Fairy Gazebo

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?

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29 Responses to Fairy Gazebo

  1. semi says:

    What a wonderful idea to give the fairies someplace to hang out. I can just see them dancing under the moonlight!!! semi

  2. Sherry says:

    OH, I LOVE this! It brings the whimsical to mind. I will have to remember this idea come spring when it’s more than 7 degrees outside!

  3. Frances says:

    semi…thanks. We are hoping they feel like dancing here.

    Sherry…thanks. I am worried about your northern gardeners, it is just too cold for anybody’s good. Have some hot chocolate!

  4. Nan Ondra says:

    Oh, Frances, that is such a lovely winter project. The fairies of Faire Garden are very lucky to have you!

  5. Frances says:

    nan…thanks. It was so much fun to think about and build. It was a fairly warm day, only a jacket and hat and gloves were needed. I am truly worried about the northern gardeners,with the sub zero cold there. Brrrr. We are very fortunate where we live.

  6. jodi says:

    Brillliantly done, Frances. I can see why the fairies are so pleased. Hopefully the local gnomes won’t demand equal time and effort from you. 😉

  7. Robin's Nesting Place says:

    Oh, lucky you! Getting to go and play outside. It was 54 and rainy here yesterday and today 8 degrees with wind chill of -11. No playing outside here, bummer.

    Glad you had fun with your fairy hang out.

  8. Frances says:

    jodi…thanks. If any of the wee folk demand more, I am at their service!

    Robin’s nesting place…I almost felt guilty posting this after hearing of the super cold temps up north. May your spring come soon!

  9. chickenpoet says:


    Gardening for the Fey

    This is a link that I found a long time ago. It gives a list of plants and the uses of them to the “Fey”

    I love the gazebo and I can picture fairy festivals in my head.

    Much Love.

  10. Frances says:

    chickenpoet…thanks. I want to be sure and plant the correct items for their optimum enjoyment. As you know, I have several books about magical gardens, they all mention planting thyme, now more can be learned.love.

  11. Crafty Gardener says:

    I love the spot you created for the fairies. I just love garden whimsy.

  12. Entangled says:

    What a fabulous idea! I’d love to try one of my own. I’ve got the moss carpet already – that’s a start!

  13. Frances says:

    crafty gardener…welcome. Thanks. We need more whimsy in the world, don’t we?

    Entangles…Love the moss carpets. Build one and comment here and leave a link!

  14. brokenbeat says:

    another characteristically artful creation, frances. hapi hapi fairy land.

  15. Frances says:

    brokenbeat…thanks. I hope the fairy folk are happy, it is dreadfully cold outside just now. They need little woven shawls. Hmmm.

  16. Lynn says:

    I look forward to the basket weaving story. Your baskets are some of my favorite things.

    Weaving shawls for the fairy folks got me thinking about knitting for them. I am sure a fairy shawl would be more fun than another scarf. Wonder what kind of yarn they would like…

  17. Frances says:

    Lynn…welcome to blogger world. If you want to enable your profile, we can learn more about you.;-> The fairies like natural materials, they say, no polyester please.love.

  18. chuck b. says:

    So how do we pronounce “Faire”?

    Students at my alma mater built an extensive fairy garden in the redwood forest surrounding the campus and called it Elfland. Part of it was built over in university expansions, but it lasted for 20+ years. You’d be walking on a forest path and suddenly notice little constructions and tiny bowers… Some of it was quite elaborate. Alas, no web presence. I guess no one thought to take pictures of it in its heyday, or if they did it happened before the digital camera.

  19. Frances says:

    chuck b…How wonderful that must have been to make a discovery of magical architecture while walking in a redwood forest. Lucky everyone. Surely someone took an old fashioned film type picture of something so special.

  20. Frances says:

    chuck b…I got so wound up in the elfin forest..Faire is pronounced like simple simon met a pieman going to the faire.

  21. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Oh Frances, this is just delightful. I needed a little escape into the Land of Fairies. This lightened my heart and made me smile.

  22. Frances says:

    Lisa…Glad to help. You deserve to smile.

  23. Becca says:

    How about some tiny blue flowers spilling out of the red thing? Then, it would look like water was pouring forth. Or white, then it would be milk. What’s that little flower? Starts with an “a–” The name is totally gone from my brain…

  24. Frances says:

    Becca…welcome. Maybe you are thinking of alyssum? I have some creeping veronica, ‘Georgia Blue’ and forget me knots also. It could be a froth of blue and white. Great idea, thanks!

  25. Mr. McGregor's Daughter says:

    How charming! And how great to be able to reuse things. I would leave that red pot empty as a toad abode.

  26. Frances says:

    MMD…Thanks. How do toads and fairies get along? Can the fairies ride them, maybe it could be the toad stables?

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