Monday, July 7, 2014

Whimsy: Garden Fairies

Once again, like my bottle tree, my fairy garden comes out of a sense of whimsy and fun.  There's nothing spiritual about my fairy garden except how close I feel to God when working in the garden. Fairies are a playful way to add mystery and enchantment to the garden. The imagination can roam and swirl about in the fairy garden. As the newest addition to the garden it is still young and sparse but next spring  I imagine it will have filled in and plants that like the conditions will thrive and spread to fill the space as other plants may struggle. I do my best to consider light and water needs of plants that I place there but often there are unforeseen aspects we cannot plan for.  

The fairy garden gets late afternoon light, as it is under a large crab apple tree. A path running  roughly north south alongside the garden to the west offers two paths that converge in the center of the garden. The first path has red monarda on the left with a group of white astilbe. A small juniper on the right shades a patch of simple interrupted  ferns, all bright green and billowy. I bought a new plant this year just for this garden, Amsonia tabernaemontana or blue star-willow which should quickly fill in this next section on the right if it gets enough moisture. The other path comes around the other side of the juniper and ferns. On the right are Black-eyed Susans and daisies, as this edge gets more sunlight. The daisies bloom early while the Black-eyed Susans bloom late. Further in, there is Jacob's ladders and yarrow.  As the paths join in the middle, the combined path narrows, giving the feeling of distance.

It's bordered on either side by pulmonaria and wild ginger and finally  thick swatches of sweet woodruff. Further off to the left are may apples and  small bleeding hearts which I hope will fill the corner while jack-in-the-pulpits dot the right. They have beautiful burgundy veined hoods. I have one red trillium which, if I'm lucky, will multiply. All of the plants in the fairy garden are plants the deer don't prefer. Though the word Fairy is derived from the ancient "faunoe o fatuoe" which, in the pagan mythology, indicated the faun's (deer) companions, creatures endowed with power of foretelling the future and ruling the human events, I don't  care for the deer dining on my garden. They are welcome to join me in the garden as long as they're just passing through or resting a while in the shade.

The path ends at the base of the crab apple which must have a diameter of at least 24 inches. I like to play with visitors, checking to see if they can actually see the fairy door, in the tree, saying not everyone can. Children of all ages love feeling blessed enough to be among the few who can see it. All mossy and adorned with semi precious rock, acorns, walnut shells and lavender flowers it sits in the deep dark most of the day. At night the whole garden glows with the light from three fairy lights. My son Andy made them from jars and glass bowls with solar lights inside. They're very magical indeed, and bring me such joy. They also protect the garden from enemy zombie gnomes, but that is for another day.

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