Generally, the fairies and hummingbirds arrive at the same time and both were a bit late arriving at the Fairy Slope this year. I’d dawdled with preparations, as the original plan was for a group of young Girl Scouts to come and do the setting up, arranging of furniture, and plantings this spring. I’d even prepared a few fairy-related crafts for them to do while here (making stepping stones and pennants.) Of course, the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” changes cancelled that plan.
So, the “Tete a Tete” daffodils came and went, and the fairy cottages were still under the shelving in the basement. The miniature hostas emerged, the brunnera bloomed and still I dawdled, perhaps thinking that the virus would magically disappear and my helpers would come. Eventually, realization settled in, and one very hot afternoon, working in the somewhat shaded area of the Fairy Slope seemed suddenly appealing. First the area was given a bit of tidying, and some of the pieces of bark that had been washed from the garden onto the nearby patio were retrieved and replaced. Then the first house came out.
Some new columbines were planted last autumn, which make a dainty little grove surrounding the mushroom table and stools on the right. The stepping stones were made by the last group of fairies that attended our final “Fairy Day” at my herb farm, so they are special to me. This cottage is situated under the lilac, with hellebores in the background. A border of violas were added to the left. There is lots of space left for dancing.
The left cottage has a white garden for the most part. A border of sweet alyssum outlines the area for a little bistro table and chairs. The circular bench is currently around a volunteer hellebore seedling, until I get a small “tree” to replace it, (usually a rosemary topiary, but I haven’t even made one this year! Or, maybe the fairies would prefer an umbrella?) and to the right of that is a miniature “White Angel” columbine. This little cottage has a bee skep and a bird house as well as a little forest of ceramic mushrooms. Since it is so sunny, I may add some leftover alpine strawberry plants. Fairies do love strawberries, you know.
The “French” chateau is a bit more elegant, with metal benches in its front courtyard, which has a metal fence and arbor entrance. There’s a little border of orange violas to its left, and miniature hostas spilling down the right. I’d intended to dig and divide several of the mini hostas for the garden club plant sale…maybe next year. And generally, there is a white-flowered Kenilworth Ivy climbing the arbor, or sometimes a purple-flowered asarina. Maybe the fairies will add it.
There’s still two boxes of “fairy” decor that could go in, but with no one visiting I’m taking the “if I drag it all out, I’ll have to drag it all back in come fall” approach, so this year the fairies will have to make do with a more minimal, simplistic neighborhood. Apparently, even their lifestyle is being impacted by Covid-related lethargy.