Today was another day warm enough to spend some quality time outdoors in the garden. Yippeee! Having recently read some articles about fairy gardens, and since the name here is almost fairy (faire) garden, why isn’t there a garden area here for fairies, elves, gnomes and all the other magical creatures that dwell just beyond our imagination? Maybe they just need some furniture? Yeah, that’s it, they want me to build them a hang out.
Walking around for a likely spot for such a place, the criteria being, kind of hidden but visible from the paths, somewhat shady, don’t want to sunburn their delicate tissues, somewhere that is not already occupied by a bunch of plants, now that was the toughest rule to follow. There is no area without scads of plants, so this spot was chosen and the columbines that had seeded there were moved to a location nearby. It was decided to start with a gazebo, tying in to this month’s garden bloggers design workshops of arbors and gazebos. My big new arbor is on hold until the Japanese privet is removed. Come on mens, we are waiting! In the meantime, construction began on the fairy pavilion.
Materials were gathered on site. No man made supplies allowed. There are some tiny cedar seedlings that had been looked over as possibilies, but they were not large enough or plentiful enough. Browsing through one of the myriad of catalogs that descend on Faire Garden’s mailbox, a shower stool made of water resistant hinoki wood was spied. Hinoki wood, hmmm, isn’t that chamaecyparis obtusa? And aren’t there two large dead shrubs of that type that need to be removed, dead due to the drought? The wood from the pruned branches makes up the stakes of the structure.
Almost invisible, the gazebo blends in with the surroundings but is easily accessed. Look down to the base of the Japanese maple, in front of the old stump to see our new garden addition. After the stakes were placed in the ground, weavers made of eleagnus were cut to give strength and bind the stakes together. The basket weaving experience came in mighty handy here. Some day the whole basket making story will be told, but not today. The eleagnus grows in the pines, a volunteer from some planting in the neighborhood. It gets cut down regularly but has the long sinewy branches good for weaving, minus the thorns. Honeysuckle was woven in to bring the project form and fill in any large gaps. Now for the fun part, the details. I am very detail oriented and enjoy thinking about how to make something out of what’s on hand.
On hand in the shed were some tiny clay pots. They fail the no man made rule but the fairies said they liked them. On each side of the entrance, they are planted with one crocus ready to pop and a groundcover of elfin thyme. A bit of broken glass adds a bit of sparkly to this one.
On the other side, a bit of coral from our beach trip gives a little summer reminder to this container. The entryway was paved with stones from the paperwhite pot received as a Christmas gift, thanks Ash. Stone benches on either side give a place to sit outside and enjoy the breezes on balmy nights.
The floor within is lined with a fine textured moss. It will fill in to provide a velvet carpet for lounging, or jumping, if that is what is called for at the time. A protective ring of walnut shell halves, I knew they could be used for something appropriate someday, lines the outside. The nuts will keep away evil spirits and hopefully deter any weeds from invading the moss habitat. Juglone, you know.
Just to the left of the front door is this buried red pot. What to place or plant there is open to suggestions, does anyone have any ideas they would like to offer? Fairy safe, please.
The stems in front show the cut Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Crippsii’
, and another dead one just behind. The third in the row survived the summer of no water, is alive, has new growth and is being given supplemental water. Fingers crossed for continued life. The new large arbor will be built to include the area of the two dead trees here. But the wood from them will not go to waste. Future fairy buildings can be constructed from the branches. And some furniture maybe. How about a tiny porch swing?
I am guessing this is eleagnus. The leaves are silvery and furry underneath, it has thorns,and is evergreen. I will try and see if it flowers, to better identify it, however it gets cut back hard each year to keep it in bounds, and that may remove any flower buds.
There is a love hate relationship with the Japanese honeysuckle that surrounds our property. The scent of the flowers is heavenly, no doubt about that. The vines are strong and supple, perfect for weaving baskets and wreaths. But the term rampant grower does not do it justice. There is a constant battle between this vine and the gardener for supremacy of the perimeter. It wants to strangle the hedges of arborvitae, Leyland cypress, pyracantha, hemlock, birch, pine, and newly added osmanthus that ring the entire yard. Maybe the fairies and wee folk will show their gratitude for the new gazebo by helping Faire Garden keep the honeysuckle under control. Maybe they will even help pull some weeds. Maybe they will bring us rain. Maybe. Please?