Faerie Gardens and Tea Parties

Summer.  Morning breezes.  Yesterday’s buds unfolding into fans of color.  And time for grandchildren to come and stay.

Boys like baseball, basketball, ice cream, frisbee, Wii games, ice cream, SportsCenter, and ice cream.  Girls like ice cream, too; but also shopping trips and indulging their grandmas in dreams of the past and future.

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Last week our granddaughter helped me redo the faerie garden in our back yard.  A few years ago I’d seen the idea of planting herbs in a wooden pallet, with the boards between the aisles of dirt to discourage weeds.  Among the plants we put a few things from the hardware store, then improvised with others found in boxes in the basement.  A zinc Mason lid became a pool, the top to a spritzer its water pump, a broken clay pot some stepping stones, an extra cupboard knob a breakfast table.  In the shade of dill and thyme, there is always something faeries can borrow to make their food tastier or remedy a stomachache.

Margaret Porter Griffin's photo.

We planned a tea party for the last day of the visit.  Tea calls for china, so we chose mismatched cups and saucers from behind their glass cabinet doors.  I disturbed the middle of a pile of tablecloths in the closet, and added new daisies to roses in a little vase.  June strawberries decorated the plates of the main course, cookies, to go with raspberry and peach tea.

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Then – a surprise!  Mommy, the little girl of yesterday, brought special cupcakes from Sprinkles Bakery in the faraway land of Chicago.

All sorts of references are available to explain the origin of faerie stories.  Victorian girls and boys listened to them; usually they were connected to nature and taught a lesson.  The fantasy was that little winged creatures visit special gardens when we aren’t looking.  That must be when children grow up, too.

 

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