- Part 1 – Introduction and laneway garden
- Part 2 – Edible Garden
- Part 3 – Mud garden
- Part 4 – Secret garden
Welcome to laneway garden where the fairies come to sit and chat. We created laneway garden in a rarely used space – the passage down the side of our house. It is fairly simple – a low table built out of old building materials that were lying around, and excess pot plants that were cluttering up the main garden. It measures 50 x 150 cm (1.6 x 5 feet).
This is a space where we try to use what we already have and often grow plant cuttings from our neighbourhood.The garden is a mix of plants and sculptures – a ceramic bird, a lizard climbing the wall, a small castle meant for a fish tank and two hooks on the wall for the kids to hang whatever they fancy.
Laneway garden has become a special hang-out for fairies, they come to visit often and we set up fairy tents for shelter and leave passionfruits for them to sit on.
|Cakey made a small tent out of sticks for the fairies and gave them passionfruits as seats|
|Discarded cordylines from a dumpster down the street salvaged and replanted in an old 1950s bathroom basin - also salvaged from a dumpster down the street.|
If you have an unused outdoor area, here are a few ideas and tips to turn it into a special garden space:
- Use pebbles and smooth stones – and vary the sizes and colours. Kids love to play with their different size and textures. Try coupling tiny pebbles around tiny plants and even in small pots you can create little worlds. Big fat stones suit large-leaved plants and are good for making miniature mountains and stepping stone paths.
- Add some whimsy by including some toy fairies or dinsosaurs or whatever your kids like. I move our fairies around when the kids aren't looking!
- Include some sticks or natural objects for kids to build structures.
- Think vertically to maximize use of the space: plant climbers, hang plants on hooks, or chalk a mural up the wall.
- Laneways are often difficult to grow plants in because they can be dark and shady except for blasting midday sun. Some forgiving plants include agave, clivia, box, canna, yucca, zygocactus. If need be, bring frost-sensitive plants in pots inside for winter.
- Also, your plants will likely be in pots, so make sure you add mulch and some water crystals or wetting agent to your potting mix (in my experience, the kids very much enjoy helping out with this task). Go for plants that are hard to kill even if the pots dry out, and that won't mind little hands ripping off flowers and leaves, such as mint, fishbone fern (Nephrolepis), ivy, and succulents (go for spineless varieties such as Kalanchoe, hen and chickens (Echeveria), jade plant (Crassula), sempervivum and some aloe varieties).
- Learn which plants in your garden or neighbourhood will grow easily from cuttings so the kids can pick them and simply stick them into pots in their tiny garden: some reasonably sure-fire bets are: geraniums, tradescantia, blue ginger (Dichorisandra), and pretty much any succulents.
- If it is a sunny spot plant some pretty annual flowers for the kids to pick. The more flowers they pick, the bushier and more prolific their flowering will be.
|Fairies in their aloe garden|
- How to Make a Fairy Garden from The Magic Onions
- Our faerie ring from For love of my oceans
- Our fairy garden from Juise
- My Little worlds and miniatures pinterest board also has links to fairy gardens
- How to make a jar terrarium from Red Ted Art (if you want to make a gorgeous indoor garden)
Next I am featuring our edible garden – a place to discover that fruit and veg don't grow in the supermarket!
I hope you have enjoyed our garden series. If you like it, you can follow along through our facebook page or subscribe via email or RSS.