Letter from the Enchanted Woods Faeries
Come into the garden. My fairy friends and I made Enchanted Woods especially for you. We hope you enjoy it.
I am Cobweb, the storyteller fairy, and I made Story Stones. Each stone tells a story. See if you can guess how the old stones were used. Some were for milling grain; a few were once parts of houses. Find the stones that are good for sitting and read or tell a story of your own.
Look down. Are you standing on the S-s-serpentine Path? Can you feel the smiling serpent wriggling beneath your feet? Don't worry, you won't hurt him. Glimmer, the magician fairy, has enchanted him, and the serpent has a message for you.
When you cross over the Troll Bridge, please be careful. Soot, the troll, lives underneath, and he might try to grab your ankles! If you're feeling brave, you can peek under the bridge to see his dark, damp, cramped little home. (Soot really isn't so bad--his bridge protects the roots of two ancient tulip trees.)
At Water's Edge, you can hug Harvey, our enchanted frog, and listen to the soothing water sounds.
Moss is the gardener fairy. He planted the Gathering Green for you so you could dance around the May Pole to welcome spring. (We also use it for our fairy meetings on moonlit evenings.) Moss's great-great-great-great-great grandfather planted the acorns that have grown into the circle of magnificent oaks that you see around you.
Lark, the music fairy, needed a safe home, so she built a Bird's Nest above clouds of blue and white hydrangeas. She made it big enough so that friends could visit. Climb up and listen for the songs of forest and meadow birds, the wind whispering in the trees, and the drip and plop of raindrops falling on your head.
Fairy Flower Labyrinth
From the Bird's Nest, look down to find the Fairy Flower Labyrinth. Blossom, the flower fairy, made a special walking and thinking pathway for you called a labyrinth. The first one was made in Crete thousands of years ago. Blossom has carved twenty stones with magic flowers and plants and a walking song from the Navajo tribe for you to find.
When spelled this way, from Old French, the word faerie includes all the woodland spirits--fairies, pixies, elves, brownies, sprites, sylphs, and gnomes. Together, they all discovered a crumbling stone building with one wall falling down. They worked to repair it and make a playhouse for you. Look around. What do you think of the fairy way of building?
Puddle is the water fairy. He made the Frog Hollow bridge from old stones and a biofilter from a trough where farm animals once ate. A biofilter uses plants and lava rocks to clean water without using chemicals that could harm you or the frogs, fish, bugs, and other creatures who live in Frog Hollow.
Tulip Tree House
Climb over the Fallen Oak to reach the Tulip Tree House. The fairies have an elf friend names Quercus who is the guardian of the trees in Enchanted Woods. Quercus lives high in the branches of an oak. He made the Tulip Tree House for you out of a giant tulip-poplar that lived for more than 100 years before it died of old age. If you carefully open the creaking door and go in, you'll be inside a tree. It's dark in there. Feel the walls with your hands. Is it smooth or rough, hard or soft? What do you hear? Peek behind the tree to spy the Pixie Fire Pit.
Bluebell is the artist fairy. She likes everything in the garden to be colorful and beautiful. You can have a tea party in her Acorn Tearoom. Find the acorn and oak leaf decorations carved into the tabletop. Now look at the real leaves on the trees. How many shades of green do you see? If it's autumn, what colors do you see? In winter there aren't many leaves. When you get home, paint a picture of all the flowers that you remember blooming in the garden.
Green Man's Lair
Glimmer is the magician fairy. He cleared a passageway beneath the large 'Winterthur' azaleas so you could discover the gigantic face of the Green Man peering up from the ground. Each spring, he wakes the earth from its long winter slumber, and the world becomes green again. Be extra careful at the Forbidden Fairy Ring. It's a circle of mushrooms left by the fairies when they danced at night. Never, ever step inside a fairy ring-if you do, you might disappear into the fairy land…unless, of course, that's what you want to do!!!
And so, dear children, that's the story of how my friends and I made Enchanted Woods. Remember--when you come to play in the garden, you'll never be alone.
We love you,
Cobweb and the fairies (and one elf)