Think small and embrace the magic

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 By Jennifer Finlayson

Owner, FLD Landscaping and Garden Shop

What’s the next big thing in gardening you ask? Tiny… yes, tiny is the new big this year. Miniature fairy gardens have become a fanciful trend that can be enjoyed year-round by all ages.

As a child, I was always told that fairies lived under mushrooms; to destroy a mushroom would be to leave a fairy homeless. I haven’t found much research to back up that folklore, but even now I still leave the mushrooms alone and smile at the memories conjured up of days in the yard with my sisters.  

When we opened FLD Garden Shop, I was immediately attracted to the ‘tiny.’ We started having fairy garden classes at least once a month, and many of our customers have become avid tiny gardeners, adding to and changing their fairy gardens with the seasons. We’ve also learned that just about any excuse for a fairy garden gathering is a good one. We’re hosting private fairy gardening parties for groups of up to 12 people at the garden shop. And coming up, we will be having a Cinco de Mayo fiesta-themed class at the Gadsden Museum of Arts on – you guessed it – May 5 (our classes are usually at the shop in Southside, but sometimes it’s good to take the show on the road). 

We have all kinds of classes, but we can safely say that this one is a crowd favorite! You can keep up with our schedule of upcoming events on our Facebook page at facebook.com/fldgardenshop or our website at fldgardens.com.

Now, here are some of the really cool things about fairy gardens. By planting a miniature garden and adding some fairy accessories, you create a tiny scale garden of memories and whimsy. It’s economical because you can use virtually any container, and they fit anywhere. It can be enjoyed on a deck or patio area or kept indoors near a window. The small plants used for a fairy garden can vary from houseplants to perennial ground covers, herbs, moss and dwarf varieties of shrubs and bonsai trees. One of my favorite things is to wander through the woods and look for natural ‘treasures.’ Patches of moss, pretty rocks, twigs or tree bark make every tiny garden personal. 

It’s a great way to introduce children to gardening and nature. It’s also a great way to share quality gardening time with loved ones who can no longer get out in their yards. Planting and tending an enchanted garden is a fun activity for delighting the young and the young-at-heart.

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