This year, I’ve started to notice how many Nature Spirits interact with my garden. I’ve always observed frogs, toads, birds, sometimes snakes, and a variety of invertebrates in and around my garden pots, but this year there’s greater significance to their presence. Upstate NY is experiencing a drought watch, and our family garden, watered once or twice a day depending on the heat, has become a refuge for several, such as the frog pictured above. This guy has been in our garden for a couple weeks, hiding in the shade, and enjoying the moisture. I suppose he would rather hang out in a very sheltered environment with plenty of food and water rather than risk crossing the very dry, very scratchy, very open yard that separates my garden and the marsh. Honestly, that’s looking awfully dry this year as well…
Someone at work gave my husband a bird feeder as a gift a couple years ago. Last year, I didn’t notice any birds using it. I continued to add water and clean it as best as I could. I’ve kept that up this year, and I have noticed so many birds taking advantage of the water. There’s a robin family who lives in a cherry tree near our garage. The mother and father frequently visit. We also have a hummingbird feeder, a gift my husband gave me, and there’s a pair of ruby-throated hummingbirds who often stop for a drink. There’s even a sap-sucker woodpecker who likes to have a sip every so often! It makes me happy to see animals benefiting from our garden, especially when there’s been so little rain.
My garden is also a shrine to the local spirits. Our fairy garden grows as a representation of this. My sister introduced me to Fairy Garden Chest, and we decided to try it out for something fun. My daughter was so excited to get the box. I usually don’t go in for mass-produced things for my fairy garden, but my sister was really excited about it. I like to make houses and buy handmade, most of the time. Those factory-made-things we have are often given to us, although I have a soft spot for gnomes and sometimes can’t help myself… Creating this little pot was a project for me and Bee. We transplanted some chicks and hens, and added some blue aquarium rocks. A neighbor got rid of a fish tank months ago, and he spilled some of the stones in the driveway. They sat there forever, so we decided to repurpose them. Bee added some pretty stones she liked, and then the fairy moved in with her gazebo and watering can. While making it, Bee was very concerned about making the garden fairies happy. This brings about a lot of age-appropriate discussion on The Good Folk, respect, and safety. I don’t actually see the tiny winged statues as accurate representations of them, but I like the whimsy it adds to my garden. I suppose, if anything, I see them as more representative of the plant spirits. It provides a nice focal point, something that I see as valuable for toddlers who may struggle with abstract concepts. And, again, pretty. We make offerings in the fairy garden. We only put things out that are safe for Nature Spirits – a bit of something we baked, some milk, bird seed, herbs… Each time, Bee either gives a hug to the trees, or waves to the statues. It’s adorable. I can’t help but think of how I interacted with statues of Mary and St. Francis at my old Catholic church…
As I witness more corporeal Nature Spirits in and around the garden, and as the plants are productive and happy seeming, I get the feeling that the Good Folk and other local spirits are happy with us, or at least we haven’t offended them much. There have been a couple times where I saw what looked like a person standing in the garden. Each time, they vanished when I fully turned to see. There weren’t any neighborhood children around, no sound of their coming or going, and Bee was either inside or with me. Both times it happened, I was very shocked and felt my body buzz. Neither time did I feel threatened. Since this doesn’t happen often, and I am able to complete everyday tasks, I don’t think I’m losing my mind. There have been occasions in the wood where similar happened, and I instantly felt that I needed to leave. This has been very different… more positive. I hope I can continue to please or, at least, not upset the local spirits.
One thought on “My Garden as a Sanctuary”
Your garden is absolutely beautiful! I so miss having a garden. Perhaps next year. It’s hard to have a good, full garden like that in the city but I want to try having a container garden on the fire escape out back.
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