Are you looking to bring a little magic into your garden and your home? We’ve rounded up some spectacular fairy garden ideas to help you bring some extra wonder into your space. Read on to learn how to entice the fair folk with plants they really love.
Plant enthusiasts know that the act of gardening itself is no small piece of magic. That said, perhaps you would like to invite the fae folk to bring another kind of magic into your garden.
The fairies’ hidden world is said to contain magical plants. These are full of scents and colours beyond our imagination, and people who smell them—or eat fae food—never see our world quite the same way again.
Fortunately, you don’t need to wander into their realm to enjoy their magical wonder. Fairy stories from around the world talk about how much those beings love nature. In fact, many of them have formed attachments with some of the common plants and flowers from our world.
As you delve into your own fairy garden ideas, consider incorporating some of the species below. Since they’re associated with these magical friends, you’re certain to draw some of them to your yard. You never know: you might even befriend some on your patio or balcony garden!
Where do Fairies Come From?
The fae folk are said to be descendants of the Tuatha De Danann. This was a near-mythical race that landed in Ireland over 4000 years ago. When they were defeated, they fled to underground kingdoms. As the centuries passed, the became what we know today as fairy folk.
The Tuatha De Danann had great powers, and were deeply connected to nature. Therefor, it stands to reason that the fairy folk would carry a love for—and deep connection to—all living things.
Are you truly interested in attracting the folk to your garden? Excellent! The 12 plants mentioned in this article are known to be fairy favorites.
Heather’s romantic past is captured in Celtic literature, and is plant that stirs fairy passions. There are also rumours that this plant can open the door between our world and the fairy realm.
What better way to attract the folk than providing them with a bridge between our world and theirs? Just keep in mind that there are many different types of fairies. Plenty of them are quite mischievous, and don’t always play well with humans. Planting heather is one way to attract only good-intentioned fae to your garden.
Many people already have thyme in their culinary or medicinal herb gardens. If you do, you probably already have faeries cavorting about.
Thyme shows up repeatedly in fairy folklore, and apparently has magical properties. In addition to its wonderful scent and lovely little flowers, it can attract the fae. Just sprinkle some thyme over the threshold of your home to invite the fairies in. You can even try carrying a sprig of thyme to allow you to see the folk.
Primroses are especially loved by the fairies. Hang a spray of primrosse on your door as an invitation to the folk to come into your home. If they feel welcome, they’ll bless you and your family. A word of caution, though: since primroses are so loved by the folk, make sure to tend yours well. If you don’t take proper care of your primroses, you’ll earn the fairies’ ire instead.
These plants are often referred to as fairy cups, and will add a nice pop of colour to your garden. Cowslips are spoken of quite often in conjunction with faeries—even Shakespeare makes note of them in his plays.
In the play The Tempest, the fairy Ariel was often found resting in a cowslip. As an added bonus, these flowers often signify the presence of fairy gold nearby. Adding them to your garden may very well prompt the faeries to hide some gold nearby!
Ferns are excellent for filling out shady sections of your garden, and also add really nice texture. Elves and pixies are said to find shelter in ferns, so be careful not to disturb or crush them. They may be protecting sleeping fairies! Some people say that if you sit amongst ferns on the solstice eve, faeries may appear and lead you to treasure.
6. Yellow Wood Sorrel (Oxalis acetosella)
Wood sorrel is a lovely addition to any fairy garden. This beings make a brew from these flowers’ nectar, mixed with morning dew. If you already happen to have yellow wood sorrel around, you can make a similar drink. Use either fresh or dried leaves brewed with hot water to make a lovely hot lemon drink. Alternatively, chill it well for something akin to lemonade.
A note of caution, though: this plant is high in oxalic acid and potassium oxalate. As a result, it can upset your stomach if you drink (or eat) too much of it. Additionally, be sure to thank the fairies before picking any leaves.
7. Fig Trees
Fig trees are featured in folkmore more than any other tree. In fact, they’re are found throughout every culture’s myths and historical literature. They’re also said to be a favourite food of the fairy folk.
As such, planting a fig tree in your garden is a sure way to attract them. They’re also considered to be lifebringers, noted to sustain more birds and mammals than any other fruit tree. Considering how much they love and revere nature, the fae will certainly appreciate this aspect of your stewardship!
These stunning blooms are a good addition to any lightly shaded sections of your garden. Bluebells are a lovely shade of blue—truly the rarest shade in flowers. Fairies love to dance to the sound of bluebells tinkling in the wind.
s with a number of other faerie favourites, bluebells are poisonous. Therefore, take special care if small children and animals frolic freely in your garden. Another word of caution: picking bluebells will bring you the fae folk’s disdain, so treat them well.
Lilies are a great way to add some height and colour to your garden. It’s said that Oberon, the king of fairies and elves, carries a lily as a wand. Other stories say that each lily has its own elf, which may explain why these flowers are so prolific.
Daylilies love the sun and are a great addition to a wilder section of your garden. Just keep in mind that they will spread like crazy! Fortunately, they’re also edible, so you can enjoy that prolific spread in a truly delicious way.
Honeysuckle’s lovely flowers and heady fragrance are very helpful for enticing the fair folk’s interests. If you pick some, however, make sure to leave the best blooms for the faeries. Otherwise, you might end up insulting them. Just be careful if planting honeysuckle: the berries are poisonous to humans.
If you’d like to grow a type of honeysuckle that creates edible berries, go for haskap (honeyberry) instead.
Hawthorn is to many as the “May tree” because it tends to bloom in that month. Another name for it is the “fairy tree”, as it guards the entrance to the fairy realm. Harming a Hawthorn tree is a very terrible thing to the fae.
In contrast, picking the flowers to keep around your home will keep bad spirits away, and isn’t a problem. Just make sure you seek permission from the tree’s guardians first.
These are the ultimate in fairy flowers. In fact, its name is thought to be a distortion of the word “Folk Glove”. This plant has long been used for medicinal purposes, namely as heart medication (digitalis). That said, it’s also extremely poisonous, especially to small children and animals.
Some people believe that faeries live in foxglove flowers, lending to its potency. If you plant foxglove, you’ll notice that the blooms themselves will follow the light of the sun as it tracks across the sky. Others believe the blooms are actually following fairies as they pass by.
Fairy folk love all kinds of growing things. If you work to attract and care for the living beings of this world, the fairies will undoubtedly look favorably upon you. Grow plants that attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, (among others), and you’ll show the fairies that you love nature as much as they do.
Some Additional Ideas
Add a water feature to your garden to help attract faeries and water spirits. Consider placing this feature at the center of your garden in order to draw life inwards. Fairies love the sound and sight of water, and will come to visit and enjoy it. A small koi pond will be especially attractive—just make sure to take proper care of the fish.
Leaving a corner of your garden wild to do as it pleases is also a great idea. It’ll show the fairies that you appreciate nature’s wild tendencies, which is something they cherish and will certainly appreciate.
Above all else, if you wish to bring the fairy folk’s magic into your garden, be ever-mindful of your intentions and state of mind when working outdoors. Bring only positive energy and a sense of thankfulness into this special space, and you’ll receive positivity in turn.