Sunday, August 19, 2012

Do YOU Believe?

Day 191
The Daily DuBrule

I've been away for a day. I've been in fairyland. Yesterday we held our first ever Fairy Festival at Natureworks. My staff has been so incredibly interested in fairy gardens and miniature landscapes that I thought it would be fun thing to do in August. I bought them a copy of Betsy William's book There are Fairies at the Bottom of My Garden, a classic on this subject. They scoured the internet and read many other books and presented to me the day's agenda. We were off!

By the beginning of last week we had a couple of people signed up. Oh well, we thought, it will be fun anyway and we'll make the best of it. Then the email went out and the newspapers all decided to run articles about it. By Saturday morning, we had over 50 people registered and the phone was ringing off the hook. It is important to realize that Natureworks is on one acre and that includes the shop, the outbuildings, the nursery yard, and the parking lot where we have 9 parking spaces. We are not a big place. We started to panic a little bit.

Meanwhile, for the weeks leading up to this festival we had all been gathering materials. All four of the landscape crews were asked to bring back bark, interesting roots, pods, seedheads, any natural materials they ran across to make fairy houses. Every employee picked from their own yards. The baskets and piles of cool stuff was stacked up everywhere. But 50 people? That's a LOT!

The day dawned and a steady rain was falling at 5 a.m. My heart sank. We have a tent but not a tent big enough to hold 50 people. I started to really panic. The weather report promised the rain would be over by 10 a.m. which happened to be the time the festival started. I took a deep breathe and drove into work, put on a happy face, exuded confidence, and pitched in to get ready.

The rain did end, the sun came out, everyone arrived, and we had a blast! We made garlands for our heads. I had to pick a giant basket of flowers from the gardens beforehand and that was fun and relaxing as long as I brushed the sleeping bumblebees off the blossoms first. We made fairy wands, stringing beads through ribbons. A challenge, for sure. We learned about fairy etiquette. They like to be called "wee folk" and "good neighbor". They are oh so polite. We made fairy gardens in plastic pots that everyone could take home using miniature plants and all kinds of colorful rocks, shells, and the natural materials we had gathered. We harvested seeds of love-in-a-puff and peeled back money plant seed pods to reveal silver dollars. 

The most fun for me was the last event of the day. The participants were asked to find a special spot in the Natureworks gardens and take our gathered natural materials and make fairy houses in our gardens to give our fairies welcoming homes. These little kids (and many adults, including a woman in her 80's with her adult daughter) totally got it. Below are some of my favorites.
Milkweed fluff was a big hit for soft beds for the fairies

Imagine the work involved to make this twig structure!

Variegated yucca leaves and a fence of iris pods

Paths led into the houses made of natural materials
I am so used to being SO serious about my business. My garden walks are always about pruning and deadheading and succession of bloom and organic insect controls. This was WAY outside of my normal comfort zone. Guess what. I donned fairy wings, wore a garland of stawberry runners, and had the time of my life. I slowed down to a child's pace and really looked at the wondrous world around me. Every rock, twig, shell, seed pod, and blossom took on a new meaning as I imagined the Natureworks resident fairies squealing with delight at what we had all done for them. If only I had the energy to sneak back in the middle of the night to watch them dance in fairy rings and enjoy the twinkling lights of their celebration. Alas, I was asleep by 9 p.m., deep in dreamland.


  1. I wish I didn't have to work yesterday, I would have loved to have come. Can't wait to see the pictures Diane posts. I'm sure you'll have an annual fairy party every year now.

  2. Sorry I missed this! I always work on Saturdays- but what great ideas!