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From Jacksonville Beach, FL

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fairy house in the landscape? Bring out the star dust

                                 Partially hidden in the landscape, this fairy house provokes 
                                 imagination and playfulness.  Children are especially intrigued.
                                 Note the tiny blue bottle tree decorating the "yard."  This house is
                                 a feature at the Jacksonville Zoo's Butterfly Hollow, where
                                 a fairy landscape is part of the exhibit.

      Have you noticed a sudden interest in the fairy tale world?  Television shows
"Grimm" and "Once Upon a Time" have been popular in 2012.  "Snow White and the
Huntsman" is a recently opened popular film.  I also put recent movies "Avatar" and "Alice
in Wonderland" in the fairy tale category. 
    What's going on?  Perhaps this new interest developed because during hard economic times, fantasy can provide respite from the real world. A newcomer to escapism is a fairy garden in your landscape or on a table top on your porch or deck.  People also put them in aquariums, shallow bowls and large garden pots.  
     A quick internet search for "fairy gardens," "fairy landscapes" turns up many, many
options.  You can learn how to create a garden and where to buy tiny houses, furniture and
plants.  Certainly, a fairy garden will be a conversation starter in your neighborhood.  Tell skeptical ones that people have also created model train gardens.  A yard a few blocks from my house is full of metal whirl-i-gigs.  Indulge your secret child however you like.  
    If you need creative building ideas other than what you find on the Internet, books have been written on fairy gardens:

  • Tracy and Barry Kane. Fairy Houses and Beyond. Light Beams Publishing, 2008.      Features photos of elaborate fairy houses.
  • Maureen Heffernan. Fairy Houses of the Maine Coast.  Down East Books, 2010.    Fairy houses got their start in Maine, according to this book.

   Your garden can be as simple or elaborate as you like.  If you have children or grandchildren, they will have lots of ideas once they hear about the gardens.  Try building one.  Who knows, it might be visited by the fairy folk, but they won't let you know.

                                           One of the fairy houses at the Jacksonville Zoo
                                           Butterfly Hollow.

                                             Tabletop fairy garden with a waterfall 
                                              feature.  The house is partially behind the 
                                             waterfall to the right.

1 comment:

  1. I love these little houses! I first saw them at Epcot during their annual Flower and Garden Festival. I never thought of building my own!