Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Fairy Garden is Born

Last weekend, my parents were in town and I took my Mom out for a 4-wheeler ride around the area where we live. There are so many old barns and houses that the property owners are just allowing to sit and go to waste. It's sad to see all of the wasted materials. While driving past one of these houses located on property that belongs to a cousin of my husband, we found 2 old chairs laying next to a barn. I had seen the chairs several times before but could never convince my husband to help me get them home. He could not understand why I wanted those old rotten chairs, but my Mom (who I credit with my creative and often unorthodox ideas) immediately realized the potential. We loaded them up on the back of the 4-wheeler, secured them with some rope, grabbed a couple of loose peices of barn wood for good measure and hauled our treasures home. The looks on husband and Dad's faces when we pulled up with those old chairs on the back of the 4-wheeler were priceless. My husband, I believe, thought I had finally completely lost my mind. My Dad just kind of shook his head. He is no longer shocked by the junk my Mom and I drag home, whether it be from a thrift store or the side of the road or in this case, the middle of the woods.

To the left, is the one of the chairs as we found it. They were both in terrible condition, so I guess I can understand my husband's doubts about my sanity at that moment. I told him I was going to convert it to a plant stand and he seemed slightly less concerned about my mental state. After my parents left to go back home, I decided I better work quickly so my new treasure didn't end up in the burn barrel. I really wanted to preserve the back side posts of the chair but that nasty vinyl cushion had to go. On the first chair I worked on, the side post broke so I had to get the saw and cut them both off. On the second chair that I attempted, I was successful in preserving the posts. Some of the upholstery tacks stayed in place as well, so I was able to use those to wrap the twine and make a crude trellis. Next I was ready to give them a quick light sanding. I was not attempting to give them a smooth finish, it just seemed like the easiest way to clean them up a little before painting them. My youngest daughter chose a light puple for the base of her Fairy Garden. I used acrylic paint that was slightly watered down and a cheap kids paint brush to ensure that I got a distressed finish. After the paint dried and I ran some twine for a trellis, I sealed it with an outdoor spray sealant. I used 3 coats, but I will have to reseal at least once a year. I should have listened to my Mom, and used a marine varnish, but I was in a hurry and didn't feel like making the 30 minute drive into town to buy it.

My daughters and I started gathering our fairies and various other supplies needed to finish the perfect little shade garden for them. We found an old terra cotta bowl-type container, it's already distressed green finish was a perfect compliment to the chair. After cutting a piece of the barnwood to fit across the bottom rungs to support the container, we filled in the gaps with Spanish Moss that we found near the pond on our property and put our fairies into place. Before this thing got any heavier we decided we better move it to the front yard under a large Live Oak tree. We then filled the pot with English Ivy that will fill in the back along the trellis, Wandering Jew (Setcrea) and Caladiums. I also planted a Hosta near the foot of the chair and we will continue to add to our lovely little shade garden.

I do believe that our fairies will be very happy here and I can't wait until the ivy fills in the back. It's the perfect addition to our whimsically themed front yard shade garden. Now to move on to the other chair, I can't wait to see what that one turns into!

1 comment:

  1. Just an added note... I realize these are not the highest quality pics but I took them with my cell and will update with better pics when I get them uploaded.