Upcoming: Fairy Flowers drop in Workshop April 15th Aylsham Town; Hall Fairy Gardens Workshop May 28th Hoveton (details)
Easter is a great time to add some fairy-ness to your garden with native wildflowers. Most gardens are shaded and more suitable for woodland flowers than those needing a lot of sun and ‘plug plants’, which you can get by post, are the best way to start off your own ‘fairy corner’ (see below). This is what we make in our Fairy Gardens Workshop.
We get our plug plants from the lovely people at British Wild Flower Plants – there is still time to order some spring wildflowers to make your garden more attractive to fairies and wildlife, direct from their website. More plant and seed suppliers providing native wildflowers are listed at the Flora Locale website. If you are in North Norfolk you can also visit Natural Surroundings to buy native wildflower plants and seed.
You can also make a fabulous decorative Fairy Flower from tissue paper in our Fairy Flower Workshop. Each design is based on a real native wildflower good for wildlife. You also get to learn how to do some fairy gardening at home !
Come along to our next Fairy Flower Workshop in Alysham on Saturday April 15th (10 am – 1pm, Alysham Town Hall, drop-in £1/flower).
Why Wildflowers ?
Wildflowers are best for wildlife, for example while bees can reach the pollen and nectar in wildflowers such as primroses, many cultivated and hybrid varieties contain no pollen or have nectar that is inaccessible to insects, so they may be colourful but are all but useless to wildlife.
Fairy Gardeners of course, plant only wild flowers ! Here are some Fairy Gardens made recently in our Workshop at Kings Lynn.
And here’s one we made earlier …
Thanks to Janet Shaw who shared this photo (above) of a Fairy Garden made by her grand-daughter Isla, at the 2016 Fairy Fair, at our Facebook page. Now in a pot, it is thriving and includes primrose and wild strawberry, all grown from plug-plants (small plants with roots). Visit us in Hoveton on May 28th for our next Fairy Garden Workshop (bookable).
If you plant out your Fairy Garden in its coir (cocunut fibre) pot or straight into soil, the plants can soon spread.
Above: red campion (pink), wild strawberry (lower left) and greater stichwort (white) in a fairy corner. These flowers were all planted at plug plants a few years ago and together with the hazel (big green leaves top right) are all great for wildlife and have lots of magical fairy folklore.
Our Fairy Gardens are ‘woodland’ Fairy Gardens, designed for semi-shaded spots in your garden (anywhere getting shade some of the day, for instance from a tree, house or fence, tends to qualify as ‘shaded’ rather than ‘sunny’ from a plant’s point of view). We either use three short native woodland flowers (primrose, wild strawberry and violet) or three taller ones (red campion, greater stitchwort and herb robert) so they grow well together.
Flowers With Fairy Magic
Many of our native woodland flowers grow in Ancient Woodlands (places which have always been wooded for many hundreds or thousands of years). If you visit one you may see these flowers but it’s also great to help nature, and add some fairy magic to your garden, by planting them. Just make sure you get real native flowers from one of the suppliers mentioned above, not an artificial variety.
Because of their ancient heritage a lot of native woodland flowers are steeped in magical folklore. For instance primroses and posies were often left on doorsteps to bless all who lived there or hung in milk parlours to appease the fairies so that they would not steal the milk. Their beautiful scent attracts hungry insects like moths and Queen Bumble Bees who have been asleep all winter.