Fairy gardens captivate imaginations

A set of little wings. Ceramic fountains. Tiny versions of ornate cottages and brick walkways fit for the English countryside. These are some of the whimsical decorations that adorn fairy gardens.

When such miniature decorations are paired with similarly diminutive plants, these gardens — aimed at luring fairies — can captivate.

“I think it is in our DNA,” said Brenda Williams, a master gardener at Pesche’s Greenhouse, Floral and Gifts in Lake Geneva.

We have the itch to garden, she believes, to satisfy some lingering remnant of our agriculture-inventing forbears.

“That gene is still very present in modern people who no longer need to garden,” Williams said. And designing a little fairy abode turns a garden into “a living artwork,” she said.

For the past four years, Williams has been teaching how to create fairy gardens to 4H students and through the University of Wisconsin’s continuing education program.

No two fairy gardens are the same.

Some people use creative containers, especially antiques — a wash tub, bird cages or pickle bottles.

“I tell people to imagine something in your head and try to recreate it in in a pot, or whatever,” Williams said.

— AP