Next to woodland fairies, flower fairies and other garden fairies are the most popular and common. These sprites have been playing in our gardens since the first garden was planted, and reports of the “fey folk” been reported from all the European countries, including the far east and southern hemisphere. In short, fairy folk is a common legend found all over the world.
But are they, in fact, legend?
Ask any avid gardener and they are apt to disagree, although they are much more likely to be seen in the brush or less tended areas of the garden. These are the places we haven’t weeded as of yet, where the climbing roses run amuck, and the butterfly fairies prosper. (In fact, it is widely believed that you can tell a fairy by the color of the butterfly, as some are simply butterflies in disguise).
The areas that we consider weeds are the best place for the fairies to live, along with the smaller animals of the garden, like moles, turtles, and mice. These are the fairies that live at the edge of the garden and venture in to play, sing, and look for the little bowls of sugar and sweets that Grandma told you to leave out for them.
The bowls of sugar are offerings to the garden fairies in hopes that they will bless the garden and bring in a good harvest of vegetables or blossoms for cutting. This is why it’s so important to leave a little area of your garden untouched and to set out little offerings for them. And if you follow some 17th-century steps, including choosing the right time of year, you just may be able to see the little garden fairies for yourself.
How to See Fairies!
“Mix together one pint of light oil with rose and marigold water prepared from flowers picked at dawn. Add four buds of hollyhock, thyme, hazel, and marigolds plucked from an area you believe Fairies may dwell as well as a sprig of grass from that same area. Do not use greens from your flower garden, and if you find a 4-leaf clover, much better. The mixture should sit in the sun for three days. Strain the oil and apply to the eyelids to enhance your sight but do make sure it doesn’t get into your eyes.”
Then on the night of June 21st, midsummer night, the fairies can speak the tongue of humans for a time. This is your best time for trying to see them! Look for them in fairy rings (a circle of twelve flowers where none should grow) or in a grove of mushrooms at the edge of the woods. In Italy, the traditional fairy night is January 6th (twelve nights) and of course, May Day.
If you are honoring of your garden fairies they will help you with gardening questions. You must speak quietly and walk respectfully–barefoot–and always leave the fairy folk some sweets. Ask the questions and listen to the voice in your head. Fairies can communicate with humans through telepathy and could become quite annoyed if they think you are not listening. Flower fairies in particular love ladybugs, so don’t be surprised if you hear them telling you to let some lose in your natural habitats.