An Updated Fairy Garden

The Fairy Garden at Farmhouse38
Yep.  Even the fairy garden’s getting a makeover.

For anyone who has followed along for awhile, you might know that the center point of our yard and gardens is a big ol’ grapefruit tree that I’ve bedazzled with chandelier crystals and mason jar candleholders.

The Old Grapefruit Tree of Farmhouse38

She’s a pretty old girl.

Quite some time ago, I ran with a whim and added a fun, little vignette to the base of the tree.  I do love some quirk in the garden:

The Fairy Garden of Farmhouse38

No. I am not too old for this.

I always thought this was pretty cute.  But, to be perfectly honest, while I appreciate those brightly-colored ceramic mushrooms they were a bit….how do I put this?  Obvious.  They just really stood out.  I don’t know why, but it kind of bugged me.  When you looked out into the yard at that gorgeous tree, your eye immediately went to those little pops of red and orange at the base.

The Fairy Garden at Farmhouse38

They are cute. Can’t deny it.

So after far too much deliberation, I decided to paint them a satin cream color; cutting down on both the color and the gloss.

The Fairy Garden at Farmhouse38

Painted like this, they are very similar to some of the real mushrooms that push up in these parts.

The pathway is still more or less the same.  It is made from pieces of Home Depot off-the-shelf ’tile’ sheets which are composed of little limestone pebbles adhered to plastic tile netting.  Cut into several bits and pinned by landscape staples into a meandering shape, they look pretty good as a little cobblestone path.  The problem?  Boy do those pieces fly like missiles when the chickens get to chicken-scratching.  Staples be darned.  I needed to make the thing a little more poultry-proof.  So for this reincarnation, I actually cut a pathway shape from 1/4″ plywood and then used dirt-colored grout to adhere the pebble tile sheets to the wood.  This created a very heavy single unit that the birds can’t do a darned thing to other than take a leisurely stroll along.

The Fairy Garden at Farmhouse38

While I wanted the mushrooms to be less conspicuous, I wanted the door to stand out a little more.  The original color of the thing was so weirdly close to the color of the tree bark that it practically disappeared into it.  Besides….I just love me a chippy turquoise door.  So using acrylic craft paint, I gave it a fresh coat, then distressed it with sandpaper.

The Fairy Garden at Farmhouse38

Chippy turquoise is, indeed, my favorite color.

The ferns have really filled in, and I love the way they create natural, pretty arches over the pathway:

The Fairy Garden at Farmhouse38

I’m also quite happy with the way everything kind of disappears into the grapefruit tree garden….

The Fairy Garden at Farmhouse38

Much less obvious.

I kind of wanted the vignette to be hidden in the fern forest under the tree.  I want people to stumble upon it, not see it from across the yard.  I think my little refresh achieves this quite nicely.

Cheers to never growing up! 🙂

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37 thoughts on “An Updated Fairy Garden

  1. Lindsey August 12, 2013 at 5:47 pm Reply

    Love this!

  2. Liz August 12, 2013 at 5:54 pm Reply

    That does it! I’m so going to do this around the base of my big tree! Love it — love it — love it!

  3. Heidi Dennison August 12, 2013 at 5:59 pm Reply

    It looks so perfectly cute that some tiny magical creature might want to move in!! lol

  4. Sharla August 12, 2013 at 6:37 pm Reply

    I love the mason jar candle holders! We have horrid hot summers here, so what’s your secret to keep the candles from melting – do you only put them outside when you plan to light them?

    • farmhouseK8 August 12, 2013 at 8:05 pm Reply

      Sharla–I use battery operated timer votives. They look pretty darned real, and having fake candles allows me to keep the lids on the mason jars so no water or dirt gets inside. Works pretty well!

  5. home, garden, life August 12, 2013 at 6:51 pm Reply

    Darling! And where oh where did you find the little door?

  6. Natalie, the Chickenblogger August 12, 2013 at 7:02 pm Reply

    Oh, it looks marvelous… what really makes everything show so extra nicely is how the tree is in that raised bed… it brings the lovely scene closer to eye level. Inspiring accomplishment. I want to play!!

  7. Tilly's Nest August 12, 2013 at 8:25 pm Reply

    Simply lovely! Great job ❤

  8. Susan Pleasant August 12, 2013 at 9:46 pm Reply

    I really enjoy your creativity!!!

    Sent from my iPhone

  9. Grace @ sense and simplicity August 12, 2013 at 11:51 pm Reply

    Adorable, simply adorable. I love the cream toadstools with the turquoise door – perfect colour combination. I would have loved this as a child (well, truthfully, I still do).

  10. Charlotte Zweigoron August 13, 2013 at 12:06 am Reply

    I know nothing about battery operated timer votives,,, Its the “timer” part that I don’t know anything about. Are these from a big box home improvement store? I have had a door that I got at Hobby Lobby for awhile in the unpainted wood section. (Actually, it is a long sought replacement for the one my granddaughter snatched before I could do what I wanted to do with it.) I don’t have an appropriate place under a tree so my plan has been to have it floor level next to my front or back door so the fairies can come inside to visit. (I wonder if they’d do windows if I left some cookies out?) I, too, would have loved this as a child and, as a 68-year old person, also still do!! I have to join the chorus of “Adorable!!” because it is!!!

    • farmhouseK8 August 13, 2013 at 2:11 am Reply

      Hehehe–thanks, Charlotte. Yeah, I’ve seen the fairy doors done on walls and into the base of stairs and such–and I just love that, too!

  11. Naomi August 13, 2013 at 4:51 am Reply


  12. Kristi@chatfield court August 13, 2013 at 5:20 am Reply

    Ohhh Emm Gee! So darn cute.

  13. Evelyn Qualls August 13, 2013 at 2:31 pm Reply

    Every once in awhile, please hang a “vacancy” sign; I am sure there will be lots of responses. I am sure the little people will be by for a visit……….

    • farmhouseK8 August 13, 2013 at 7:02 pm Reply

      Lol, Evelyn! I will do that! 🙂

  14. Becky Neville August 13, 2013 at 3:49 pm Reply

    So cute. Maybe next year the fairies will install path lighting 😉

    • farmhouseK8 August 13, 2013 at 7:02 pm Reply

      I know somehow who could do that! Lol!

  15. hopefarms August 13, 2013 at 6:37 pm Reply

    Simply BEAUTIFUL! Love the whimsy 🙂

  16. From a Montana Front Porch August 13, 2013 at 9:46 pm Reply

    I’ve always said I was going to do this… soon as the girls are old enough to not run off with the little pretties! 🙂 I may officially be inspired to the point of HAVING to do it NOW! 🙂 Once again Kate, you leave me without words. 🙂 Thank you!

    • farmhouseK8 August 13, 2013 at 10:11 pm Reply

      You gotta do it! Your girls will love it!! I wish I had had stuff like this when I was little–making up for lost time! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  17. julieadolf August 21, 2013 at 2:53 pm Reply

    I love, love, love the makeover! The blue is perfect, and while the red mushrooms were cute–the white are subtle and darling. Fairy gardens are among my favorite things. My girlie and I used to make them all the time when she was an itty bitty, but our rule was that we had to use only things found in nature–otherwise, fairies wouldn’t move in. She made some pretty amazing fairy gardens and houses out of sticks and mulch! This year, I broke my own rule and made one with a fairy “portal” I bought from a local artist. Now, I want to go rehab my fairy garden after seeing yours! Brilliant, as always, Ms. Kate! 🙂

    • farmhouseK8 August 21, 2013 at 5:32 pm Reply

      Awww, thank you, Julie! I agree with your rule of ‘only things found in nature’–those are my favorite….and I’ve actually got some projects like that in the works!! I cheated on this one—but it sure is nice and sturdy and chicken-proof!!! 😀

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