gardens the girl scouts are creating. Thank you, Suzanne for sharing your time and talents.

 

Fairy Fabulous: Fancy Dresses for a Night on the Town

Yesterday’s post was a fairy dress made from flower petals. It was a pretty weekday dress. Something a fairy might wear to go to class or shopping to pick up pixie dust.

But Pitney Meadows Community Gardens gardener, Jess C. took designing fairy frocks to a whole new level.  She made a couple of petal party dresses suitable for solstice gatherings or any event in Tír na nÓg, the land of fairies. The dresses are absolutely enchanting.

Try making one yourself. All you need is glue, a few pretty petals or leaves from the garden and an idea.  If you do make a fairy outfit, send me a photo. I’ll post it here.red fairyfrilly frock.jpg

Fashions Fit For the Fairies

fairyfashion2.jpgI’m working on a proposal and needed to make something related to the fairy gardens, that would use materials grown in the gardens and be suitable for children 7 to 12 years-old on their own. Or, younger children with the help of a creative, older friend.

This fashionable frill is made with cosmos petals with a toadflax sash.

What shoes would you wear with this?

 

There’s Something Magical in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens

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It started simply with an enchanting idea meant to engage children in the Pitney Meadows community gardens.

Why not a fairy garden, an outdoor dollhouse of sorts where buildings were made of materials found in nature such as acorns and shells, with flowering plants that needed tending, and where one’s imagination – and joy in gardening – could take root.

Fortunately, Jess Clauser, a Girl Scout troop leader at Dorothy Nolan school and a PM community gardener, agreed and created a fairy garden in one of the garden’s raised beds, an 8×4 plot, that exceeded all expectations. Her 10-year-old daughter, Charlotte, a creative force in and of herself, helped her mother in dozens of ways.

Fairy gardens are not a new idea. They have been around since the 1890s and became popular during the Chicago World’s Fair when bonsai dish gardens were introduced and the idea of magical residents captured people’s imaginations.

Jess, however, carried it to new heights and made it art.

To create her spellbinding space, Clauser brought in logs with mushrooms attached, slices of branches and cultivated little landscapes. She created delightful dwellings, alluring houses, and magical elements like reindeer moss, which, according to fairy lore, can grant wishes. There is a clothesline where the fairies hung their outfits to dry, mini terra cotta pots filled with succulents, swing sets, bridges and tiny lounge chairs, where butterflies have stopped to rest. These accessories made the space looked lived in.

Needless to say, the plot drew (and continues to draw) visitors and gardeners every day as they looked for signs of what the fairies are up to. Clauser, an artist, maintains she has nothing to do with the daily changes. “It’s the fairies,” she says with a wink and a smile.

And apparently, there might be some truth to that as occasionally “gifts” are found and little notes are left that read “from your fairy godmother.” The gifts are little trinkets, including a birdbath sized for the fairies, sparkling glass candy, a bowl of colorful ornaments and a tiny cooking pot.

pineshinglesIf you haven’t come to see the fairy garden, please do. And, stop to see the larger fairy village located in the flower border on the northern edge of the community gardens where the wide pathway ends and the field begins. The border measures 30 feet by 6 feet and has a flourishing row of colorful zinnias, cosmos, bachelor buttons, poppies, sunflowers and more.

It was big enough for a fairy village of about 20 houses the Girl Scouts decorated with natural materials: twigs, acorns, shells, moss and pebbles. The 7 to 10-year-olds worked steadily to make the areas around their houses “fairy friendly” with little patios, mini gardens of their own and in one case, a firepit and tiny Adirondack chairs.

According to legend, fairies have the power to bring happiness. Considering all the smiles I’ve seen on the faces of adults and children as they explore what is in this little village, I think the legend’s true.

The fairy garden will be on exhibit weekends until October 8th, which is the Pitney Meadows Community Farm’s Family Fun Day from 1 to 5 p.m.

And bring a camera, children or your own sense of wonder. You won’t want to miss this.

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