Story by Donna Iverson
Doll houses. Toy train sets. Miniature soldiers. Lots of us love miniatures. Small things intrigue us, like goldfish, bonsai trees, chickadees.
Add to that fairy doors opening into tree cavities, fairy houses and fairy gardens. If you search around your neighborhood, you are likely to stumble across one of these delightful creations.
Fairy doors are fairly common in Michigan, especially in Ann Arbor which has a love affair with them. These diminutive doors, about 6 to 8 inches high, are found throughout the downtown area, ...numbering up to a dozen small portals nested in city tree trunks.
Residents can leave messages and gifts for the fairies who pass through them ..including small thimbles of honey, shiny objects and copper pennies, their favorite metal.
While fairy doors hold a magical attraction, I am more intrigued with fairy gardens. Fairy gardens often include a fairy house, real plants like creeping thyme, small pebbles, and furnishings sized for fairy beings.
Plants especially attractive to fairies include sunflowers, honeysuckle, yarrow, lilac, daisies, coneflower, lavender, and basically any flower attractive to butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.
Miniature edibles are also a nice addition including cherry tomatoes, wild strawberries, and baby carrots.
The design is as unique as the gardener creating them. If this interests you, there are two approaches: you can go out and buy everything you need to create a fairy garden from a hobby shop or even big box stores. A wooden birdhouse could easily be transformed into a fairy house. And that gnome in your garden will reassure any fairy that your yard is a safe space.
Or, you can take the DIY approach, and begin scavenging for the needed items ..maybe make your own fairy door from a small rectangle of wood. Find a favorite tree to attach it to and then add found pebbles, miniature plants and some doll-sized furniture. This is the recommended approach as fairies prefer nature materials and appreciate the humans who offer them a natural habitat.
Fairy gardens can also be created as indoor gardens, perhaps built on a small surface, like a coffee table. Some fairy garden creators will want to draw out their plans ahead of time and maybe even make a list of needed items. Others may want to start with one item like a fairy house, and add items as they are found or made.
Whatever your approach, you will enjoy creating your fairy garden and imagining the diminutive creature it may attract. Which brings us to the question, do fairies really exist? I'd like to think so. Because if the quantum physicists are correct, that we live in parallel universes, then surely fairies must inhabit one of them.