My husband and I both have farming in our family history. We have grown up on farms or around farms in Pasadena MD our whole lives. So plants, whether they be decorative flowers or practical vegetables are common things we are used to seeing without even really noticing them. In fact, when dating my husband, I told him I do not like flowers as gifts, because they are simply dead flowers and serve no purpose to me, I would rather have something else or a live plant. Which, I personally do not have a green thumb so when he would try and buy me a house plant it would die. Even succulents die around me. Currently his go to ‘I am sorry I messed up’ gift is a gift certificate to a local modern fabric store I love to shop in but hardly ever do, unless he already has gotten the gift card, then why not!
Back to it, my mother-in-law is great with plants, the wrap around porch on her home in small town America is perfectly surrounded by amazingly well thought out plants of so many colors. She really has a talent for it. She has houseplants on every floor of her home complementing each room housing a plant in the most fashionable way. Again though, that is what my mind expects to see when I see an old house like hers in Pasadena.
Until two summers ago when we were visiting for the family reunion and fourth of July celebrations we walked past one of her flower beds and I noticed something, tucked away, I had never seen in her garden let alone any garden ever before. I stopped and knelt down moving a few large leafs out of my view and I asked her what it was. She smiled a wise smile and asked my daughter to tell me what it was. She already knew the magical blessing she was bestowing on us.
My then five year old daughter said in a hushed voice (totally out of character for her) “Mommy, that is one of the fairies houses, they help the garden grow, but we cannot talk to them because they are busy making Grandma’s garden beautiful”
Amazed is too small of a word for what I felt in that moment and since then every time I think of my mother-in-law’s garden in Pasadena. She had given my daughter a memory that will stick with her forever of her and grandma in the garden. This was not even the only one! She has several little fairy areas in her garden. Each year when we go to visit, something has been added or moved to give the grandkids another chapter in the story of the fairies, building rearranging or something to help the garden grow to the utmost beauty possible.
Since then I have done a little bit of research and these fairy gardens can be quite extravagant. Such detail and time spent creating this tiny world of little figurines and their homes, villages, sometimes even landscapes of their own. They really are a lot of fun. I plan on letting my daughter create her own Pasadena MD fairy garden this summer and hide it away somewhere on our property where only she knows where it is to start her own fairy tales. Of course it will not be hard to find her hiding spot since our landscape is pretty open concept so with a happy heart I will gladly move pieces around once in a while to keep the dream alive.
Someday, hopefully, I will be able to pass this tradition down to her daughters and keep the hidden beauty of the garden alive for years to come.