This is a fairy tale of unexpected proportions. A story of unintentional fairy escapades!
It all started innocently enough.
Three years ago, on Pinterest, I came upon a photo of a charming garden with a little Fairy Door hidden by a shrub. Right then and there, I realized that our backyard was not complete! I, TOO, had to have a Fairy Door. And as soon as possible!
It made me remember, when I was a small girl around six years old, and my grandmother had a cement bird bath in her backyard. For whatever reason, the bowl of the bird bath was removed and left, turned upside down, on the grass. The next morning, when we went to return the bowl to its rightful place, we discovered the most intricate lacy pattern on the inside, made in some kind of magical way, by the long grass and dew making amazing marks in the dust that had been on the bird bath… it looked just like some kind of intricate lace.
My grandmother said it must have been done by the garden fairies. You’d have to know my grandmother – and her delightful backyard, to completely understand this. It was full of lovely flowers and ferns and little mossy spots. It was COMPLETELY credible that fairies lived in her garden. Especially to a six year old. And it was even more believable that Grandma absolutely believed they frolicked around at night. She might have even SEEN one. I’m pretty sure she did! This is just one of the many wonderful memories of my Grandma…
But, back to how I became an unintentional Fairy Godmother. It was the summer of 2012…..
And, on a beautiful late-summer evening, we invited our neighbors over for coffee and dessert in our backyard. They have two young children, a young girl, and her slightly older brother.
The girl caught a glimpse of our Fairy Doors and Gnome Home. “What’s that?” she asked, pointing to one. “Well, it’s a fairy door.” I said. Her eyes got as BIG as saucers. “You have FAIRIES in your backyard???” “Why, yes I think we DO! All these little doors just appeared one day!”
(And, YES, I DID just become my grandmother! And I’m not ashamed of it!)
So as the following Spring crept near, I decided that a fairy door should appear in her backyard. My plan was to sneak it in, while they were out, as a surprise for their whole family. I just knew in my heart that the parents would get just as much of a kick out of it, as the kids.
So, I carried out my plan. I saw them all drive off. I snuck into their yard and placed the Fairy Door peeking out from behind a rock, to the side of a big fern. It wasn’t super-obvious, but it wasn’t hidden either. A few days went by as I patiently waited… (well perhaps it wasn’t so patiently). A few days later, her Dad pokes his head over the back fence. “Guess what? It seems we have a fairy too!” he said with a wink and a big grin.
Finally, a day later, the kids discovered the door. And the little girl was especially excited. I was equally delighted to hear how excited she was. And that was where we THOUGHT the story would end… A happy little girl with a fairy in her backyard.
But, the next thing we know, she has left a note at the Fairy door asking their names.
Well, this was an unexpected turn of events…. But… We’re game!
Along with her note to the fairy, she included a teeny tiny piece of paper so the fairy could reply. It was an inch square! With a micro-fine pen, I wrote back to her. I decided there should be TWO fairies – a sister and brother – Petal and Thorn Willowbug.
And so it began…. After Petal and Thorn introduced themselves, it became an ongoing summer weekly routine. (The Fairies go to warmer climes, when the colder weather arrives… and the door disappears, as well.) But in Summer, every week she leaves a note, and sometimes a gift, for the fairies. The fairies answer all her questions and sometimes leave little Fairy Treasure. (Check out the Project Blog for inspiration)
* * *
We’re on Year Three now. She has no idea that it’s me. And I hope she never ever finds out. I *DO* hope that when she’s my age, she will fondly remember the mysterious and magical garden fairies. And MAYBE, she will do the same thing for her grandchildren or a sweet little neighborhood girl.
Over on the PROJECTS page, I will share MY Fairy Tales with you, pictures of the notes, projects and treasures left behind by the fairies, in hopes that they will give you some inspiration or fun ideas to share with your children, grandchildren, or a child full of wonder.
All the best,