Fairy Garden: Tripping Through Thyme!Posted: April 12, 2015
I feel like a little girl again. Perhaps an “old” little girl who appreciates detail, beauty, and meaning.
My fairies arrived yesterday. I feel certain all the neighbors on Elsie Street heard my excited child’s squeal when I saw the box from amazon on my porch. “My fai-ries!”
I got the idea of creating a fairy garden from my sister. She’s a master gardener and was doing some spring refreshing of her lovely yard and decided to build a fairy garden. I’d never heard of that, but I thought about it and decided it would be a fun thing to do, something we could build together and compare—her in Memphis, me in Nashville. So I did a quick Amazon search, settled on a few cute fairies, and jumped into this brand new world.
I was expecting three four-inch, doll-like, winged creatures—cute, colorful, a nice addition to the little garden I’d prepared with herbs and perennial flowers and a tiny cottage and rocks I’ve collected on summer trips. I got far more. I have stumbled into a whole fairy realm of beauty. My fairies are collectibles designed by Cicely Mary Barker. They can hang as ornaments or become part of a special garden, sitting on wire picks provided. There are books and prints and poems.
I am deep into this. I woke up at two this morning thinking about my fairies.
Cicely Mary Barker was born in 1895 in Croydon, South London and received her education at home due to ill health. She taught herself to draw and paint and first published a set of postcards when she was sixteen. The publication of a series of Flower Fairies books beginning in 1923 brought her international acclaim as an artist. She produced charming Flower Fairies, botanically accurate illustrations, and accompanying storylike verses. How could I have not known about her works? I must have been reading too much of Alcott and Brink.
My first three fairies are Willow Tree, Wild Thyme, and Elder Flower. Willow looks like a dragonfly.
By the peaceful stream or the shady pool
I dip my leaves in the water cool.
Over the water I lean all day,
Where the sticklebacks and the minnows play.
I am shaping this year to be my creative year. Creative with words, yes. But also I plan to get out my oils and paint a mystical Delta scene on canvas. And now I am immersed in creating magical worlds of fairies and flowers—new little friends to visit each morning in my garden.
I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.
[Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream]