Archive for the ‘June’ Category

June_2014_GuerillaGardenFairy
Fairy Garden Mania!

2014 is definitely the year of the fairy garden! Look around in any garden center and you will find tons of fairy garden items and accessories everywhere you go. Children, Irish people and even some adults all seem to be fascinated with the idea that fairies live among us.
However, evidence of fairies is slim and you can’t even begin to entice fairies into your garden without giving them a place to live. This year everybody seems to be on the fairy garden bandwagon and the fairies will have lots of choices for taking up residency. The competition will be stiff so you had better make your fairy garden stand out from the rest!
Here are a few tips to make sure your fairy garden the most enticing.

Step 1- Choose a Location:
A shady woodland fairy garden
If you want to attract woodland fairies then build your fairy garden in a shady part of the garden under a tree or stump and incorporate a fairy door at the base. This will create a fairy portal for the fairies to come through into your garden. Be sure to plant assorted ferns, hostas, bleeding hearts and other woodland plants. The drooping fronds of the ferns will give woodland fairies a secret place to hide and the hosta leaves make a nice canopy from the rain!
Note: You might also want to add some different kinds of moss as forest fairies love the soft, cool spongy feel of it on their feet.
A sunny flower fairy garden
Fairies love the same flowers as hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. Foxglove, forget-me-nots, heather, hollyhocks, herbs (especially thyme), marigolds, lavender, sweet peas and roses are some good choices. Make sure your flower fairy garden receives at least 6 hours of sun a day.
A container fairy garden
For those of you that live in a townhouse or an apartment a container fairy garden might just be the ticket to attract urban fairies. Use your imagination- a bird bath, a wooden crate, even a large wicker basket can be viewed as a potential fairy garden. For larger yards an old wagon or a wheelbarrow converted into a mobile fairy garden can be most appealing. Fairies like the added option of being able to relocate to a different part of the yard if they decide they don’t like the neighborhood.
A Guerilla Garden Fairy Garden
If you have decided to make A Guerilla Garden Fairy Garden on someone else’s property or on a public lot then you may not want to spend a lot of money. Thrift stores, flea markets and dollar stores are all great sources for inexpensive ready made miniature garden tools, furniture, tea sets, or other potential fairy garden items. However, if your feeling the least bit creative then Pinterest has lots of links and ideas on how to create inexpensive fairy houses, swing sets, fences, ladders, fairy furniture and accessories. When  guerilla gardening there is always a chance of garden theft. If your fairy garden stuff doesn’t cost a lot of money and any of it goes missing then you can just think of it as a personal donation to the Fairy Garden Emergency Fund!

Step 2- Give it Curb Appeal!
Remember, when creating a fairy garden the main key element is to keep it miniature and pay attention to the details.
Fairy paths and pathways
Create a path out of tiny pebbles/aquarium gravel or place small flat rocks as stepping stones to entice fairies to roam throughout the garden. A miniature patio or deck and fencing will also add to the curb appeal.
Fairy hideouts/lookouts
Be sure to include some gnarled drift wood and rock outcroppings. Fairies like to have lookout points to stand on and adding a small ladder made out of twigs to reach a lookout is a much sought after feature. Also, fairies being ever elusive tend to make their homes in gardens that provide lots of nooks and crannies for them to hide in.
Fairy water features
Fairies love to splash and play in water fountains and ponds but any water feature will suffice. It can be as simple as using a water proof container filled with water or a small tabletop fountain.
If you are concerned that your water feature may become a potential mosquito hatchery you can always use a small mirror to create a reflection pond or use glass marbles to create a stream.
NOTE: If possible add a miniature boat to your water feature -fairies find boat rides irresistible!
Fairy rings
Celtic folklore depicts fairy rings as gateways into fairy kingdoms where fairies gather and dance.
The best fairy rings consist of a ring of mushrooms that grow in a perfect circle. However other “Fairy Garden “Experts” have had success attracting fairies using resin mushrooms or placing stones, flowers or other plants in a circle to create a fairy ring.
Warning: Fairy folklore always warns humans not to stand in fairy rings. It is said that if you disrupt them or join the dance, you will be punished. I’m guessing that’s where the phrase “Don’t Piss off the Fairies” came from.

Step 3- Add Dwelling(s):
Fairy Houses:

Legend says that fairies will come and live in a house they like-so choose carefully. For instance, woodland fairies prefer to live in homes made out of twigs, rocks, and other natural materials where as urban type fairies are only too happy to live in a home made from recycled materials. Also, some fairies are very social and will only move into fairy villages or fairy condominium complexes.
Ready-made fairy houses can easily be bought by the Creatively Impaired  but if you have access to a computer and are feeling all crafty just Google “how to make a fairy house” for inspiration and instructions. Keep in mind that no matter what fairy house option you decide on it should be able to withstand the elements if it’s going to be a permanent structure.
Children should also note that sometimes fairies like to choose an empty fairy garden lot and then custom build their house.

Step 4-Inhabitant(s):
Statues and Figurines
:
As real fairies are somewhat hard to get hold of you may want to populate your fairy garden with store bought inhabitants. It is rumored that because the fairy garden is a magical place statues and figurines come to life but if humans are around they become statues again.
Also it has been said that with the assistance of a boy child sometimes gnomes and elves have been known to build a Gnome Home and take up residence in a fairy garden. This is acceptable but do not under any circumstances let any of the Transformers move in as it can lower the Fairy Garden Property Values in your neighborhood! I’m sorry to say but this also applies to Barbie and her friends too.

Before embarking on your own fairy garden adventure remember that creating a fairy garden is a fun way to get small children involved in gardening. With a declining/aging gardening population this is more important than you think! Be sure to move or add accessories to the fairy garden as “evidence” that fairies actually inhabit your garden. Not only will the children “Believe” in fairies but the memories they will have of gardening with you will last a lifetime.

Let the Fairy Garden Adventure begin!

Guerilla Garden Seedbomb

Brenda Dyck
A Guerilla Gardener on an Adventure!

Advertisements

 June Guerilla Gardener

Most Wanted List!

It’s lurking in your garden — one of the worst killers a Guerilla Gardener is ever likely to encounter. Not only does it kill; it maims and tortures too. If it weren’t so easily recognized by every kind of gardener living in the Pacific Northwest, there would be wanted posters posted everywhere.

  • It has a endless appetite
  • It has disgusting habits
  • It has a serious drinking problem
  • It is the slimiest thing you’ll ever meet

And it causes most people to be repelled at the very sight of one. What is it? You might have guessed.

Slugs!

Although I am a firm believer in live and let live, I have found that I am totally capable of slug genocide. Faced with the mess they make of my hostas, and waking up to completely consumed vegetable seedlings in my garden, I’ve come to the conclusion that “Something Must Be Done!” However this is somewhat easier said than done.
I have tried a number of organic ways to deal with slugs, such as setting out marigolds as a deterrent, but the slimy little buggers just gobbled them up over night without so much as a thank you!.
Once, after reading a report in Nature magazine, I tried feeding my plants “hangover-strength” coffee grounds. Supposedly a 2% concentration of caffeine disrupts the slugs’ nervous system enough to kill them. Unfortunately this didn’t work; the slime balls came back the next morning demanding biscotti and a latte!
I also tried surrounding all my vegetable seedlings with copper. An article on the Internet said that the copper would react with their slug slime, causing a flow of electricity that would send the slugs slithering away. I’m thinking that slugs are far craftier than we have ever given them credit for. I’m sure they must have parachuted in like James Bond over the copper wire that night in order to avoid being electrocuted and helped themselves to “The all you can eat salad bar” until there was nothing left!
Then there is the ever popular slug beer trap. I call it the Slug Pub! Although this method does work (slugs love beer!), it galls me to think that after already providing dinner, I should supply free drinks to wash it down with!
However a robot called a SlugBot is being developed at the University of West England that will be capable of hunting down over 100 slugs an hour and using their rotting bodies to generate electricity. SlugBots aren’t commercially available yet, and their eventual price tag will be more scaled to agricultural business than a Guerilla Gardener but I can always put it on my “If I Win the Lottery” list of things to buy.
Until then, I, a peaceful Guerilla Gardener am forced to be homicidal maniac when it comes to dealing with slugs. If I come across a slug unfortunate enough to be in my path I have been known to stomp it to death, and at night I will take a flashlight and hunt slugs just to drown them in a jar of soapy water or torture them by sprinkling salt on them.
Poison works well too (or so I am told)! Pet safe slug bait has been receiving rave reviews from organic gardeners. These types of slug baits are very affordable, have been found to decrease slug populations without harming birds, small pets or humans and can be bought commercially under the names Sluggo, Es-car-go, and Safer’s Slug & Snail Bait. My thought on this is ….even though it’s organic, poison is still poison and I have a hard time believing that organic poison is any better for you (or the environment) than a chemical poison is.

However, when it comes to dealing with slugs some people will do what they gotta do.
Guerilla Garden Non –Rule 9 – Survival of the fittest!

   Brenda Dyck
A Guerilla Gardener on an Adventure