The Entrance to Pixie Hollow, Disney World Parks
Photos © by T. Witt and D. Hershberger
“There are fairies at the bottom of our garden.” —Rose Fyleman–
Today, June 24, is International Fairy Day, started by fairy artist Jessica Galbreth. So, I thought it might be fun to feature faerie gardens today. If you love miniatures, creating one of these charming vignettes for your garden may be just the thing to carry your love of dollhouses outdoors and, if you happen to believe in faeries, you might just attract some to your garden. But don’t watch too closely if you see something flitting around in the twilight. It is said faeries don’t like to be spied on. So, just enjoy the vignettes you’ve created and let your imagination run wild.
I don’t have a faerie garden—yet—but I did love playing dollhouse with my daughter when she was little. We also spent quite a bit of time playing with Rose Petal and her friends, who were little garden faeries.
Miniatures have always enchanted me. As a child I loved the book The Borrowers, which is about a family named Clock who live under the floorboards. They create everything in their minuscule home from things they “borrow” from the family who lives in the house. Matchboxes become beds, spools of thread are tables, doormat fibers are turned into scrub brushes, and so forth.
The Borrowers, first published in 1952, is the first in a series of children’s fantasy novels by English author Mary Norton. The Borrowers won the 1952 Carnegie Medal and in 2007 was selected by judges of the CILIP Carnegie Medal for children’s literature as one of the ten most important children’s novels of the past 70 years.
The Borrowers has also made film history, In 1997 the book was made into a British film, and in 1998 it was nominated for the title of Best British Film in the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards. More recently, Disney released The Secret World of Arrietty this past February. Another version of the beloved book The Borrowers.
So what does all this have to do with Faerie Gardens? Rather than purchasing premade Faerie Gardens, which are very charming, consider creating yours with borrowed things from your home, like the Clock family did.
Or, you can get creative and use as many natural products as possible, because faeries, especially flower faeries, prefer natural, organic habitats.
Faeries also love flower-filled habitats with scent, texture and music, so add some wind chimes to provide music for their evening balls. Those who believe in garden faeries say every flower has a faerie watching over it, monitoring every aspect of the flower. So be sure to include plenty of color and varieties of flowers in your garden. The following flowers are the ones most associated with faeries. They include:
- Foxgloves—the classic faerie flower, also called Faerie Thimbles, is used by faeries for caps and gloves. This is a stately flower in the garden. Plant it at the back of the border.
- Snapdragons—these annuals readily reseed and can provide years of garden joy without much work.
- Bluebells —said to be used to make faerie music.
- Cowslips—used by faeries as umbrellas
- Poppies—make sure you mark these clearly as they look like weeds when they come up.
- Thyme—a fragrant herb. Faeries are drawn to fragrance.
- Lavender—very fragrant and good for dry places.
- Rosemary—also good for dry spots
- Lilies—an easy to care for perennial. I have loads of day lilies in my garden. If you want fragrance choose Oriental lilies.
- Scented roses—Knockouts are nearly carefree.
- Jasmine—a Southern staple for hot-zone gardens.
- Violets—the faerie queen is believed to reside in patches of violets.
- Hollyhocks—an old-time favorite in cottage gardens. They are susceptible to rust so you might need to give them extra care.
- Daisies—said to be one of the best flowers to attract faeries. They look wonderful when massed in any garden and provide plenty of flowers for cutting.
Marigolds—a favorite of mine. I love the spicy scent of marigolds and they are great for keeping nematodes out of the garden.
- Any native wildflowers—choose what works best in your area for carefree gardening.
If you want to include miniature plants in your faerie gardens consider using:
- Wooly thyme—makes a lovely low-growing carpet, perfect for the grassy area surrounding your faerie house. A sun-loving plant.
- Irish moss—also a low growing carpet. Requires shade and is not drought tolerant.
- Blue star creeper—has lovely blue flowers.
- Cranesbill—also known as perennial geranium.
- Brass buttons—another low growing carpet-like plant.
What about you? Do you like Faerie Gardens?