Fairies Part Two

Rosa polyantha ‘Fairy Queen’.


Welcome to the second installment of our fairy posts in preparation for midsummer’s night eve, coming up June 20, the night before the summer solstice. We are giving our full attention, or whatever available attention is left over after dealing with the normal travails of living, to the enhancement of the garden with the wee folk in mind. Research has been done to bring our vision into clear focus for the job at hand. The rose shown above, Fairy Queen has been a first class performer in the garden here. A gift from Semi a few years ago, it was moved to better soil last year and has given much delight. The fragrance is sweet and the flowers keep coming all season. We bought another one when it was spotted at a local nursery. We highly recommend it to all.
It is difficult to provide ample toadstools for the fairies to sit upon, under and around when we are having a continued drought. The decomposition of the large stump of Ferngully to soil helps quite a bit. We have planted a new shade garden around the large stump with hydrangeas, primroses, rhododendrons and wildflowers. These new plantings require ample water from the hose to make sure they settle their roots in properly, giving the moisture necessary to grow the fungi.
It has been learned that the fairies love the same plants as the hummingbirds and butterflies. Since we have been planting the garden to attract those desirable inhabitants for many years, many of our flowers please everyone. Bell or trumpet shaped flowers are favorite feeding spots for beings with long beaks or rolled up tongues. The lip of the flower allows a place to perch while feeding and a place for a nap for the fairies. Shown above are penstemon ‘Husker Red’, salvia greggii in several colors and blue nigella in the background.
Sprouting very close to the the decaying trunk of ferngully, this is a cushey looking seat for a tired little one, complete with small pieces of wood scattered around the area by the numerous woodpeckers that are carving the old maple into a vision of nature at work.
The individual petals of echinacea ‘Sundown’ are showing color. These flowers bloom for many months and are favorites of hummers and butterflies. Several of the new ‘sky’ series were purchased last summer and we look forward to their return this year with renewed vigor.
In the unused straw left over from the berry patch, this pleated top mushroon looks like more of a chapeau that a place for resting.
Planters along the long narrow gravel patio behind the main house offer a relaxing gathering spot for the fairies. The image of the green man cast in concrete should attract the fae to this trough planter gone wrong. It was meant to be a tall sided round container, but the sides fell off when it was unmolded too soon before the mix had set properly. Suitable for xeric plants only, this year it was planted with shades of blue succulents and the hi ho silver thyme, the only survivor from last year’s plantings. The fairies love stones, and may think these light turqoise ones are grand, like the humans here do.

A trillium flower is going over. It is hoped that viable seed is inside, to be dropped to the soil and sprout more trilliums. Lily of the valley and a moss fern, Selaginella braunii add to the woodland fairy appeal of this spot in the garden.

The miniature forest of rosemary topiaries looks like someplace the fairies could be comfortable for a midday nap.

The bed of scotch moss, sagina aurea, is soft and would tickle the fancy of bare fairy toesies as they nestle down for a siesta. Oh, to be able to shrink one’s self down to join them, it looks so cool and inviting on a warm sunny day.

The leaves of nastursium ‘Alaska’ are another of the multi purpose items found here. The flat round shape lends itself to proper bedding, a flotation device, an ankle length skirt or shawl, the uses are endless.

This tiny new hosta, Blue Mouse Ears is one of several mini leafed varieties planted around the fairy gazebo. The others are Kabitan and Sea Octopus.

We have berries and vegetables planted this year in a long narrow space between hedges of arborvitae and chamaecyparis ‘Gold Mops’. The crops are already feeding us, and the fairies are welcome to partake also, especially of the sugar snap peas. A bumper crop of those has them coming out our ears, so to speak. But this big perfect strawberry will be popped into the photographer’s ready lips as soon as the shot is taken. Yum, sweet as honey and warm from the sun, sorry fairies, can I interest you in some peas?


To catch up on what has been written before in this fairy series, click
here for part one.


I nearly forgot to announce the winner of the
Viola Beauty Pageant. Click
here to read that story. Getting the most votes was Gypsy. She sends sugary kisses out there in the blogdom to all who voted her way. Coming in second was Stream, and a three way tie for third for Elspeth, Isis and Jessica. Many thanks to all who voted!


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45 Responses to Fairies Part Two

  1. Zoë says:

    Fabulous, I could have stolen that Strawberry and eaten it right under the Fairies nose. I’d be a pumpkin by now if I had.

    Little story that might interest you, in England it is said that the Fairies don’t wake up from their winter slumber until they hear the sound of the Bluebells ringing in the woods each spring.

    Best Wishes,


  2. Frances, says:

    Hi Zoe, thanks for stopping by. I have read that the fairies want bluebells in their surroundings and we have planted some near the gazebo. They are finished blooming now and look like they are setting seed, hooray! I got the h. non scriptas, the real deal, to see if they would live here with our heat. So far so good. I want those fairies to be happy here!

  3. Gail says:


    Loveliness is happening in your garden! Your photos are perfect as is the story….I hope there’s a Part 3~

    I love the Salvia with the penstemon…nice together! Speaking of Salvia…do you have Nearly Rose, Dreamsickle or its near twin, Coral Nymph. Luscious colors. The first Salvia I fell for was Coral Nymph….tender but a good seeder.

    What Hydrangeas have you planted? Annabelle is the best for my soil…H arborescens.


  4. Frances, says:

    Hi Gail, thanks. Some of the volunteer seedlings are coral nymph, most are lady in red, a very few are white nymph. I bought some packs of the white this year for the yellow/white garden, trying to get some genetic whites in there for self sowing. The hydrangeas we have are Annabelle, nikko blue, lady in red, oak leaf Alison, Dooley, the precursor to endless summer that was found by Dirr in GA’s football coach Vince Dooley’s garden and sent to MN to be developed. My nikko blue will sometimes flower on new wood too, from whence dooley came. Last year was disastrous for hydrangeas. The fall before that, I had split up all the hydrangeas to spread them about. Most died, so what are left are small, but promising. The arborens are native here, growing in shady woods in the wild.Annabelle has larger flowers than the species.

  5. Frances, says:

    Hi Gail, I forgot to mention the two new ones, lace cap Hanobi and another lace cap from the grocery, don’t know the name.

  6. tina says:

    Frances, I think you might plant many extra strawberries for you AND the fairies, that one of yours looks good enough for me to eat!

  7. garden girl says:

    Frances, such an enchanting post, with enchanting accompanying photos!

  8. Dave says:

    Your garden looks quite habitable for the fair folk Frances! I like your green man planter. The mouse ear hosta looks like a good resting place for those little wings. Your echinacea looks like it is about the same stage as ours.

  9. Frances, says:

    Hi Tina, you are so right. We need lots more strawberry plants.

    Hi Dave, thanks. I bet your little ones would like a fairy garden, too! You seem to have the right attitude to attract fairies for them.

    Hi Linda, thanks for visiting and those kind words.

  10. Pam/Digging says:

    I like your blue-green succulent planter, Frances. Those pretty turquoise stones set the plants off nicely.

    Do you have ‘The Fairy’ rose in your collection, I wonder?

  11. Gail says:


    I have stuck with the H arborescens (species and Annabelles) along with Oakleafs because they require little extra care here at C&L. I am not wanting to water anymore than I have to this summer….and both tolerate shade beautifully. I saw Lady in Red at the nursery and her stems and branches are fabulous. Are these other hydrangeas the water hogs I think they are?


  12. Mr. McGregor's Daughter says:

    The Green Man planter is great even though it is not what you had planned. I think your fairies will love it.

  13. Nancy J. Bond says:

    All your flowers are beautiful — I especially like all the colors of your butterfly plants. But that strawberry caught my eye, too. I can’t wait for the first, juicy bite!

  14. Frances, says:

    Hi Pam, thanks. Last year that planter had a beautiful agave that did not winter over, even with my best efforts. So annuals from now on. The Fairy Queen is the red/dark pink form of the original Fairy rose, same habit and loads of bloom, great apple fragrance.

    Hi again Gail, Lady in Red is a looker. The plan is to water this first year after being moved and then see how they can survive with only rain. They would be the first to get watered in severe drought. The soil they are planted in around the decomposing ferngully is so perfect, that may help, we hope.

    Hi MMD, thanks. It has a fairyish look to it with the blue and the face. It is right outside my back door and it makes me smile every time I go out.

    Hi Nancy J., thanks for stopping by. This is my first attempt at growing strawberries, they are so delicious, and so few, they don’t even make it into the house. I love them warm from the sun, so sweet.

  15. brokenbeat says:

    your fairy story makes me happy. i await part three with bated breath. much love.

  16. DP Nguyen says:

    Your strawberry is such a delicious red! I’m hungry just looking at it. Mushrooms have always reminded me of fairies. I like to think they like hiding underneath them… like a big umbrella! 🙂

  17. Frances, says:

    Dear Brokenbeat, the narrative is feverishly being written for part three. So glad you are enjoying these. love.

    Hi DP, that strawberry was a pretty color. We were thrilled to find the toadstools in the garden, it has been fairly dry here. Thanks for stopping by.

  18. Terra Hangen says:

    That is a very creative miniature forest of rosemary topiaries.
    How fun to have a fairy garden. One of these days I will blog about my Mary garden.

  19. Amy says:

    Every garden most certainly needs a fairy! We have a native orchid here, a little pink beauty, called Fairy’s Slipper. I’ve always thought it had the loveliest, most magical name.

  20. Frances, says:

    Hi Amy, I googled your orchid and was stunned by its beauty! What an exquisite flower, and an apt name. Thanks for letting me know about it.

  21. Frances, says:

    Terra hangen, thanks for stopping by. The rosemary forest is a fave here. I would love to see you My Mary garden, do let me know when you have it up!

  22. The Giraffe Head Tree says:

    Exquisite, as always Frances! I’m particularly fond of the rosemary with scotch moss “feet.” Bring it on, honey. I am loving your blog more and more.

  23. joey says:

    Frances, you have great talent and a beautiful eye … a gift warming each heart that spends a moment with you! A visit to your garden is what gardening is all about.

  24. Frances, says:

    Hi Deb,wow, what a glowing comment! Thanks. Glad you like the fairy theme, there is more to come.

    Hi Joey, such kind words, thanks so much. Gardening is our obsession, we consider that a blessing.

  25. Lets Plant says:

    Wow, your pictures are amazing!!

  26. Piondröm says:

    I think…hm..a notice a fairies behind one of the trees in you little woods lieing in the grass 😉
    Beautiful pictures for a nice storry.

  27. Yolanda Elizabet says:

    Well, you’ve certainly researched the fairies very thoroughly Frances and no effort has been spared to make them feel very much at home at Faire Garden. I’ve just bought penstemon huskers red too and hope that the fairies over here will appreciate this new addition to the garden.

    BTW love the green man planter!

  28. shooting star says:

    loved the pics!!…ur doing a wonderful job with the garden..i have been thinking of starting amy own terrace garden..bought only one plant so far..and tending to it is proving much more than i can handle!!

  29. Wurzerl says:

    Dear Frances,
    what a magic fabulous post!! I love the Fairies and see them in your garden. The flowers are beautiful and I have a good feeling with your garden pictures.
    Have a great time

  30. Frances, says:

    Let’s Plant, thanks for visiting.

    Hi Ken, that makes me so glad that the fairies even show themselves in the photographs, thanks for pointing them out!

    Hi YE, thanks for your support in the effort to attract the fae. You are going to love the husker red, be sure and let it seed about and have a party with any other penstemons you may have for flower color variations.

    Shooting Star, welcome and thanks. Keep tending those plants, maybe pick one that is easier to take care of?

    Hi Wurzerl, glad to see you and thanks. Happy to hear you can see the fairies also, wonderful.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I can’t scroll through quickly enough to see all that is going into preparations for the solstice of summer. I always cheat and look at the pictures first. I love the places my brain goes when I read about the fae folk. The images are as clear as a pristine mountain creek with slimy rocks, broken twigs forming dams here and there, and so on. It is much fun.
    Love, CP

  32. Annie in Austin says:

    Part One and Part two have been lots of fun, Frances! I love the rosemary topiary – such an enchanting little grove.

    Can you grow Hawthorn trees in your part of Tennessee? Silvia at Salix Tree in Ireland made a post about Hawthorn trees as Fairy trees– you two are on the same wavelength ;-]

    Last June I wrote about hoping for fairies on Midsummer Eve. I’m an old stick-in-the-mud who uses June 23rd as the Eve and June 24th, the feast of St John the Baptist and one of the quarter days, as Midsummer’s Day.
    Since I live in Texas instead of the British Isles, maybe I’d better look for the little folk on both nights!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  33. Frances, says:

    Hi chickenpoet, it isn’t cheating to look at the pictures first, it is a high compliment. The most number one important thing about making a fairy garden is having the proper mindset. It sounds like you are there. love.

    Hi Annie, I love Salixtree,s blog, and read the Hawthorn post. We don’t have room for them, but feel the pyracanthas are very similar in thorn and flower, and we have loads of those. Good idea to try both nights, thanks, we’ll do that also. Thanks for visiting.

  34. Sandra says:

    Enjoyed the stroll with your “faire” through your lovely garden.

  35. Frances, says:

    Sandra, welcome and thanks for visiting. Glad you enjoyed your stroll.

  36. Gail says:


    Meant to ask earlier..how do you prune Fairy Queen…I have her and she is sprawling beautifully! J&P says she will bloom all summer but I don’t think she did in years past. Also do you feed her?

    When I saw your photo I went crawling under her canes to find the j&P metal tag! Fairy Queen she is, so much happier than The Fairy.


  37. Frances, says:

    Hi Gail, congratulations as the proud owner of Fairy Queen, she is one great rose. She was just moved to her happy spot last year, and has needed no pruning, daughter Semi has three of them and has never, and I mean never done a thing to them, they are huge, and always covered in blooms. I do feed mine, when I think of it, with the granular scotts stuff from walmart in the pink bag, cheapo, once a year. I just throw it on the ground around the base and forget it, all the roses get it except the knockouts, they don’t need it.

  38. rusty in miami says:

    Frances, everything so beautiful in your garden, I am sure the fairies will love it. Your Rosemary miniature forest is exquisite

  39. Frances, says:

    Hi Rusty, thanks. Glad you like the rosemary topiary, it has been a big hit. Hope the fairies like it as well. ;->

  40. Kathryn/plantwhateverbringsyoujoy.com says:

    Oh, you have outdone yourself. LOVE the fairy stories, Frances! (Are you a Pisces by any chance??)

  41. Frances, says:

    Hi Kathryn, thanks so much. I am not a pices, but rather a very stubborn taurus. The fairy elements in gardening seem so natural, the garden was really already very fairy friendly. ;->

  42. mss @ Zanthan Gardens says:

    That strawberry looks so luscious I want to cry.

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