We would love to see children inspired by their imagination, with Scottish towns, cities and villages adorned with Magical Gardens. An enchanted space for faeries, pixies, bogles, elves and even trolls.
A Magical Dwelling
Have a think on what you have lying about the house and garden. An old birdhouse, terrarium, goldfish bowl, plant pot, garden lantern, decorative bird cage, teapot, teacup, or simply raid the recycling boxes for cardboard and plastic cartons and bottles. More natural options could be logs, seashells, driftwood or stones.
Faerie folk are magical beings, so this is an inclusive project for ALL kids, and an opportunity to let their imagination run wild. Think of a space created for faeries, pixies, sprites, miniature unicorns, trolls, bogles, elves, gnomes, mermaids and any mythical creature.
Now here, the only limitation is your imagination. Consider anything a potential home for the magical little folk. For example, how about;
• The bottom of an old fence post (with the pointy bit that goes into the ground). Saw that end section off, invert, and you have a basic house shape. The roof could be embellished (use a glue gun or strong adhesive suitable for outdoors) with shells, pebbles or pine cones. Kids can collect little twigs, and these can be stuck on to form little windows, or ladders leading up to a fairy door.
• A plant pot turned upside down can be painted, or have tiny pebbles glued all over to look like stone walls. Windows and doors can be painted on, or paint little twigs and glue on in square shapes for windows. To make it look like a toadstool house, paint the pot white and add an old plate or an upside down plant pot water reservoir dish on the top (paint red with big white polka dots).
• An empty Pringles carton? Best for indoors, I see a tall princess fairy tower or a tall fairy fort. Cut out windows or paint them on, and paint the whole container a fab colour. Use cardboard from the recycling to make a cone or turret shapes, or the top of a plastic bottle already in the recycling. In fact, just look at what is in the recycling and let the kids use their imagination, some glue and a lot of paint. Even felt tip pens on card – use what you have.
• An old birdhouse is a perfect ready-made fairy house, and can be made quite beautiful with some paint and glue
• Doors, to affix to any household item you can find to make into a fairy house, could be a really fun make. Try making using collected twigs or even with wooden lollipop sticks. Glue together and leave natural or paint a nice bright colour.
• Use copper coins, old broken bits of costume jewellery, feathers and nature finds, shells and anything that captures the imagination throughout the fairy project.
• If you can get hold of some old-fashioned pegs, you could try making little fairies too, with wool or string hair.
The Enchanted Garden
If you are lucky enough to have a garden, just set a little area aside to decorate in a fun and whimsical fashion. Or use an old wheelbarrow as a raised magical wonderland feature. Otherwise, press a household baking tray or similar into service. It needn’t be big, and it can be an indoor or an outdoor project.
• A broken terracotta pot is perfect, and could be filled with pebbles and some compost to have real growing plants. The broken pieces or bigger pebbles could act as steps. Plant some pretty evergreen trailing rockery plants such as aubretia or phlox (if you have some in the garden you could just replant a little clump). See below for more ‘greenery’ ideas. Perhaps try to get hold of some old seed packets (ask a gardening neighbour) with easy to grow options such as nasturtiums.
• The aim is to create a small-scale garden fit for the Little Folk, so try to find plants that mimic full-size varieties. Many herbs (which will happily grow indoors) such as oregano, thyme and rosemary are a good option for bushes or trees due to their small leaves and hardy qualities. Small flower varieties such as phlox or gentian violets and moss often works well in a fairy lawn. To create a more exotic or fantastical appearance, you could try cacti or bonsai.
• Stones painted in bright colours, or with rainbows or little scenes are a wonderful addition.
Mystical Creatures Lifestyle Hacks
• All those Prosecco corks now have a purpose. Paint the cork white, turn upside down and paint the bulbous part red with white dots. Behold, we have a circle of fairy toadstools.
• It’s a bit of a fiddly job, but what about some bunting? Cotton thread or fine string with little triangles of materials (or cut and paint the recycled plastic) glued on.
• Ladders, and lots of them, made from twigs that are either glued together, or bound with string. Magical creatures prefer complicated access to their dwellings.
• Solar fairy lights add a wonderful magical touch, and kids can see their little fairy paradise glowing at bedtime. If not, a few tealight candles safely placed in old jam jars, are just as ethereal.
• A tree swing? More string and twigs, and some imagination. Add ribbon detail if you have. The same goes for a fairy hammock (add material), and what about adding a little washing line and pole, with little fairy clothes shapes cut out?
• A mystic well? Try the inner card from a roll of packaging tape or similar. Just glue twigs around the outside. How about a pony paddock for that tiny unicorn?
• Enchanted pond? Small, painted containers or seashells could be used as garden ponds, or if water is not practical, marbles and sea glass work really well to give the suggestion of a water feature.
• Twigs, twigs and more twigs to construct a world with things that only your children can imagine as ‘essential’ to life in a magical kingdom.
• Trolls, bogles and gnomes have a penchant for green slime, so a murky green pond is ideal (check online for safe slime recipes). These guys also like mud baths, so a squelchy pit to wallow in is much appreciated.
Parental common sense is required during this project, which is designed to be adult led and supervised. This is to ensure that small children are not doing anything potentially dangerous, and the fairy house and contents are age appropriate.
MAGICAL GARDEN COMPETITION
We would love to see children inspired by their imagination, and Scottish towns, cities and villages adorned with Magical Gardens. Imagine if the gardens on our lockdown walks had little magical mini worlds to see? So, we are offering a small token magical prize to girls & boys (under 12) in Scotland for what we consider to be the most enchanting and original of all the magical gardens. One token magical prize for an INDOOR garden, one for an OUTDOOR garden. Entry closes last day of May.
We will post the pictures of all entries on our Facebook page over the next month.
Message entries via Facebook Messenger using title MAGICAL GARDEN COMPETITION, with-
*up to 3 images of the magical garden
*state whether indoor or outdoor
* the name, age & location of the entrant
*a few words about their magic garden (parent can write)
We can’t wait to see your entries.