Every day, I stare out my office window at this one weird little corner of the garden that backs up to the base of one of our deck supports. It’s kind of just a random little spot, and was always quite barren, and frankly, ugly. And it was stressing me out because I was staring at it every. damned. day. Something had to be done with it, and in a moment of inspiration, I thought: fairy garden! But…not just any old fairy garden. I wanted something that, when I glanced at it, would remind me (and the fairies) to take a moment and breath. The spot had stressed me out for so long that I wanted it to do the exact opposite once I was done with it.
But first–a little side story: when we initially moved into this 108-year-old house, and started excavating and working in the terribly neglected and overgrown garden, we unearthed quite a few interesting little archeological treasures. Old, rusty tin toys, lots of marbles, old-timey bottles (afterall, people used to bury their trash in the backyard), bits of hardware and pottery, and…most curious of all: a tiny, ceramic Laughing Buddha statue. What the what?!
I was completely enthralled with it. How on earth did it end up buried in my yard?!!! I knew then that I would use it somewhere in the garden, but he’s so small that I could just never really figure out where. Maybe that’s when the idea of a miniature Zen garden took root–it has just taken eight years for the right spot to present itself.
So I made him a proper little ‘altar’ of stacked flagstone (which made him very happy–you can tell):
The washi tape ‘prayer flags’ are my favorite.
A spiraled stone labyrinth is the perfect spot for fairies to walk and clear their tiny, fairy minds.
And no Zen garden is complete without some sand to rake, am I right? Also: miniature ‘stone’ lanterns. Come on. I had to get them. So cute.
I planted the area with plenty of lush Irish moss, a few dark euphorbia ‘trees’ (I love how they sort of look like Bonsai trees), some clumps of pink-flowering sea thrift, and a backdrop of bronze sedge grass. All this surrounded by a ‘moat’ of white gravel.
The only thing missing is an actual little water feature, which I will definitely have to add. The sound of running water always helps with that elusive sense of calm. And that not-so-elusive sense of having to run to the bathroom.