Sunday, February 24, 2008

Fairy House - Part 1

My daughter has been asking me to help her build a fairy house for a while now. I have resisted, feeling that I don't have the time or know-how to make anything worth cluttering the garden with. But today, while taking advantage of the absolutely gorgeous weather to clean up the garden, she noticed the butterfly bush (Buddleia Davidii) twigs I was tossing in the wheelbarrow, and asked for them, to make a fairy house.

Suddenly, I realized that this was our answer. The twigs from the butterfly bush are quite woody, and very plentiful. My bush was probably close to 10' tall & 8' wide, and I was cutting it back to about 6', so there were lots of twigs available.

We started by tying the branches with string, but I knew that wire was the real answer, so we made a quick run to Rona before it closed at 6PM, and picked up a reel of gauge 24 galvanized steel. This turned out to be the best lineal price of their various wire options (even better than the black steel wire), easy to bend (the gauge 20 would have been too much of a fight, and likely would have broken the twigs while tightening), but still quite strong, that I should hold up outdoors for quite a while.

Anyhow, here is the house (just the outline) after maybe an hour of work, just before the kids went to bed:
Twiggy outline of the fairy houseAfter that, I kept working for a couple more hours, and filled in two of the walls, one with a window:
Fairy house with two walls and window finishedThe house will have a front door, two side windows, and solid back wall. Even though I've thinned my blue oat grasses a couple of times (now I wish I hadn't sent a large bag of it to the city compost last week), I think we can get enough grasses to even cover the roof.

Part of me is screaming that I really don't have time for this project. But the other part of me (which I'm glad I'm listening to this time) is calmly saying that if I don't have the time now, then when will I? After all, at 9 years old, and with 2 fairy birthday parties, dozens of fairy books, fairy toys, and a half dozen fairy movies behind her, how long will my daughter continue her interest in fairies? So if it isn't this summer, then when?

By the way, I had a perverse gardening thought... Since the buddleia branches were just clipped today, and knowing how reliably these grow from cuttings, if I pushed the house in the soil in the next couple days, there would be a good chance that some of the branches would take root. That would be a sight to behold, wouldn't it?

I've left the mess of branches and clippers and wire on the kitchen table, so we can hopefully continue again tomorrow evening. We'll eat at the island for now, if we have to, to keep our momentum on the project.


Anonymous said...

she will only be 9 once, but with memories like this a believer always!

photonut said...

I must say I am also an avid gardener and a mom. I know the place where "silly ideas that take valuable time" can end up. I am so glad that you listened to the voice of your daughter (and really your heart) snd made this adorable Fairy House. I live in Oregon and got a TON of snow this past Winter too and I am glad the Fairy House survived ! My only child is 17 and I miss having those great "together moments". :)
Nice work and LOVE the beautiful garden photos ! ;)

Garden Lily said...

Photonut - Thanks for stopping by, and for your encouraging words.

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