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I do not think I truly understood the power of friendship until I was past my school years, well out of college, and physically separated from many of my friends by distance, as well as life experiences. As young people, we believe that the friendships forged through sleepovers, friendship bracelets, hours-long telephone calls, hobbies, and team sports will be those that stay with us forever. Sometimes, though, those friends whose relationships are substantive, sweet, and sustaining throughout our lives are those that are built through the simplest gestures: Kind notes; authentic care and concern; and even a text message or a phone call at the moment you need it most. Homemade gifts, such as a sentimental miniature garden, are another reflective display of friendship. True friends provide support through thick and thin. They accept your quirks and challenges. Therefore, genuine friends are invaluable!
Friendships can cross all of the borders that humans concoct - time, place, age, race, ethnicity, language, religion, or personal interests. Across the world, friendships are celebrated as life-giving forces. In fact, in 2018, the Mayo Clinic reported that bonds between people are not only enjoyable, but they have been shown to boost happiness, reduce stress, increase one’s sense of belonging, improve self-confidence, promote healthy behaviors, and help individuals cope with trauma and loss. Where would we be without friends and spending time together? The miniature garden fairies certainly know the importance of friendship. That is why they make time each and every day to have tea, play games, and spend time together in the fairy garden! The fairies love miniature garden visitors too. Friends can be those who are close to us physically—or those who we meet along the way.
Some of my closest and longest-lasting friendships were formed in the unlikeliest of places. I stumbled on one, a woman who daily makes me laugh, while visiting a petting zoo. I met another friend during an awkward, pre-teen summer camp experience—while we have (thankfully) matured over the years, we will never forget each other’s 12-year-old selves! I met my best friend on my first day in a brand-new city, and we now work together on hobbies. These are the people I lean on in tough times, and with whom I share my biggest joys. Though we all look, sound, and move through life differently, we cherish our relationships with one another. That is the amazing power of friendship.
Friendship in the Miniature Garden
At times, I am pleasantly surprised that I have maintained so many positive friendships. I am, of course, a self-identifying introvert. Over the years, I have been described as “shy,” “quiet,” and “a homebody.” I work hard to push myself outside of my comfort zone (aka the covers of beloved books, or the bounds of my backyard) and into a broader social circle. Introducing hobbies into my life has added new companions.
If you are most comfortable surrounded by miniature plants and fairy garden accessories in the miniature garden - that does not mean you have to go-it-alone. There are many ways to incorporate your fairy gardening hobby into your friendships and have fun at the same time!
• Host a miniature gardening party. Grab a few miniature plants, garden fairies, and small terrariums, as well as a bag of organic potting soil. Gather on the patio with friends new and old for a gathering that is both gardening-focused and social.
• Create “thinking of you” gifts inspired by your miniature garden. A potted miniature tree or even a garden fairy that looks like your BFF might be just the right pinch of joy that your friend needs.
• Take a class or join a gardening club. There are plenty of miniature gardening enthusiasts out there, if you know where to look! Check out your local greenhouse, garden store, or even an online community. Fairy gardeners love to share stories and swap ideas.
• Celebrate the International Day of Friendship by sending a miniature plant or miniature tree. Nothing puts a smile on someone’s face faster than an unexpected package in the mail. Include a note about how much love the friendship has “planted” in your heart and life. See? Miniature gardening and friends go hand-in-hand!
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