Fairy Gardening, by Julie Bawden-Davis and Beverly Turner offers an exciting adventure into the world of fairy gardens. With abundant photographs, the authors provide a guide to creating these miniature landscapes from planning, to buying, planting, and maintaining them. Whether you have a fairy garden or are just thinking about making one, this book will provide many ideas to stimulate both interest and thought.
The book is divided into nine chapters that focus on theme, focal point, accessorizing, action, story telling, planting and care, containers, plants, and holiday variations. The theme can be a simple as a storybook or as formal as an 18th century royal estate and will lead to the choice of a focal feature such as a building or archway. The authors stress that the garden you create is just a vignette in a much larger landscape and that the viewer fills in the surroundings. The accessories, of course, reflect the theme but can be “found items” like champagne corks fashioned into stools or purchased from such places as craft stores or doll house suppliers. Especially interesting are the sections on creating action to give the viewer the idea of movement and expanding that into story telling by combining several figures so that their interaction suggests the past and future. Practical matters like deciding a site for your garden with its potential light restrictions lead to suggestions for plant selection, planting, methods of planting and care. Extensive annotated lists of plants suitable for fairy gardens are given by light requirements and plant use (groundcovers, shrubs, trees). A final section provides resources with an annotated list of plant and accessory suppliers.
Written in a very lively, and enthusiastic style the book presents many examples of fairy gardens as the authors explain their various ideas and why their ideas work to make the fairy garden very special. Numerous insets, called mini-tips, give additional ideas for enhancing the garden. One caveat, the book is about outdoor fairy gardens and the authors warn readers that indoor fairy gardens are very limited by a lack of suitable plant material. The basic approach and design principles, however, make this a valuable resource for anyone planning to create a magical landscape.
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