I first saw a fairy dress last year at Pinterest, a Victorian dress cage planted with succulents on a page that hosted water fountains, coffee cups, wreaths and bird baths with silver and jewel-toned waxy flower petals. Every Grandma in the old days had her little bed of Hens and Chicks. Back then I never took them seriously. But this was living art.
A year later a coffee sister sent me a picture of my fantasy fairy dress planted with succulents and said: "you should do this." She was right. I went on a quest to find the Fairy Dress pattern designed by "Pamela."
Next, I contacted Manakin Madness, that also hosted the Fairy Dress pattern, for the necessary dress cage with a bottom shelf that could support the weight of 130 succulents. This led to Heather who had two greenhouses of succulents she sold wholesale. My tax check was flying away from me fast!
Once the dress cage was with me, I ordered a grow light on a pole. I lay awake nights dreaming how I would create a Goth-Cinderella dress, visualizing exactly where each color of succulent would go. Once UPS delivered my plants I really have no memory of anything except flying boxes, unwrapping each plant carefully, inserting each rosette through the wire cage, layer by layer, covered by its own blanket of cactus soil. Lily the Goth-Cinderella dress stood before me in all her glory exactly as I envisioned her.
READING ON LILY THE FAIRY DRESS
I read plants like I do people. Lily was now under a grow light, beautiful and confident. I did a Spread on her in which I asked her what her energy was and if she had any messages for me.
Hello Lily, I said to her. How do you feel today?
Lily thanked me for being her angel, and was very happy in her new home, my studio.
Any requests Lily?
Give me two months to settle in. I need time.
As each day went by, I watched over her like a doting mother. Something was wrong. I was told to spray her roots but not to water too much. Her messages to me became stressed. She was beginning to have a worried deva feel. All around her healthy plants hung in windows, while Zen flute played on an iPod 24 hours a day. I felt she was making friends with the Rabbits Foot Fern.
Lily, should I take you to the Green House to root in? I'm concerned. You look thirsty.
What came through in the cards was a definite No! Please do not take me out of the house.
I began surgery on her bodice. Her String of Pearls roots was drying up. I had spent too many hours creating her, and I was Lilie's Angel and creator.
Like it or not, I needed to do what was best for her. A quick trip to the Prairie Peddlar in Iowa, gave me the information I needed. Jane took me to her amazing succulent greenhouse, and showed me how her plants existed beautifully in potting soil. She encouraged me to wrap my String of Pearls into the soil amongst the other succulents. "Water your dress well...a good soaking....and then after that once a month.
@ Lily needed an old-fashioned soaking, this was why she was so stressed.
@ The Cactus soil was not draining right. Her roots were bone dry. Not a nurturing foundation for her new roots to take hold. The poor girl was dying of thirst!
For 2 hours I carefully performed Fairy Dress surgery, gently pulling out her bodice plantings, scooping out her old cactus soil and replacing with Miracle Grow, drenching her top to bottom with warm water. I replanted her, intertwining her String of Pearls necklace, grouping the pastel jewel succulents. I turned on the overhead fan to circulate the air to prevent mold. It was in the fairy God's hands now. I went to bed and hoped for a cure.
The next morning I saw the grow lights go on exactly at 7:00 am. I walked over to the studio, and what a joy! Her entire essence of anxiety was gone! Her succulent looked colorful, plumper, and as if they had been on a vacation. A quick reading to see how she was doing confirmed :
Lily how are you doing today?
"Joy", "Creative new beginning", "Balance!" the cards exclaimed
For those that are attempting to create their own Fairy Dress, this is no easy task. The creation is only step one. Keeping it vibrant, rooted, attached, is the time-consuming part of the first 3 weeks. A transformation occurs, as your Fairy dress is as alive as you are, developing its own spirit and essence. Your job is to treat it like a developing child as it becomes comfortable with itself. And if you are a reader, communication with your Fairy Dress enhances the experience.
GROW LIGHTS FOR THE SERIOUS SUCCULENT LOVER
I have to laugh, but in searching for perfect lighting for Lily the Succulent Fairy Dress, I took suggestions from a medical marijuana growing site. My studio is surrounded by trees with extensive shade. Lighting is everything, along with circulating air, and all of this can be accomplished for a Fairy Dress with a good grow light or two, and an overhead fan.
I discovered the wonder of colored grow lights! Red lights promote growth and height. Blue lights are like weightlifting, giving plants strong sturdy stalks and leaves. Lily now has colored lights, which I purchased online, over her bodice which have an automatic timer set for four hours a day, in addition to her 12 hours a day natural sunlight grow light. The succulent colors have become vivid, and the plants are thriving. I am so excited about this! The Rabbits Foot Fern is shooting new fronds above Lily like crazy and the Impatience mixed in with the ferns have come to full bloom in May, inside the house. She looks a little weird, but for now, while she is still an infant, the colored lights will help her to lay strong roots and grow.
AND WHAT DOES LILY SAY ABOUT THE COLORED LIGHTS?
"I was lost, scared, and can't say these lights make me feel safe. But I respect your care, and for staying loyal to me."