Fairy Village-The Creation

The Hemlocks, they were so tiny when first planted in 1996 by our semi-adult offspring, from whence daughter Semi took her name, one gallon sized. The nursery only had four of them and the vision needed seven. Others were added later until the entire back of the property behind the main house, behind the knot garden was a wall of green, for privacy and to hide the hideous silver chain link fence. There was no knot garden when those first four were planted, it was a wild jungle that we were trying to tame. We could barely keep the volunteer morning glories off of them, let alone the wild grapevine, honeysuckle and poison ivy. The privets and mimosa trees popped up everywhere, laughing in the face of black plastic sheets held down with rocks, blocks and bricks. It seemed hopeless, the conquering of the hill.

But the use of heavy machinery, a backhoe that cleared and terraced the hill in 2000 during the renovation got rid of the thugs and with a heavy layer of mulch, the Hemlocks started growing fast, reaching for the sky. They are large now, so large that branches must be cut to give the low growers and nearby plantings light and to allow rainwater to penetrate the soil.

The final concrete stepping stones have been installed behind the shed, with only a small pathway left to pave. Standing there, facing the hemlock wall of dark green, seeing the bits of terracotta pots, rotting wood shelving and rusty metal pieces that were stowed under the boughs until their useful time arrived, the lightbulb illuminated in the cartoon bubble over my head.

Nothing seemed to be growing under the hemlocks, it was too dark and dank. That is why it is the spot where the castaways are tossed. Those things that are broken but might be of some use in the future were hidden away under the Hemlocks. It was a blank slate, just the spot for the Fairy Village proposed by offspring of Semi LTB last year when he was shown the new fairy house and garden. The fairies needed their own town, with multiple houses, he exclaimed. After slaving over the single fairy house, working out the problems with hardware cloth and mortar over many weeks, the last thing I wanted to tackle was a whole bunch more of them.

But inspiration comes in many guises. While netting the blueberries in the raised box on the far side of the shed, we used what was at hand, a bunch of little concrete pots that were made when there was leftover concrete from long ago projects. The plastic pots used as forms were still intact. They were broken off and the bottom portion of little huts, just the right size for fairies came into view. All they needed was roofs.

Funnels, bowls, baskets and anything else that could be used to make more fairy buildings have been gathered. Premixed mortar in small bags makes quick and easy construction, just add water and stir. Later on, if we feel the need, stones, marbles or whatever can be added using more mortar as the glue, or they can be painted.

The lowest dead branches have been removed from the hemlocks, put to use to help disguise the chain link fence. The outer stems with greenery form a curtain to hide the special place from casual garden visitors.

Pathways will be laid out, with a main thoroughfare for humans to enter and explore. There will be several villages, grouped around the main trunks of the two Hemlocks, with room for expansion under the rest of the trees along the entire fenceline, phases two, three, four and five. It’s always best to think ahead. There are limitless possibilities. This will be a secret spot, known only to those true believers. You believe, don’t you, dear readers?


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20 Responses to Fairy Village-The Creation

  1. Oh the fairies are a welcome vistor in my garden…but having a home for them is truly a treasure..I’ll keep the secret.

    Thanks Donna. Gardens have fairies in them, sometimes we just don’t realize it. We are trying to make them more comfortable and it is fun for all ages.

  2. Barbara H. says:

    I believe! What a wonderful project, Frances. Your fairy houses are fantastic. OK, too much alliteration too early in the morning – off to get some coffee.

    I am glad to hear you are a believer, Barbara, and thought as much! HA Yes, coffee is always the first priority here. I cannot see, hear or think until it has been ingested.

  3. Do not under any circumstances tell my garden fairies about this entire village being built in your garden. It will create expectations that I can’t meet. I’m looking forward to seeing how the village comes together and just who shows up to live there. By the way, who will name the village? Will it be Faire Village?

    I promise not to tell, Carol, but cannot speak for the garden fairies who call it home here in TN. Be prepared for complaints from Thorn, but your fairies are welcome to come visit anytime. I believe they have been here before on a certain midsummer’s celebration…As for the names, we shall see how things evolve…

  4. Marcia says:

    Fairy gardens have become quite popular haven’t they. Yours will be a treat for grandkids I’m sure. The cutest one I’ve ever seen was around a huge old tree outside a home in Chester, VT. All sorts of things were tucked in the knarled trunk and roots. I believe it was next door to the town library so you know the kids going to and from the library would have marveled over it.

    Hi Marcia, thanks for visiting. The garden fairies here predate the fairy house *trend* by many eons. Much of what is sold on the market for these gardens cannot withstand being outside for any period of time, sad to say. Concrete and things made from nature are best, like the tree trunk you mention. How fun for the kids and adults alike!

  5. gail says:

    Dear Frances, I do believe, I certainly do…and they are the cutest little houses. Your creativity is inspiring.xoxogail

    Thanks Gail. It is good to believe.

  6. How delightful that you are in the throes of energizing creativity…certainly, a nice change of pace from worrying about how to prioritize watering efforts. I can imagine that your family will have fun surprising you on special gift giving occasions like Christmas with accessories for the Fairegarden Fairy Village.

    Hi Michaele, thanks. You have it right, swinging from watering woes to doing something constructive always helps my outlook. I have already received just about fairy thing made that can be outdoors, and some that cannot. In truth, I like to make the stuff myself and give it as gifts. The family got fairy doors one year made of cement and painted.

  7. Rose says:

    Oh, I do believe! I’ve seen a few other fairy gardens on garden walks recently, but none compare to the magic of yours, Frances. It looks like you’ve found the perfect place to develop their new community;I know the fairies are going to be thrilled with all the new accommodations.

    Thanks Rose, you are so sweet. Under the hemlocks should be a good place. I am thinking of making a little place where I can sit comfortably to work on the village under there. One thing I have learned with the various fairy gardens is to make them accessible for a big, lumbering human!

  8. Oh, I wish I were a fairy so I could move into your garden village! The buildings are absolutely adorable! Can’t wait to see how the rest of the village progresses!

    Thanks Julie. I hope the fairies are as excited about their new digs!

  9. Donna B. says:

    So when can I move in? 😀
    I brought up the idea of making a fairy town in my shady area of my garden to my boyfriend… he promptly told me that it would be silly. I guess I’ll just have to bring them in in “secret” and when he eventually finds it [he won’t.]
    I’ll just tell him the fairies built it only because he doesn’t believe in them. Hee~

    Thanks Donna. That sounds like the perfect plan, nonbelievers won’t be able to see the magic so the secret spot will be safe!

  10. I think you a stupendous grandma! What memories LTB will have!

    Thanks Kathy, you are so sweet to say that. LTB will enjoy seeing and exploring the fairy village, I hope. I have to hurry up before he gets too old to freely play. My grown children will have no trouble doing so, the girls, anyway. I will have the most fun of all! HA

  11. Leslie says:

    My village is ever so slowly taking shape…and I love the ideas you have going on there. Your fairies will be ever so grateful this winter to have sturdy abodes!

    You are inspiration to me, Leslie, I wish we could work together on our fairy villages. Making things out of longer lasting materials than what are available at some places makes more sense to me. The fun is in the creating…

  12. Kathleen says:

    LOVE your fairy houses Frances. It’s going to be SO perfect. I just know it.

    Thanks for that vote of support, Kathleen. I am going for quantity over quality!

  13. sharon says:

    Im a believer……….I saw her face……..want a fairy garden

    Good one, Sharon! It took me a minute to get it, you are very clever. How did I not think of that? You need a fairy garden…

  14. skeeter says:

    Such cute homes for the fairies of Fairegarden! I wish you had posted this last summer while we were tackling a home renovation. LOL…We had mortar type materials left and it would have been perfect for pots to houses for the fairies. But great tip for left over’s with future projects. I was wondering about the roof. Ha funnels, how clever 🙂 …

    Thanks Skeeter. I hate to waste anything, but especially concrete, it is so long lasting. Never in my dreams did I think those little pots would be used for fairy huts. And they have even aged nicely and started turning green, too. You could do this for your own fairy garden.

  15. Cyndi says:

    Of Course, the fairies need a site to dance and display their magic! I have one also made from moss I get that the deer kick up in the forest! It is still a work in progress and will probably never be complete. I love finding items to use as you did in what is just found around here and there. I had not thought of concrete houses but I love them! What a neat idea. I have used a bark covered can and added shelf fungi and pine cones as the roofs and it grew and grew when building as I kept finding holes to fill in. Maybe not the greatest idea in the world!

    I have been using concrete to make leaf water baths for the dragonflies so why not a house too? Thanks for the idea! Smiles, Cyndi

    Hi Cyndi, thanks for adding in here. Your fairy village sounds wonderful! Moss should always be involved, and sticks and pinecones and found things. Never finished, like the garden. If you have made the leaf castings, you are already on your way to the fairy houses. Use the same mix and hunt around for forms, even leaves could work, too. Smiles back to you.

  16. Sadun blogi says:

    Those houses are so tiny and cozy :O)

    Thanks Sadun. This village is going for quantity over quality.

  17. Very clever and quite cute.


  18. James A-S says:

    Not only is the fairy village charming but this post contains two of my favourite Americanisms.
    The word Backhoe.
    And the fact that you buy plants in gallon pots.

    Hi James, so nice to see you! You always make me laugh, and this is no exception. Do you not call them backhoes in the UK? What do you call the big excavators with a bucket at one end and a scoop at the other? Gallons, yes, but they are really not quite a gallon anymore, just like 2x4s are not really that size, either. You probably don’t call them 2by4s either. Glad you enjoyed the fairy village to be.

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