Among the shops and restaurants that form a part of Claremont Village, there is a gardener’s respite, an outdoor sanctuary of sorts devoted to miniature gardens. Its clever name, ‘Petals ‘n Wings’, succinctly distills the essence of this outdoor, gardening haven.
Imagine a composition of tiny, flowering plants tucked inside imaginative containers featuring those mythical, winged-creatures we know as fairies. I will not get into my own life-long fascination with the fairy world. Perhaps it is my Irish ancestry, but I am drawn to these wee creatures and the tiny world they inhabit.
It seems that one suddenly happens upon the secret garden of Petals ‘n Wings as they are making their way away along a string of retail stores and crowded eateries. It is a sweet surprise. The open air structure bids you welcome and you hardly hesitate a moment before climbing a few steps and entering the serene space. Instantly, you breathe deeply as the ambience calms you.
Vibrant plants of small stature are clustered by species on a collection of cast off furniture pieces set squarely on the paving stone floor. Nearby are bakers racks, whose shelves display tiny benches, watering cans, bird cages and an endless collection of adorable bits and pieces that will augment the visual art form known as the miniature garden.
All around you are finished compositions, both large and small that simply take your breath away. From tiered fairy gardens to gracefully planted seashells. As someone who finds gardening to be a form of contemplative therapy, Petals ‘n Wings is truly a song for your senses and the music is natural and spiritually restorative.
As you wander about this serendipitous space, you wonder if in fact you might be able to create one of these awe-inspiring little dish gardens. There are indeed tips to assembling a wee fairy garden and I learned first hand at a recent, Petals ‘n Wings, miniature garden workshop.
I was warmly welcomed by a member of the staff and the creative process of building a garden began immediately as I was encouraged to browse and choose from among the array of fairies and countless tiny, things artfully arranged in dishes and bins. Off I went to look at plants, containers and miniature, decorative accents. At your side, every step of the way is a skilled and happy helper who encourages your creativity and praises your ingenuity as she points out how to gently yet firmly press the plants into place correctly. You’ll want the surface of your miniature garden to be flush with the height of the container without untidy bumps, valleys and hills of soil.
The fun part is arranging your little world of fairy figures, garden furniture and different garnishes and flourishes that have caught your eye from among the tiny treasures. Once the plants are secured and your accent pieces are placed in a visually pleasing display, the final step requires a careful scattering of rock or gravel over the entire surface area of the soil. This is achieved with the simplest of implements, the humble spoon.
Petals ‘n Wings regularly offers miniature garden workshops. The staff is also open to scheduling workshops for groups and individuals. I encourage you to give yourself this gift of time in the open air of Petals ‘n Wings. Creative expression combined with gardening seems to speak to something very deep within ourselves. We leave this unique experience not only with a professional-looking fairy garden, but with a light heart and a happy spirit.
I invite you to enjoy the brief video that accompanies this article. It is the story of an afternoon at Petals ‘n Wings told in images. More importantly, make a point to visit Petals ‘n Wings in the near future. Address: 201 West Bonita Avenue Claremont, CA 91711 Phone: (909) 261-2929 Web-site: www.petalsnwings.com
Bridget Geegan Blanton’s writing career as a newspaper columnist, a web-site contributor, content writer and French language translator has found new expression as a novelist. Whispers on the Wind, Bridget’s debut novel was the first installment in the Celtic Heart historical fiction series that continues with A Woman’s Equal Share, due for publication in Autumn 2014. Join the E-zine and you’ll receive a free E-book: ‘Essential Oil Diffuser Blends and other Beneficial Recipes’ just for subscribing. http://bit.ly/1rMNT9h
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