Imagination a key element in creating fairy garden

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Fairy gardens first appeared in Japan, as gardeners fashioned tiny worlds populated with live plants, tiny buildings and, of course, fairies. They debuted in the U.S. in the Japanese pavilion at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.

A century later, fairy gardens are growing in Pittsburgh, and LMS Greenhouse & Nursery in Hampton will show you how to create one.

Jane Getsey, the nursery's yard supervisor, will teach classes at 6:30 p.m. June 4 and at 10:30 a.m. June 8.

"A fairy garden can be a scaled-down version of your own yard, but with much less weeding and maintenance," said LMS president Rich Cafaro. "Tending to a fairy garden can exercise your green thumb year-round and lure fairies and good luck to your home."

Ms. Getsey sees this as an ideal way to encourage young gardeners. "It's one avenue to get a new generation to play around in the ground," she said.

Ms. Getsey has constructed several fairy gardens at the nursery, which sells fairy figures and other accessories as well as suitable plant material. She has also built them in local gardens.

"I'm making one for my mother underneath a tree. Anywhere you can't find something to grow, you can do a miniature garden there," she says.

Class participants will get a container, and Ms. Getsey will instruct them how to design it, using "imagination, some animals, fairies and sparkling glass." Plants are obviously an important part of the mix.

"We are doing mainly perennials and annuals -- baby tears, red leaf clover, Irish and Scottish moss, oregano and herbs," she says. But the plant selection is limited only by your imagination.

The classes will be tailored to women, men, girls and boys of all ages and will include a container for planting, soil, three Fairy Flowers and instruction. There is a $40 fee. Junior fairy gardeners are encouraged to wear fairy wings or wizard hats. If the demand is there, more classes will be added.

Participants should reserve a spot at least three days in advance of the class by calling 412-767-7020 or emailing The nursery is at 3312 Wagner Road, Hampton.


Post-Gazette garden editor Susan Banks: or 412-263-1516.


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