There’s nothing special about Maine when it comes to fairy houses, except that they exist in my backyard and at the Coastal Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine. They might exist elsewhere, but as far as my grandchildren are concerned, this is it.
We live in the country on three lovely mostly-wooded acres. We have five granddaughters under the age of 11 and all believe in the power of fairies. Away from their eyes, I purchased a dozen wooden birdhouses and painted them in bright colors and gave them roofs of moss, jewels, twigs and shells and rocks I had found on the coast. I placed them in the woods, against tree roots and half-buried into the ground with the round bird hole hidden. I made porches for them, landscaped the yards and made paths between the homes. Butterflies, bees and birds (imitations) hung from the branches and I placed solar lights and ‘special little girl things’ here and there to be found by my girls. I raked paths and placed gnomes and fake exotic plants along them.
I had a small wooden sign that I woodburned and painted ‘The Enchanted Forest’ at the beginning and anxiously awaiting the visit from the first granddaughter. It happened that my daughter from Miami and her daughter came for the first visit and I knew exactly when they would arrive. I had some roses that I picked and I plucked the pale pick petals to mark the path just before she came. It was worth all effort. She just went wild when she walked the path, thoroughly convinced that fairies had left the petals and lived in the homes. The look in her blue-green eyes was beyond description.
Last fall I brought everything inside to protect it from the Maine weather. The last twenty four hours have given us an ice storm that brought down lots of branches throughout our three acres, including the fairy path. Come spring, I’ll take a rake and make a few wide paths, set up the little houses, lights, butterflies and birds and it will all start again. I plan to plant some shade-loving plants along the way, like ferns, hostas and forget-me-nots and add to it every year.
This, I hope will be a memory that my grandchildren will never forget. I mean, who could forget a fairy house on enchanted lands?