Recently on a visit to a local gardening center we discovered their beautiful Fairy Garden section. It was lovely. Nestled in amongst flowers and greens, pretty fairy dolls have their tea at wrought iron garden tables, sit on old stone walls and play in front of quaint thatched cottages. We were immediately enchanted.
Then I visited the Fairy Garden supply shelf and turning over the price tags I realized that this could be a very expensive hobby. From hundreds of dollars for the thatched cottages to $20 for the wrought iron table and chairs and $15 a fairy, the expense, it seemed, would add up fast. Still, it was such a sweet idea I couldn't resist. I bought a pot, some gravel and some plants and figured we'd fill in the blanks from there.
I decided we'd use the fairy dolls we already have. We got these fairy dolls earlier this winter from Michaels or Jo-Ann (I can't remember which) for about $7. I think we may have gotten two of them. One tube of fairies another of mermaids and minotaurs and other mythical creatures.
My children, who I think are part fairy on their father's side, collect things in their pockets. Pretty rocks, marbles, shells, broken bits of jewlery. These things live in the bottom drawer of the linen cabinet, hidden from the world, so this seemed like a good opportunity to liberate some of those treaures and put them to good use. We made a throne for the queen out of shells...
a lake for the mermaids out of marbles...
and statue of Mary from a broken necklace and a geode.
The total cost of the garden was about $30, most of which was for the pot and we will reuse that from year to year. The greenery and flowers can be swapped out and the garden can be outdoors or brought indoors as a houseplant. The kids love it and have played with it almost everyday. New features are added as new treasures are brought home in pockets or made out of houshold materials.
As an added bonus, I hear that kids who play in the dirt have healthier immune systems than kids who don't.
I think we've got that covered.