I love miniature models of things. So it is not surprising that I am kind of obsessed with little fairy/gnome gardens. I could NOT WAIT until my kids were old enough to help me make a gnome garden. I was having a great time buying little bridges, chickens and grills. I created a whole Pinterest board pinning adorable ideas. But I found myself putting it off. Why? We will go off on a little tangent here, but bear with me.
You know those competition cooking shows? I can’t stand them. I feel sick and sweaty when I watch them. You see, I am just not good in the kitchen. I have a handful of standby favorites that I am good at making and are very edible but beyond that, I lack the creativity and desire to combine flavors and foods to create a masterpiece. If I am going to make something, I like to have a nice step by step recipe using actual ingredients I can find in my local grocery store. So when I watch those shows and the contestants are suddenly shown ingredients that the have to use to make a dish or dishes for actual food judges, well I get all anxious for them. What can you make with a banana, cayenne pepper and an eggplant?!? NOTHING! And OMG what if there is a meat involved?!? I just can’t watch them.
I have similar anxiety with growing plants and gardening. Some people are so damn good at growing things but I lack the ability to grow plants. I either forget about them and they dry out or I obsess over them and water them waaaaay too much and they drown. I don’t know what plants can be planted together, how much sun they need or when in the season to plant them. I seriously get a little depressed when I kill plants. I am not fit to be a plant parent. So choosing plants and a container of the gnome garden was really stressing me out. But I have a 5 year old that was itching to get this gnome garden show on the road so I had to buck up.
I found a big planter for $20 at our local hardware store and I also bought some soil and 4 little plants and it was time to get this gnome garden made already. Unfortunately, I could not find a nice step by step guide on how to put together the ENTIRE gnome garden from start to finish. Most of them just show the final product, not how they got there. So I had to improvise and I decided to show you how I did it from start to finish. Don’t judge me, I am no gardener. I confess. So here we go.
The planter was too deep so it had to be filled. But I did not have enough soil to fill the whole thing. So I needed a filler of sorts. I have tons of wood. So I started by taking my drill with the largest bit and drilling several holes in the bottom of the planter for drainage. Then I placed a bunch of small pieces of wood until the planter was about 3/4 full. Then I took the soil and filled the edges and put about 2 ” of soil over the wood (actually, I made my helper do it).
Once the soil was covering the wood, I placed our “house” (an empty chocolate milk jug that I cut the bottom off of and cut a door in the front) in the planter.
Then we placed the plants were we wanted them. We kept them at the edges so they would not be directly over the wood. The only plant that I really cared about was the mojito mint. If all else fails, maybe the mint will go crazy and take over the planter and I would be forced to drink mojitos all summer (one can hope!).
Once I knew where to put the plants, I removed the “house” and then will filled the planter with the rest of the soil. We placed the “house” back in the designated spot. Then we laid down the moss. I stuck in 2 fake plants in the very back, behind the “house” in the sad event that no plants made it, at least here would be those fake plants making it look like something was growing. Then we placed all the accessories that we bought.
I had some left over zombies from our zombie terrariums so we added those guys in there.
Unfortunately, those zombies really freaked out the gnomes and the gnomes had to hide from them.
The boy loved doing this soooo much. He sat out there and played zombie/gnome garden for at least 45 minutes. After that time, he brought me one yellow chicken, one complete gnome and one gnome without a foot. Those were all the survivors. (Apparently zombies and white chickens are immediately lost in the grass when you take all the characters and throw them up into the air in the middle of a huge backyard. Who knew?).
What do you think? Are you making a gnome/fairy/zombie garden this year? What plants are you going to use?
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