Fairy Gardens: Adding Some Imagination to Nature
Garden trends seem to be forever changing. Some develop because even gardeners who stick with a roster of proven reliable plants like a change now and then. There are, however, numerous trends that last. For example, Penjing, or the art of depicting landscapes in miniature, is an ancient pastime that developed in China and is still seen by the use today of bonsai plants. One interesting trend currently emerging out of these gardens in miniature is what’s known as a “fairy garden.”
Lemon Hill’s fairy garden is composed of young plants, diminutive trees and bonsai that are in scale with its miniature castle and houses, fountain, stone walls, gates and furniture, and fairy figurines. The Fairy Garden takes its name from the Meyer lemon trees grown in the vicinity. Its design was inspired by miniature gardens found in Ireland and in books. It is visited often by school and scout groups.
Though gardens can reflect many things, such as taste and style, they can also reflect function, such as creating a special place for children and grandchildren. Just look at the Fairy Garden on Lemon Hill. Lemon Hill was a special project for the owner and her grandchildren. Her own daughter helped her build the garden and she implemented suggestions from her other three daughters as well as her 13 granddaughters. She created the garden with all her girls in mind.
Building a fairy garden can be a project that you enjoy with your children or grandchildren that can get them excited and participating in the art and act of gardening. They can be found in any number of small spaces, such as bird baths, pots, or large plant saucers.
Images from the Garden Club of America Collection at the Archives of American Gardens.
By Jessica Short
Archives of American Gardens Intern