I have had the idea of a fairy garden lurking at the back of my mind for sometime now and even covered the subject in a post last year on creating the Coombe Mill Dream with this image:
I wanted a space the children here could explore and discover. A place of mystery and intrigue to inspire imaginative play and the very best of childhood memories. It had to be somewhere not too far away in our rambling 30 acres as this is one our youngest holiday makers would enjoy and return to day after day. A long tour of the farm on a beautiful summers day and I found just the place I was after; a neglected wilderness wedged between the car park, ride on play area, the river and the lane. It would be the perfect place if only I could find a way in!
Farmer Nick really wasn’t following me on this one, talk to him about animal fields, shelter building or fixing a washing machine and he is on the case but a fairy garden left him clueless. Never the less he trusted my judgement and began to clear an entrance into the wilderness.
It turned into quite a task as this area had been neglected for years. The further Nick cleared, the more secret gardens began to emerge. I asked him to leave the natural bush divides to create gardens with in gardens and also to leave the lower hanging branches so that we could use them to hang things from. The space we finished up with was so much bigger than I anticipated, opening up from the entrance into a real enchanted wonderland that filled me with excitement.
In no time I was busy populating the different areas we had uncovered with bits and bobs from nature and creating ideas with Farmer Kym for activity hour at Coombe Mill.
Poor Nick still didn’t really understand what I was up to but I left for Brit Mums hinting that a doorway to the gardens would be wonderful. Secretly I knew he would have it done by the time I returned and I wasn’t disappointed returning to a perfect entrance with signs and solar fairy lights just as I had described. Being married to a handy man really does have some huge advantages.
I started a Pinterest Board for Fairy garden inspiration and found so many wonderful ideas across the net. I know this is going to be an ongoing project and one I will return to time and time again with new creative additions to the gardens.
A bike ride through the village had me stop outside a gorgeous garden with painted stones for sale. I hopped off my bike after sharing my find on instagram and facebook and knocked on the door only to discover it was Lisa Bailey Brown who I'd been chatting to on twitter. Within the week I had commissioned a series of bespoke stones on the back of the enthusiastic response on facebook.
Ten Coombe Mill animal prints and ten fairy stones arrived within a fortnight. The colours and beauty of the stones are vibrant and striking and I keep moving them round the gardens to keep the interest and magic going.
To these I have added some more treasures I have stumbled upon whenever I am out. Even Nick found some windmills and wind chimes for me, I knew he would warm to the concept when he saw how popular it was. Now I feel my Fairy Garden is really coming to life and not just a wish list on a Pinterest board.
I think it is already not far off the original idea I had a year ago.
The fairy garden is now open and free to explore at any time. I love how things keep moving in there as children play and arrange the movable items.
There is so much more I want to do. Mushroom stools from the next fallen tree, fairy doors on trees and more besides. However there is no rush, it is a joy to build it gradually and already we are reaping the benefits with our weekly activity afternoons for the children here on holiday. They love to get involved from dressing up, to garden tours, making wands, adding to the wishing tree, making fairy food and so much more that I plan to develop.
I might just have the best job in the world here at Coombe Mill.
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.