The journey to spending a week with my grandchildren began on Monday. I had double checked the car and it looked like everything was packed: suitcase, cooler, computer, tote full of craft supplies, and (most importantly) the fairy gardening supplies.
I don’t know who was more excited about creating a fairy garden, my three-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter or me! Avery let out a squeal of delight when she saw the Zinnia Flower Fairy, who was hand-painted in rich tones of blue, green, and her favorite color of rosy pink. In the fairy’s hand was a beautiful long-stemmed Zinnia. Avery had picked out this fairy the night before. Therefore, she was ready to play “dolls” and take the fairy for a walk over the mini bridge. Since this fairy was from the Cicely Mary Barker collection, my heart skipped a beat in fear that the fairies wings would be broken. It was then I realized my grandchild was so enchanted with the fairy, she was carefully playing with her. Even a toddler knew this Flower Fairy was special and creating a miniature garden was going to be a day to remember.
Considering that a toddler has a short attention span, I had already placed some rocks for drainage in the bottom of the container and I had it filled with soil. Also, I made sure all the tools, plants, and supplies were ready to go. I have to chuckle, because Avery was so ready to begin digging in the soil with her trowel. Wearing grandma’s gardening gloves and trowel in hand, Avery decided that the Gold ‘n Rubies Spiraea should be planted next to Avery’s Cottage. For the adults reading this blog, I would describe the plants using the following sentences. “In the warmth of the summer sun the flower buds will open to a prominent reddish-pink bloom, while the gold foliage of the springtime changes into striking chartreuse for the summer. Next, we planted a Hawaii Blue Ageratum in front of the Spiraea, in addition to creating a lawn with Scotch Moss.” In actuality our conversation was more like this. “Avery, look at the pretty pink flowers and green leaves on the plant. Feel how soft this purple flower is. What two colors make purple? You are right… red and blue. We are going to dig a three-inch hole in the soil.” Gardening is an excellent opportunity to explore the senses and identify colors. The lesson continued onto placement of the hardscape materials.
After laying down a small sheet of black lawn fabric, Avery decided where the bridge would go and we filled the pond with shiny, blue raindrops. A couple handfuls of pebbles completed the area in front of the cottage. It was time for a break! Off we went on a scavenger hunt to find some rocks in the yard. Our miniature garden needed some boulders. Once Avery picked out her two favorite rocks, grandma placed them in the garden to create some landscaping dimension. Finally it was time to set the Zinnia Flower Fairy in her place of honor. The final step was to fill Avery’s watering can and give the plants a drink. Oh wait… there was one more thing to do.