Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It's Time for Fairy Houses!

A month ago my daughter informed me the Elina lives in a peony. "Ah..." I responded, "Doesn't she know about fairy houses?"

I had seen the fairy house series by Tracy Kane when I visited my local Audobon Center a few years back. So, I knew a little about fairies. I knew the time would come when I would need that book and it seems that today is the day. Elina is a much loved Barbie fairy in the Fairytopia series. My daughter is also reading about Tinkerbell's Disney fairy world. In case you are not up on your little girl contemporary literature, I should tell you that Tinkerbell is now a star unto herself. She doesn't need Peter Pan. She's got her own little world in Neverland and is surrounded by fairy friends. Then, finally, my daughter is reading about the lesser known Rainbow Magic fairies. In the Rainbow series of books, nine year old girls one day discover that they are fairies. So, you can see...If I hadn't known fairies were going to be a hot topic in my garden this spring I would have had to say that I was not paying attention.

Near our peonies, which are just starting to poke out of the ground, we piled sticks together in a teepee shape, tied string around the top, and covered it with pine branches.


"Yes, dear."

"How will Elina find our fairy house?"

"She'll smell the peony and come looking for it and since our house is right next to it, she'll find it. That's why we need to do a really good job and make it so pretty that she'll want to live here and not in the peony."

We took last year's dried flowers that I clipped from the yard to make the house "pretty."

Now, my daughter is only four, but she's a pretty bright kid. I'm know that she knows that fairies aren't real. Yet, four is that magical time when reality and make-believe mix so beautifully. We amuse our little ones imagining if the Easter bunny is tiny, but super strong so he can carry an Easter basket. Or, maybe he is big, like Daddy? (I wouldn't want to meet that bunny in a dark alley) Santa comes down the chimney to get in the house. (I like to now picture him using flue powder like they do in the Harry Potter books. And then, of course, there's the tooth fairy. My daughter has had a special pillow for this magical fairy since she was born. One day, when a tooth falls out, she will tuck it in the pillow flap so the little lady can easily find the tooth and leave my daughter a treat instead.

But the magic goes beyond the age of four when it comes to fairy gardens. Almost every true gardener I know has some kind of fairy in her garden - a statue, a doll on the windowsill looking out at, a fairy presence that she says she can feel. And why not? When we garden, the magical feeling of nature is alive all around us. A fairy is just a personification of the garden muse we feel on our shoulder when we are out in the yard deep in our own thoughts, beautifying our surroundings. I like my four-ear-old reminding me that I may be tidying up for a little fairy to appear. It's nice to think of my handiwork and cooperation with nature as part of a fairy story. I hope that my daughter never loses that innocent spirit that allows her to believe in fairies. I'm so glad that she brought them to me too.

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