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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tagawa's "Enchanted Gardens"

Those of us who work at Tagawa Gardens routinely think of this as a magical place. But there's even more magic here than you might suspect! One section of our huge garden center holds the stuff of tiny fairies and gnomes and woodland spirits that can capture the imagination of kids... and kids-at-heart. I'm talking about Fairy Gardens.... miniature landscapes that require little more than a few plants, a few props and a sense of fun. Tagawa's has the plants and props. You bring your sense of fun and adventure, and you'll be amazed at what you can make. The tiny worlds we know as Fairy Gardens have been around for a while in up-scale settings and professionally-managed landscapes, but they've never been more accessible to home gardeners (and their children) than they are now. In fact, a Fairy Garden birthday party is a great way to celebrate your child's special day in a unique way. (Contact Tagawa's Outreach Department for details.) Tagawa's sells Fairy Garden kits that are ready to assemble, or you can pick and choose your own container and decorate it with accessories from our extensive display. Like any container garden, your Fairy Garden will need to have adequate drainage so the soil doesn't retain too much water. Shallow containers a few inches deep work best to keep the plants' root systems a little confined. That helps keep the plants from growing so big they're hard to manage. Make sure to use a top-quality soil. Tagawa's experienced staff can recommend brands of container soils that we know and trust. A variety of plants that fit the proportions of your container will make all the difference in creating a tiny garden that truly looks like a landscape in miniature. Choose plants with different leaf color and texture. A twelve-inch-square garden might have three plants.... one to give height and serve as your "tree," and maybe two or three more shorter plants to help fill things in and give your fairy hideout its personality: woodland garden, country garden, seaside garden.... whatever you like. Just make sure the plants you choose have similar requirements for light and water. In other words, don't put a cactus next to a fern. They won't play well together. Fairy Garden plants might be small houseplants or herbs.... low-growing groundcovers,,,, even moss. Our staff will be happy to help you with your selection. Remember that most Fairy Gardens will appreciate some bright light, though probably not strong afternoon sun, to be their best. Before you take your plants out of their tiny pots, arrange them this way and that until you find just the design that suits you. Remember not to put in too many plants. You'll want to save plenty of room for accessories that create just the right setting to please even the fussiest gnomes and fairies. Tagawa's has a delightful selection of charming fairy-sized tables and chairs, arbors, gazebos and gateways, fences, birdhouses and beehives. I promise: you'll have a hard time choosing! And by all means, don't forget the fairies and gnomes. Big... small.... simple... elaborate. Perch them on a little bench or next to a small "pond." Fairy-sized pets are welcome too. Tagawa's has tiny dogs and cats, frogs and turtles.... dragons and unicorns... a whole zoo of Fairy Garden critters. You can also add finishing touches from Mother Nature: tiny pinecones that look like trees, or rocks that appear to be boulders. Sticks and dried foliage from your "real" garden can look right at home in a fairy landscape,too. Your Fairy Garden plants will need watering whenever the top inch or so of soil dries out. Any watering can with a soft, gentle spray will work nicely. Avoid fertilizing your fairy plants. You want them to stay small and in proportion. Frequent trimming of the foliage will help keep them in check, too. As a finishing touch, how about a little "fairy dust," (also known as glitter...). Come see Tagawa's big Fairy Garden, complete with a castle and walkways tiny plants of every shape and size. And browse through our Fairy Garden display. Listen carefully, and you might hear some tiny voices, asking for a garden of their own in your home.