Wee Gardens and STEM-H Coming to Halifax

Fairy Gardens can be made in containers or in the ground as this garden in Carol Nelson’s yard. Join Carol on July 17 as she shows you how to make these miniature treasures.

The Southside Master Gardener Association will hold a program on Creating Fairy Gardens on Friday July 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the South Boston – Halifax County Museum. On Friday July 24 at the same time and place will be a presentation on STEM-H in the Garden. These programs are free and open to the public but reservations are requested by calling the Halifax Extension Office at 434-476-2147 or e-mailing ask@ssmga.org.

Fairy Garden interest may have been inspired by the Bonsai dish gardens displayed in the Japanese Pavilion at the Chicago Worlds Fair in 1893. However, gardening for Fairies is a much older art and was based on fear that not all Fairies were friendly. It was best to offer a small place for a Fairy to rest in a miniature landscape that might encourage a malicious Fairy to do no harm or a friendly Fairy to visit more often. Today Fairy Gardens bring to mind small containers with miniature plants, tiny pieces of hardscape like seats and arbors and of course some Fairies, Gnomes or similar magical characters.

The beauty of Fairy Gardens is that because of their small size it is a wonderful way to involve children in gardening. Kids just love to help pick out the plants and small items for the garden. Being involved in the building of the garden and the maintenance can teach all respect for growing things and a love of playing in the dirt.

Master Gardener Carol Nelson will show you how to create these special places where plants, creativity and craftsmanship come together. Learn how to scale down your garden to create a scene in a pot or in the ground that fairies just might visit. There will be a Fairy Garden Contest on Saturday, August 29th and this will be a great opportunity to learn the basics so you can create your own award winning design.

Another program entitled STEM-H in the Garden will be presented on July 24th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Museum. This program was first presented at the STEM-H Summit in Danville in April. As gardeners we use science every day in tending our own gardens and in teaching others about respect for the natural world and the love of growing things.

Master Gardeners Ben Capozzi and Kathy Conner Cornell will cover several types of gardening related projects to be done with youth to help enhance their skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Health as well as the important skill of teamwork. Some of these projects are very simple for younger children and others more complex that would appeal to older youth. The class will do a make and take native bee house. These bees are important pollinators and are especially to be protected with the decline of the honey bee. This class is open to everyone who works with youth either in the classroom or at home and mature youth are invited also.

Take the chance to get out of the heat and put Fairy Gardens and STEM-H in the Garden on your summer to do list. The museum is located at 1540 Wilborn Avenue in South Boston. To register or to learn more about the Master Gardener program call 434-476-2147 or e-mail ask@ssmga.org.