FAIRY GARDEN CONTEST AT THE HALIFAX FARMER’S MARKET
By Andrea Burke
The Southside Master Gardener Association will hold a Fairy Garden Contest on Saturday, June 10 2017 at the Halifax Farmer’s Market from 8 to 11:30 a.m. This contest is free to the public and prizes will be awarded. A miniature container garden may be submitted by an individual of any age, a group, such as a Sunday School Class or a Garden Club or a family, a Grandmother and Grandchild for example. There is no size limit, but the gardens must be able to be carried to the display tables. Please bring your gardens between 8 and 9:45 a.m.
The basic idea of fairy gardens is to create a space where it appears that little creatures have taken up residence in your garden. There is a little artist in all of us – and an even bigger artist in children! It doesn’t have to be expensive. The more items you personally make, the more fun it is. As you take a walk and notice gumballs from “Sweetgum Trees” (Liquidambar styraciflua), you may think that if you sprayed it with green paint it would make a perfect bush in your fairy garden! Or a pine cone – makes a great tree! Branches and twigs can be sliced up to make stepping stones, or become parts of little furniture. We have a lot of moss growing wild around our neighborhood and it makes a lovely “grass” for your fairy garden.
A modeling and sculpting clay such as Sculpey™ clay is really fun to work with – you can create just about anything from rolling a long worm to rolling a ball and turn it into mushrooms, tables, beach towel, umbrella – just use your imagination! Bake it according to package directions, then paint it with Acrylic paint and spray it with Krylon if using indoors, or Polyurethane if using outdoors. There are wonderful books on how to paint rocks to look like a house fairies would love to live in, or to paint rocks that look like animals and bugs! Pinterest is a wonderful sight to get ideas for creating your special fairy garden. You will be amazed at just how much information is out there! Or if you are so inclined, you can find accessories galore on the internet for sale from websites such as www.myfairygardens.com. A fairy garden is a chance to rediscover the fun and wonder of gardening.
The Fairy Gardens will be judged by a panel of independent judges based on the overall design, creativity, imaginative use of live plant material (must have at least 2 live plants) and other components used. NO artificial plants or live animals can be used. Judges will determine the first and second place winners. Visitors may vote for one entry for the People’s Choice category between 10 and 11 a.m. Winners will be announced at 11:30 a.m and receive their prizes. During judging you will be able to enjoy all the market has to offer, fresh produce, organic meats and eggs, homemade breads and sweets and lots of arts and crafts. The Halifax Farmer’s Market is located at 209 S Main St, Halifax. Entry forms and rules may be picked up at the Halifax Extension Office, 171 S Main St, Halifax, Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or at the market during regular market hours. For more information, visit www.ssmga.org or call the Halifax Extension Office at 434-476-2147 option 0. Please put the Fairy Garden Contest on your list of the most fun things to do this summer.
Caption for picture: This whimsical fairy garden used multiple pots to create a tower design created by Kathy Thomas and her granddaughter Chloe Klingerman took first prize in the 2016 Fairy Garden Contest