Tuesday, February 9, 2010

No Hocus Pocus in this Garden

The little visitor exclaimed, "It's a BUTTERFLY Garden!" as butterflies fluttered toward her. She went home with a paper bag of  'Rose de Rescht' petals secured with a huge tissue paper rose.

Dave of the Home Garden challenged us to describe what makes a garden truly magic. He mentioned mystery, too. He also mentioned that children inhabit his garden. The best magic in the garden is seen though the eyes of children.

The most magical element in the garden I know is leaf mold, a component of compost. That is the magic that grows flowers.

Sometimes the garden becomes a zoo, complete with Tigers.

  Zebras join the tigers, but they peacefully co-exist.
Other butterflies visit nectar-filled flowers.

With a leaf for a flag, I stuck up a piece of fallen oak limb with shelf fungus on the bottom end.
Beside it is a burl piece of petrified pine. All year I collect bits of bark, fallen limbs with fungus growths and mossy stones, putting them in and around my fairy garden. Once a year, I construct an ephemeral fairy house, the bits of which fall down eventually and become detritus of the fairy garden.
Daffodils are up and budding, but no blooms yet in 2010.
The smallest daffodils bloom in the fairy garden,
in sight of the stick house -- could that be a mystery?

A knot in an oak tree, just in a child's reach,
makes a delightful fairy mailbox where messages can be exchanged.

Tiny tea sets are set for fairies, or for children to play.

One of my fav games in the garden when Crape Myrtle blooms is Grandmother's Purse. Pinch a closed bud and Grandmother's hanky appears. Pull out the hanky to see Grandmother's gold.

For several years, I've maintained a shady spot called the 'Aquarium Bed' filled with plants with names related to the sea: Shell Ginger, Shrimp plant, 'Minnow' daffodils. Faux fish swim in my imaginary aquiarium. Pink alyssum grew in a snail shaped container.

The magic is in the senses of the visitor; 
 singing of  birds, unfurling of blossoms and visits of butterflies.

What's Magic in Your Garden?
Don't forget to visit Dave and tell him about yours.


  1. Magical alluring post Nell Jean!! A treat for children and older ones too... not to mention the fairies! I love all your photos and the knot ... was it an Oak? The perfect place to hide gifts for children. You help me recall lovely times with my son in the wood. Clever analogy to a zoo with your tigers and zebras! Enchanting! ;>))

  2. What a happy little post for this morning. Just what I need to boost me out of my chair to the great outdoors.


  3. I love the fairy mailbox! What a magical garden.

  4. Some very neat ideas! The stick house does intrigue me. Do you grow vines across it? That would make a fantastic little play area for kids. You definitely some good ideas here! Thanks for joining in!

  5. I enjoyed your zoo analogy...and your fairy 'tales' are indeed magical:-) I can't wait to see if my daffodils are popping...there's too much white stuff weighing them down at the moment. And more on the way. I'm a little concerned about my azaleas, as they aren't used to having such heaviness upon them. Already some holly trees have snapped, so I have a feeling I will see some azalea casualties;-(

  6. I have seen bits and pieces of your garden which are beautiful! You have lots of mystery and things I haven't even thought about before to add to my garden. Could you please just video tape your whole garden. I'm just kidding... I will just watch the mystery unfold with photos :)

  7. I'm thinkin' there's a lot of hocus pocus going on in your garden. Love the fairy garden idea...very whimsical! That specimen of shelf fungi is beautiful. And I agree with you...leaf mold is a wonderful, magical element in a garden. Way back when I was in my 20's and just starting out, I learned to use it from an elderly couple next door who had the most amazing home garden I've ever seen.

  8. What a magical fairy garden you have created. As a child, I used to believe that fairies lived in the garden...I still do!

  9. Very magical indeed. It is going to be interesting to see each person's perspective on the magic in the garden. I think leaf mold is most magical too.

  10. What a lovely post, Nell Jean. I was enjoying that, wondering about the crape myrtle story, and then I came up to the one liner above about fried spam. LOVE it! We're all mightily irked about spam lately, aren't we? I'm hoping it's a phase and will just go away, but probably not.

  11. Your garden is enchanting! You gave me lots of ideas, too. I think my most magical garden is my 'woodland walk' with sweet surprises around every bend: a moss covered bench, Hunka Munka's house, a hyperturfa mushroom, an angel with sedum hair, etc.

    Every corner of YOUR garden is totally magical.

    Nell Jean, Thank you for restoring "name/URL." I really missed you visiting my blog. Pam xx

  12. Thanks, Everybody!

    Amy and Dave, scroll down past posts toward the bottom and pick up Fairy and Stick House in the label cloud to see more fairy gardens and more about the stick house.

  13. This is a magical story! :-) Butterflies -- definitely magic!

    PS Tithonia turned black and died! So, I haven't tried it again. It was planted with good air circulation, well-drained soil, etc. I was so disappointed! I was just looking at cassia photos before reading your comments.

  14. What a fun post...butterflies...faires.
    Visitors to the garden make it all worth while.
    Haven't named my beds except sun or shade...maybe this year I'll sort things out.

  15. Your garden is truly a magical place! I love all the photos of the butterflies.

  16. I enjoyed your magic in your garden.
    Im still wondering whats mine...

  17. beautiful color to see on a snowy evening.
    I'm intrigued by the stick house also -- and will check the label cloud for more info as you suggested above! thanks!!!

  18. Gardens are magic, and it's fun to see how you interpret that...hadn't thought of my odd bits of moss, lichen, mushrooms and bark as a fairy garden, but that's pretty much what it is...Thanks for the visit. And I loved "Grandmother's Purse".

  19. I have a new house in the Fairy garden now, a Pumpkin house, to go with the Squash house. I need to take pictures of it to share. I love the picture with the stick house in it.

  20. Butterflies seem magical to me! Nice pictures!

  21. Lovely post, hope the fairys enjoyed there tea:)


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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