The Weekend Post - Cairns Eye - - Front Page -

Myths of­ten have their ge­n­e­sis in a gar­den or at the bot­tom of one and take on Bi­b­li­cal pro­por­tions of their own with em­bel­lish­ments from suc­ces­sive gen­er­a­tions.

So too, do the myth­i­cal crea­tures and in­hab­i­tants of a gar­den that we re­late more with a kid’s book or an old story.

Many kid’s sto­ries of­ten had a vi­o­lent end­ing such as Pinoc­chio killing Jiminy Cricket were Dis­ney­fied for their happy end­ings and ‘liv­ing hap­pily ever af­ter’ cheesy ap­peal. Snow White’s seven dwarfs started out as ugly gnomes and were later an­i­mated to love­able and cute lit­tle dwarfs.

If or­ganic mat­ter is es­sen­tial to good soil health, then a gar­den gnome must be of a sim­i­lar value to a bandi­coot for its abil­ity to bur­row and move through the earth.

To have fairies at the bot­tom of your gar­den was al­most akin to hav­ing bats in your bel­fry to some. In­ter­pre­ta­tions of a fairy have var­ied over time. From just plain ugly sods of de­monic looks, to Dis­ney’s treat­ment of J.M Bar­rie’s diminu­tive Tinker Bell. But their gar­den worth was more in keep­ing spir­its away and guard­ing trees in their early in­car­na­tions and had a lot to do with pa­gan be­liefs that were later dis­placed by the ar­rival of Chris­tian­ity.

If you reckon you could en­tice a fairy into your gar­den, they will need a home or refuge.

Se­cret place­ments of rocks, a small chair to con­verse (with fairies of course) in com­fort, pretty flow­ers from seedling pun­nets in small pots, some tulle draped over shrubs, colour­ful stones and sparkles in trees (CDs are great), and you have a fairy gar­den.

To have a fairy in a gar­den was al­ways meant to be good luck, as was the oc­ca­sional lep­rechaun who knew where the pot of gold was lo­cated (we wish!). Or maybe it’s a com­pete dis­trac­tion and il­lu­sion, or a case of mis­taken iden­tity for drag­on­flies, rats, bandi­coots and other small crea­tures that were given a more ‘fairy story’ ex­is­tence by kids play­ing at the bot­tom of a gar­den.

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