Birdbaths just don’t last forever. I inherited a very beautiful, and very heavy birdbath from friends a few years ago. It had a teeny-tiny crack, which resulted in a teeny-tiny slow leak, but no biggie. Once I had it wrangled into a location near a happy snow berry shrub, I knew it was there to stay. Until this spring. When I filled it with water and all the water just ran out the bottom. The snow berry cheered–“extra water for me!” I frowned and started thinking of how to save it. Find a sealer? Patch it with concrete? Then while cruising Pinterest, the solution happened. This birdbath, now with drainage, wanted to be a fairy garden. Indeed, it’s never been more lovely.
To get started, I piled some gravel in the bottom to assist in drainage, and then filled the bowl with good quality potting soil. (I’m a huge fan of Happy Frog products, so I used Happy Frog Potting Soil.)
Then off to Mt. Garfield Greenhouse to collect plants. I walked the aisles and tried to think like a fairy might. Which flowers would fairies enjoy? I ended up with a selection that included some penstemon, vinca, vinca vine, alyssum, scavola, and a pretty petunia. I also collected a few other annual flowers for filling in. I hate to not have enough and not be able to finish my projects. I’m an immediate gratification sort of gardener.
I got my pretty selections home, collected my fairies and fairy stuff from the house where they’d been over-wintering in my houseplants, and set up camp by the birdbath. I have accumulated a nice collection of fairy stuff over the years. This year adding a couple of fairies and my new favorite fairy accessory–the fairy hatch! A tree trunk that opens up to reveal glittery spiral stairs! Squeeee!
I set the larger fairy structures in place and then arranged plants around them (still in their pots) to see what would fit and give me the magical little garden I was hoping for. I left a space in the middle, thinking some sort of path should be there. When I got the look I was after, I potted the plants in the bowl, filling in with my back-up plants to really fill it out.
Then I placed the fairies and smaller accessories, and built a little garden path from pink shale borrowed from the rock expanses of my yard. (I live in an area with very poor soil, so most of my “yard” is rocked.) Some of the smaller accessories are purchased, but some are scavenged and “found” objects. Add to your fairy garden by looking for shiny things that a fairy might find and bring home, pretty rocks, or maybe shells. Use your imagination in their placement, creating their purpose. A teepee stack of mulch chips could be a firepit. A large shell filled with water could be a pond.
I think my birdbath fairy garden turned out quite nicely.
It was immediately visited by a hummingbird and a bumblebee. A garden spider had taken up residence by the afternoon.
The fairies are happy.