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Les jardins de fée
By Brianna Duff
When I was a little girl, my best friend and I spent our summers playing make-believe in our backyards. My house had a number of Virginia hardwoods above a span of moss where we would pretend to be maidens in distress or fairy creatures in the branches, and her backyard with its stream and tiny bit of forest was just across the street should our whims desire a true fairy tale setting. We would always leave presents for the fairies we were sure existed not just in our games, but also in the wilderness around us; our entire childhood was devoted to searching for those elusive little creatures.
Now, whenever I am lacking in inspiration, I take my computer outside to the porch and sit near the trees that she and I were once so certain held fairy queens in gossamer gowns and write my stories amongst the fay. The idea of those miniature people with wings is hard to let go of. And, if you’re like me and you still harbor a love for those creatures, you don’t have to.
If you create a fairy garden, the fay will come to you. Fairy gardens are wonderfully easy and perfect for the bit of a child still in you.
If you already have a garden established in your yard, then making it more fairy friendly requires only simple changes: add stones or shells among the flowers, hide miniature chairs and houses among the flowers where the fairies can hide, and hang wind chimes nearby so the music draws them in. You can also buy a hummingbird feeder since fairies often fly on the backs of those quick and agile birds, or hang lights to guide the fairies in the dark.
But, if you would like to be a bit more adventurous, you can create an actual fairy garden – one that is not only fairy friendly, but also fairy sized. Start with any kind of container you choose; you can make it quirky and use a whicker basket, old drawer, or glass dome, or you can simply use an old shoebox you have lying around. Fill it with dirt (deep enough for roots to take hold) and then add any plants of your choosing. You can use brightly colored flowers, moss, and plants that attract butterflies like hollyhocks, snapdragons, and columbine; or, if you want to keep the hummingbirds near, try honeysuckle or trumpet flowers. Try to arrange your flowers so that there are spots for the fairies to hide and play.
Now that you have the forest of petals built, you can use pebbles and other things you find lying around to create the world of the garden. You could burry a flower pot part way to create a secret cave, use an old saucer to make a tiny pond, make a tiny stone walkway, use a marble for a fairy gazing ball, and even make a miniature wishing well with blue glass beads for water. Be creative! The more miniatures you use, the more the fairies will feel at home. Hide beads for sparks of color. Use old dollhouse furniture. Whatever strikes your fancy.
Once you’re done, leave it somewhere outside where both the sun and the moon can reach it. And, if you’re very patient and you’re looking for wonder, you can sit outside on your porch and wait for the fay to come to you.