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The Creative Cloister

Exploring the artistic roots of our Catholic Faith While ‘Sheltering in place’

The ‘Mairy’ Garden


**Posted during the pandemic shutdown**

Here is another great project that will get you outside, replenish your vitamin D, beautify a corner of your garden and give you a legit reason to play in the dirt.

Every good Catholic home will no doubt have a small plastic statue of somebody cool. Make that the centerpiece of your fairy garden to give it a heavenly twist.




• This is the perfect place to make use of those weird rocks that your children collect.

• leftover tiles from a bathroom renovation make great stepping stones. Give them a good rubbing with dirt to age them a little.

• You could make a woodland trail with packed down peat moss.

• Some years we have created fencing by cutting twigs into even (or an uneven pattern) lengths and wired them together.

• I'm looking for a clear straw that I can use to fake a bird feeder to hang from one of the tree branches. Maybe toothpicks for the perches. Fill it with pepper or some other spice that looks like seed.

• Moss is a terrific vegetation for this project. Check the north side of your house near the downspout. The bushy version looks very ferny. Keep the garden well misted until the moss sets in. This won't hold up in a sunny location.

• Check the garden center for the small-leafed plants that will fit the scale of a ‘Mairy’ Garden. Here are several great ideas.

• Add a water feature. Dig a ‘pond’ or a ‘stream’. Line the hole with two layers of black plastic from a heavy duty trash bag. Tuck the edges well under rocks and dirt to hide the plastic. Line the sides and bottom with rocks and natural aquarium gravel.

• It is important to bury the bottom of your ‘boulders’ to make them look like they’ve been there for awhile.

• We made a hammock one year with string and a couple of twigs. That was a good look.

• Got to have a fireplace. Twigs make great firewood. Pruning shears will ‘split’ the wood beautifully.

• I’ve used busted railings for the garden entrance. You could also create an arbor with wire.

• Natural aquarium gravel would make a great pebble mosaic.

• My pond is begging for a twig fishing rod.

• This whole project could be built in a terrarium too.

• Many of the sculptural pieces in our garden are leftovers from sand casting projects. That is another really fun, inexpensive craft. I have collected two or three nice wood carvings. Wet sand is leveled out in a box. The carved piece is pressed into the sand to make an impression and then carefully removed. Then cement or plaster is poured in. I’ve made really nice stepping stones this way – and busted several, but the pieces are still interesting.

Brought to you by the St. Martha's Guild of St. John Cantius Church in Chicago IL.


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