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Fairies have been revered and feared, sometimes simultaneously, throughout recorded history. But ask any child about fairies and their eyes will light up with delight and curiosity at the thought of magical little beings inhabiting the surrounding woodlands and hills. But loving fairy lore is not just for kids; some adults think its pretty wonderful as well (::sneaks hand up::).
The mystique and lore behind fairies began long before Disney came up with Tinkerbell and Periwinkle. The idea of fairies among us may seem novel and new, but the belief that fairies exist dates back centuries in countries like Great Britain, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. In the U.S., the state of Maine has cultivated a vibrant fairy culture including a permanent fairy house village on Mackworth Island.
The legend has it that fairies are not very good home builders because everything they make blows away in the wind or falls down during changes in the seasons. Therefore, sprites are always on the look-out for places to live; which could be human-made fairy-friendly structures in the woods or even in our own gardens. The rumor is that, if you make a little spot just for them, they will move right in.
Fairy gardens and fairy house building are two activities that were virtually unheard of years ago but are now gaining in popularity as a fun, colorful and whimsical way to express creativity and spend time outside.
What are Fairy Houses?
Fairy Houses are small structures for the fairies and nature’s friends to visit. This human-made house is constructed solely of elements of nature like sticks, bark, dry grasses, pebbles, and pine cones. Special care needs to be taken by fairy house builders not to destroy living things or introduce man-made products into their designs. The responsibility of our earth is said to be very important to all fairies. Fairies are also attracted to happiness and beauty so creativity can range from a rustic to intricate “fairy mansions,” to whimsical and simple habitats built by children.
To best way to create a fairy dwelling is to find a quiet place away from roads and busy areas such as much traveled walking paths and trails. The bases of trees are favorite places, as are stumps, logs, large boulders or natural hollows in tree trunks. Using only nature’s supplies like fallen branches or sticks or cut brush, fairy house builders can create tee-pee-style abodes for fairy friends.
Decorating the inside of the house can be achieved by using items like leaves for beds or rugs, pieces of moss or wood fragments for chairs, acorn tops for footstools, flowers or feathers for decoration, pine needles for carpeting, pine cones for couches, berries from trees as fairy food, pretty rocks for stepping stones and seeds from trees as fairy food. Builders also need to be mindful to keep their houses small. If it is too big, no fairy would want to live there because it will be too obvious.
A fairy house is supposed to be anonymous and hidden so that it remains a mystery as to who made it. Its all part of the magic 🙂
Fairy Houses -vs-Fairy Gardens
Fairy gardening another fairy-related activity that is basically creating scenes and landscapes by using small plants and accents right within gardens or pots that are in your own backyard. The popularity of fairy gardens has grown steadily over the last five years and people seem to love them not only for the beauty and creativity but as an opportunity to work with plants on a small scale. Fairy gardens are literally a living garden in miniature form. It also inspires limitless creativity for families, gardeners, and nature lovers.
The main difference between the two is that Fairy Gardens are meant to be highly visible and shared. They are also made up of many man-made products that are cutes, colorful, and whimsical.
Like with fairy houses, there is no right or wrong way to create a fairy garden. Anyone who wants to construct their own fairy garden just needs to keep in mind things like scale and location. Plants should be chosen to reflect a fairies miniature world and indoor gardens may require different types of plants than outdoor because of sun/shade requirements. Adding color and texture to fairy gardens can be achieved with plants like plants like Lady Fern, Creeping Wintergreen, tall grasses, mosses, clover, Coleus, Snow Rose, succulents and even herbs like thyme, rosemary and lavender make for enchanting habitat for fairies.
So whether your fairy aspirations involve a hike in the forest or a walk in your own backyard, fairy houses and fairy gardens are two “very fairy” ways to encourage families to get outside and unplug for a while. Either activity also offers a creative way for kids to get to know about nature, use their imaginations and enjoy the wonders of nature.
Something To Do
What better way to discover new ways to explore science and fairies than with BOOKS! I am thrilled to bring you a delightful book from author Donni Weber, creator, and owner of FairyGardens.com, The Magic Onions Blog, and The Magic Onions Gift Shop. Her newest book, Magical Miniature: Gardens & Homes-Create Tiny Worlds of Fairy Magic and Delight with Natural, Handmade Decor, is making fairy seekers giddy with glee far and wide.
Create Whimsical, Miniature Gardens with Handmade Fairy Furnishings
From low-maintenance desert fairy gardens to tin towns for town-loving fairies, adults and kids alike will enjoy creating their very own miniature worlds. Complete with handmade décor like spool chimneys, magical signposts, goldfish and water lily ponds, birch and pine-thatch houses and more, your gardens will transport you into your own fairytale.
Donni Webber guides you through preparation, planting and crafting magical, miniature accessories with natural materials. These adorable projects are a perfect escape from the mundane and will provide whimsy in your home, backyard or office. Children will love customizing their gardens as they imagine fairy folk visiting the charming homes and walking along the little stepping stones.
I invite you and your family to immerse yourself in the magic of fairy houses, while fostering your love of gardening with fairy gardens, with this cheery, inspiring book. Happy Gardening!
Finding Fairy House Building Materials
When creating a fairy house in forests or parks, it’s important to remember to use as little live and growing supplies as possible. Fairies would not be pleased if they knew you disrespected Mother Nature in order to make their home.
Be respectful of plants that are growing. Try not to disturb plants that are still living, such as ferns, mosses, and flowers. Fairies are careful not to harm anything that is growing.
Find a quiet place away from roads and busy areas such as much traveled walking paths and trails. The base of trees is a very popular place, as well as leaning sticks and logs, driftwood or tree trunks. Large boulders or stones also make nice places to build your fairy houses.
Sticks, rocks, pebbles, moss, leaves, vines, flowers, nuts, pinecones, pine needles, small bush clippings, seashells, and seaweed all make great building materials. As long as it’s natural it’s perfect for fairies and other friends of nature.
Why not add an element of fun with this DIY Fairy House Furniture and Adventure Map!
As parents, we want/need quality books with extension activities to help our young ones unplug and create memories. Pulling books from shelves, and stories from pages is also an important act that will the habit of being life-long readers. Quality books with companion book extension activities are not only working to create special family time, it allows kids to solve the world’s problems without major consequences. A Year in the Secret Garden is just such a book.
This delightful children’s book that is co-written by Marilyn Scott-Waters and Valarie Budyar and it offers original month-by-month activities that allow readers to delve deeper into the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden.
Within the 120 pages (with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities)families will find many activities inspired by The Secret Garden that encourages them to step away from technology and enjoy getting hands and feet into the black earth of a family garden. This book will make a great gift and be the catalyst of many hours of family growth, learning and FUN!
Grab your copy ASAP and “meet me in the garden!” More details HERE!