Dolly’s Garden

Dolly Watt started her fairy garden near the entrance to her front door.

Dolly Watt’s certainly has the “creative” gene – she inherited it from her mother, who was always experimenting with new crafts at home while Dolly was growing up. Dolly later earned an associate degree in Graphic Design from Mohawk Valley College in Utica, New York. A native of Buffalo, Dolly and husband, Ray, moved to Peachtree City in 2003, attracted by the weather and the golfing opportunities. A priority for Dolly was to find a garden club.  “My house already had a beautiful garden and I needed to learn to keep it up,” recalls Dolly.

Dolly’s favorite vignette in her fairy garden is the stone house with pond and a little boy fishing.

As a long-time member of the Peachtree City Garden Club and former chair of the Hospitality Committee, Dolly is known for creative tablescapes she designed for each meeting’s refreshment tables and at the annual holiday brunch. Her designs are always off-beat and fun. Dolly’s objective is to “put a smile on everyone’s face!”

Small details make the miniature garden so charming – a fairy looks over a baby fairy in a nest in the tree!

Her garden is filled with whimsical creations that delight and make people smile! Because she is always battling wildlife (deer, rabbits, armadillos) Dolly decided to focus less on adding new plants to her garden and more on inventive yard art. A favorite focal point is her “Garden Lady” – a sophisticated “scarecrow” that she made using an ironing board, painted a bright blue, as the body, plastic pots as the dress sleeves, cat bowls to enhance her chest, swimming noodles for the arms and PVC piping for the legs.

One of the most popular pieces of art in Dolly’s garden is her “Garden lady” – made from an old ironing board, plastic pots, cat bowls, PVC pipe and swimming noodles.

Throughout the garden, you will find a collection of totems – yard art made with glassware found at yard sales and thrift stores. An eclectic collection of birdhouses are made from metal salvage – old pots, cans, lamp bases, measuring spoons and silverware. Asked what is her secret to making such creative designs, Dolly says, “I just keep playing with it until I like it!”

Dolly added pieces to her fairy garden until she had a village. She purchased some things online or at local nurseries and designed other pieces – fences with craft sticks, pathways and flower pots made with polymer clay and painted with acrylic paints.

Her love affair with miniature gardens began when she heard a talk at the garden club by Robin Porter of Millpond Nursery in Brooks, on tips to design a fairy garden. Later she noticed a Japanese maple tree right outside her front door, with an interesting trunk.  “The base of this trunk needs as fairy door,” thought Dolly. She ordered a door online and her obsession began.

Dolly’s first piece in her fairy garden was a door she added to the base of the Japanese maple near the entrance to her house.

From that single door, Dolly expanded to creating a whole fairy village, one piece at a time.  While some of her houses and accessories have been purchased at local stores, many she has made herself using polymer clay, cement, craft sticks and stones. Her daughter gave her one house as a gift, and Dolly made another house using an old bank her sister gave her. Dolly gathers ideas and inspiration from Pinterest and other online sites.

Scavenging in thrift shops, yard sales and antique stores, Dolly finds interesting pieces of glassware to design “totems” she places in the garden beds.

Dolly encourages everyone to find their inner whimsy and add something to their garden that will make people smile. “Look at what you already have at home and figure out how to use it in a creative way to make something else,” says Dolly. “Every garden needs a little fun!”


How to Make a Fairy Rock House

Supplies Needed: Rock, acrylic paints, paint brushes, UV- resistant clear acrylic coating, waterproof silicone

Step One: Find a suitable rock for a fairy house. Look in your garden, the woods or you can buy rocks at landscaping companies.

Step Two: Wash the rock and paint it completely with white acrylic paint.

Step Three: Draw your design for windows, door, etc. over the white and then fill in the design with acrylic paint colors. Let the rock dry completely.

Step Four: Use 100% waterproof silicone to adhere leaves or pine cones to roof of house. Coat the finished rock with UV-resistant clear acrylic spray (Krylon).

Step Five: Place finished rock house in the garden and add stepping stones, flower pots, and other accessories around the house. Craft sticks make great fences or bridges.

Bonnie Helander

I am a writer and blogger with a specialty in gardening and a proud graduate of the University Of Georgia. I live in Peachtree City with husband, Dan, and enjoy hiking, gardening, being a member of the Peachtree City Garden Club and rooting for the Georgia Bulldogs!

July 11, 2018
July 11, 2018