Wednesday, May 23, 2012

SACG’s First Fairy Garden

Our faithful readers could not be blamed for thinking that nothing happens at the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden without the involvement and/or leadership of your somewhat burned-out Garden Manager. That is only because I am the only blogger and control the flow of information. However, there are things that happen at the SACG without my knowledge and some of them are worth sharing with the world (or at least as worthy of sharing as anything else I impose on you). This week is one of those times.

Last night I received an email from one of our new gardeners (i.e., new to the SACG, not new to gardening). She is one of the gardeners who took our platform/elevated raised garden beds (affectionately referred to as Grandma beds). Barb is an OSU certified Master Gardener, is a retired school teacher, has volunteered from time to time at the SACG and has over the years provided us with pretty flowers from her home garden (such as the lilies growing between our blueberry bushes along Cherry Street and the Jupiter’s Beard on the west side). I met her when I used to be involved with the Bexley Community Garden. Barb is an extremely committed community gardener, which makes her perfect for the SACG. (It also doesn’t hurt that she faithfully reads this blog). Tragically, Barb suffered a serious fall in February and broke her neck.

As you can imagine, this accident has very much limited her ability to garden since she cannot bend, etc. and has sapped her formerly boundless energy and enthusiasm. Luckily, she has been steadily recovering and Trae (from the Bexley CG) and her grandsons have helped her from time to time at home. (I cannot claim to have been so helpful). I did, however, build her a Grandma bed so that, after her doctor relaxed her many physical restrictions, she could garden without having to bend. (I’m not so heartless as some people would have you believe and I’m only too happy to steal her away from the BCG just as I have stolen Kelly away from FPC). I am not alone. When Barb expressed concern with navigating our uneven and unfinished brick path to the SACG annex (where the raised beds are located), our Board President, Rayna, immediately remedied the problem.

Anyway, I received an email from Barb last night. She had previously promised me that she had something unusual planned for her Grandma bed. (She wanted me to be concerned, but I am too burned out to be worried . . . . ). Last night was the great reveal. As she explained it:

I wanted to do something different and fun for all, but especially for the children. So, tonight I started a "fairy" garden in my 3' x 6' bed. I had the help of 5 lovely neighborhood children (can't remember all their names!). I was given a 25% discount today from DeMonye's garden center to purchase succulents, cactus and succulent mix and a little fence for our "fairy" house.

Due to succulents needing significantly less water and special soil, we put the plants in little pots and embedded them in the soil. Since fairies like wooded areas, we put bits of wood around for them to hide behind if they need to and there is a nice rock path for them to walk to the house.

Also, a small pond which has marbles to attract them (and maybe butterflies too).

Feel free to add features to this garden if you wish. I would like all to have fun with it.

. . .

I told the children last night it is fine to touch the plants gently...that is O.K. with me. If they want to bring a little plastic animal from home to put in the garden that would be fine with me. And, I said I would ask their advice later about putting up a little sign naming the garden.
To say this was a hit with the neighborhood girls is an understatement. They want Miss Barb to come every day. They want to know why I wasn’t there. They wanted to play with it and water everything. (I had to explain that cactus really don’t need to be watered every day). I shared with them tonight that Miss Barb will be back to read them stories about fairies, too.   They will be adding to the fairy garden over the summer and who knows what it will look like by Labor Day.

So, not everything we do at the SACG is serious and meaningful. Some of it is silly.  (There was, after all, Betty's whimiscal windmill invasion in 2010).   But that makes for great childhood memories, doesn’t it?

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