When I was a little girl, I had wonderful fantasies of fairies living amid we mere mortals. My parents had a cabin high upon a hill that overlooked a small but beautiful lake. I would spend hours walking around, searching for treasures and fishing. During those times, I would often "see" fairies dancing in the fallen branches and wildflowers below my feet. I could almost here them giggle as they gracefully flew from leaf to leaf, teasing and taunting me into capturing one of them. I never did. However, the dreams of fairies and their sparkling dust never left me. I just knew that someday, I would create a haven for my little fairy friends.
Ever since we moved into this home, I have had a deep desire to create a pathway on the south side of the house. The area curves around from the front of the house and leads directly to a large fire pit. It is that fire pit and the tantalizing lilacs that had me choose this home to raise my children. It's been almost 9 years since we've lived here and I am finally in the early stages of my fairyland.
I don't think I would be where I am with it today had it not been for gently sharing certain details of my dream with others. I have a friend that is very talented in creating and making stained glass stepping stones. Thankfully, Teresa and her daughter Lindsey spent an entire day out here teaching Becky and me how to make stepping stones. While Teresa diligently cut the glass while teaching the girls, the three of them made the most beautiful stones I have ever seen. Dragonflies, flowers and butterflies would be the first to grace my path. I on the other hand, also love all things old and "rustic." I sometimes ask myself if I really like the look of old or perhaps is an excuse to be lazy! Either way, I made the "rough" stones with rusted hearts, stars and a few pieces of glass for good measure. We worked for hours and the silica flew while we sifted (yes sifted) 80 pounds of concrete! Not a lot of time was spent visiting but we cut chicken wire, wax paper, spread Vaseline, thoughtfully planned out designs and poured cement. At the end of the day, we had about 20 magical stepping stones!
Then there is my creative and generous sister, Valerie. At Christmas, she gave me a box of delightful treasures for my future path. There were stars, dragonflies and birds! I couldn't let them lay stagnate in a box for long...they were too precious not to share. The rusty wheels in my head began to spin. I still didn't have a solid plan in place when a very early spring arrived. And then my birthday came. And Valerie came with not a box, but an exciting and intriguing bag of goodies for me! There were birds, a frog with an attitude (reminds me of Becky at times, truth be told), a glass butterfly and blessings for my garden. I just knew I had to get busy!
I began by transplanting many a day lily to form a rough outline on the south side of the path. The north side was already graced with lilies and ferns that I planted almost 9 years ago. The best part is the tiny, little green patches of moss that are spreading in the area. I just know that's where the fairies have been hiding while awaiting the new home I promised them so many years ago. I stripped and re stained my park bench, bought solar lights, moved a very, very heavy concrete birdbath (had it not been for Becky it would still be in it's old, boring spot) and began my search for annuals. As the picture shows, the path is dotted with impatients, fuchsias and coleus. They offer a nice bright contrast to the leaves and greens of the hostas. I also found a "thing" to place in the birdbath that makes ripples in the water while sounding like a babbling brook! I've always loved water....the feel and the sound. So things are beginning to fall into place.
I know, you're looking at the pictures and seeing tons of tree roots. I'd rather think of them as tunnels the fairies use when escaping from the squirrels or the raccoons... And then there are the pine cones and pine needles laying all over. I don't mind...that's what happens when the fairies spread too much dust over the area. And besides, it's that rustic charm I'm so fond of. And yea, Max is all over it, but that's OK. I've made him the Protector of the Fairies. Hey...it's a work in progress. Things will grow. And I just know, if you and I sit on the bench very, very quietly, we'll spot a fairy or two. Care to join me?