During my return visit to A Proper Garden, my miniature-loving friend Janet joined me for a scrumptious ham and cheese scone in the Amitié café and helped me pick out a rabbit hutch for my fairy garden.
Everything stopped, though, when I saw Toby. This darling Cavachon – a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel/Bichon Frise hybrid – belongs to A Proper Garden’s owner and follows him around the store constantly. You can’t find a more attentive and charming helper!
Janet has a few fairy gardens of her own at her home, so seeing them was inspiring. It was also a treat to see the darling miniature garden room that she made. A tiny acorn-shaped birdhouse hangs from the ceiling, small-scale landscape plans lay on a table, and its floor is a barn board from an 1880s family barn which is no more. My talented friend even gave me two miniature hurdles like those she made for her garden room. Made of woven willow, hurdles were used by the English to fence off areas or cattle, but are being revived in today’s gardens.
Designing my fairy garden was fun! A little sculptured rabbit I bought in England in 1983 made its home in the rabbit hutch. Pottery vegetables and fruits bought during college visits to Monticello are ready for harvest. A sheep acquired at a Christmas market stand in Ettal, Germany lives within the hurdles, which also protect a shell path in the style of those in my favorite gardens at Williamsburg, Virginia.
A few days later, Nails told me that Oakland Park also caters to fairy gardeners, so off we went to see its selection. A birdbath, wheelbarrow, and a tiny bench perfect for CLF’s little handmade girl from Germany’s Erzgebirge region came home with us. When we went to the Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival yesterday, we discovered that the same craftsman who made Janet’s tiny birdhouse was there. Paul Bahm of Schoolhouse Woodcrafts in Mount Vernon, Ohio helped me choose a miniature birdhouse of my own – and what a difficult choice it was! He and his wife, Deborah, also offer delightful fairy houses and “fairy dinette sets.”
Now I have two fairy gardens. Soon, miniature parsley will provide a little ground cover. Olive, my acorn Forest Gnomie inspired by Elsa Beskow’s Woody, Hazel and Little Pip story who came from Ingebretsen’s, keeps watch next door, perched on the swing that I also bought at A Proper Garden. If only Toby could see my fairy gardens!