My Mother’s garden is infested with fairies, it’s true. Not only do they live in her garden, they magically know exactly what the children who visit are up to. The fairies have been known to leave tiny “notes” under a series of rocks on a small wooden ledge in the back of the garden where they live. Each child has their own rock of course and if my nieces and nephew leave a note under those rocks, the fairies actually reply. Reading of these notes is a secret and special activity, and the only one who reads the children’s notes are the magical wee folk that reside in this backyard garden.
The children, ranging in age from 6 to 14 are absolutely certain of this fact. They all know that the fairies are there and that they seem to know details about their lives that only those who possess magical qualities would know, such as when a tooth is lost, or a report card is received. In the summer sunshine, you can see the flashing lights that flicker across the trees and fences indicating that the fairies are about. When the children arrive for a visit with their grandmother, they often insist that they have to go “check on the fairies” before any conversations can be had, they have their priorities straight, obviously. Even my eldest niece, now just into her teens, has not forgotten the magic that is ‘real’ and alive in our lives. She once asked me, “are they really real fairies”? I answered her, “what does your heart tell you?” We both agreed that even if other people don’t believe, there is no harm in us believing in fairies, magic only lives in the hearts of true believers, as does faith in anything.
So how do you know if you have an enchanted fairy garden on your patio, in your planters, in your backyard or garden? Simple, you need to put out the welcome mat and let them know they are welcome to stay. It is as easy as placing a note in the right place, or providing the Fae with a wee portal, a doorway through which they can magically enter our world for even a few moments. Creating a fairy space is just that easy, a few tiny items, whether made by your own hands or purchased from the amazing artisans who specialize in fairy accouterments, and the whimsical fun can begin.
Today’s Teeny Tiny post is dedicated to the magical thinking of childhood, and how you can bring just a little bit of whimsy and magic into your life with tiny Eco-friendly touches that turn out to be a great way to get children interested in nature, in protecting all the tiny creatures in their backyard, and someday, understanding that our world is worth the effort to save. Create your own fairy environment in your neighborhood, and use it as a launching pad to have a discussion with your children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews, about what is going on with the plants and animals around us.
There are many wonderful creators on Etsy, the home of the most lovely and accessible hand-made and vintage items for your home or garden, and some of them have a magical connection to fairies. They have an exclusive license to build and share the portals, landscaping items, and decorations for a perfect [and perfectly easy] fairy garden. Some of these items are meant for garden fairies, others are for the city dwelling wee folk, because let’s remember, fairies can live anywhere.
Many communities are creating bylaws banning the use of pesticides and herbicides, added chemicals that not only get into our water system, but can harm the natural order of the Eco-system. What does this mean? It means you will have a wilder garden to contend with, perhaps a few more dandelions or wild flowers, and you will have a lot more wee pollinators buzzing about. Our environment doesn’t need the chemicals, and neither do the children who love to roll in the grass and pick tiny budding flowers. So embrace a little less order in your garden and use it to your advantage. Weeds and moss at the base of a tree make the perfect place to tuck a small fairy portal, it will be naturally camouflaged. Fairies are more partial to wild spaces, or so I have heard.
Why do the fairies in my Mother’s garden leave notes for the children? I think it is because they know my mother, a former teacher, appreciates that the children have to read the notes and respond to them by writing back. It is a lovely little tradition she has started with them all, and it is a secret activity that makes the kids enjoy the visits to her backyard even more than you might expect. I have seen how thrilled they were to find these secret letters, and how upset they were when none was found for lack of their writing back in a timely fashion. My mother has to be quite stealth sometimes in being certain these letters are ‘in place’, sometimes the printer in her office begins magically producing multiple small notes on a single 8 1/2 x 11 page of paper, all in the most charming pastel coloured ink, just ready to whisk away and into place under the specific rocks on the ledge.
This is a small sampling of some of my favorite fairy garden must-haves, and the links to the shops where you can buy these itty bitty magic-infused items. Start planning for your spring garden now, and you will be all set once the nice weather arrives here in the Northern Hemisphere. If you don’t have a garden, or live in an apartment or condo, as I do, think about a planter or a terrarium. There are many items on Etsy, not shown here, that are far more detailed and fragile, and not meant for outside use. If your child has severe seasonal allergies, or is hyper-sensitive to sunlight, then consider creating a plant free fairy environment. Even the tooth fairy needs a small doorway into our world. Some of these doors can go in a child’s room or hallway, and there are many decals available as well that can give you the look of fairy inhabitants without the 3D profile. Make room for some Teeny Tiny guests and have a little fun with your green space.
|A Fairy Light Catcher
In my Mother’s backyard, the most magical feature of her “fairy garden” is created by the most unbelievably simple process. In my first pass on Etsy, I didn’t come across any of these Fairy Light Catchers, but I can tell you how to make them in a snap. And give you a link to a supplier than can provide the raw materials you will need.
Items Required: Small mirror pieces (Clear or Colored), any shape, approximately the size of a quarter or smaller and one or more reflective glass beads or clear/plastic bead from your stash. Fishing line or other clear string, if you prefer to use a natural thin rope that is weather proof, you can still achieve a similar effect. A paper clip or ornament hanging hook. Hot glue gun or strong permanent weather-proof adhesive.
How To: Take two pieces of mirror (or a reflective glass bead) and place the two pieces so that the non-reflective sides are together. Create 5-8 pairs of mirrored pieces. Take a long piece of fishing line, approximately 2 meters (2 yards) in length. Place a bead (any sort) on the string and fold the entire string in half. Knot the string, or tie it, so the bead is secure. Open one set of mirrors and add glue to both back (dull) sides of the mirror. place the string over one of the mirrors, just a few inches (8cm) from the bead, then place the paired mirror over the string so both reflective sides are facing out. Continue this pattern, adding mirror pairs up the length of the fishing line string. Finish the strand by placing the ornament hook or paper clip at the top end of the string, tie it firmly in place.
You now have a strand of reflective garden fairies or Fairy Light Catchers. Hang from a planter hook, branch, or other object in the garden so that the strand can move gently in the breeze and catch sunlight. Light reflected from the mirrors will appear to “dance” over your garden, fence, and trees, and plants. It gives the appearance of small moving “fairies” over the surfaces in your garden. You can experiment with length of strands, beaded accents, and size and number of mirrors to achieve the effects you desire. These Fairy Light Catchers hard to detect from a distance, as they blend in with the leaves and trees around them, and that is why they appear to be so magical.
If you are big on the Upcycling, and we all should be, try using broken shards of old DVDs or CDs, or any other reflective do-dads instead of mirrors. You can also create really long strands, several feet in length, that you can drape over a long tree branch or fence post or wall. It really depends on what you have to work with in your area. Enjoy!