colchicum, autumnale, meadow saffron, naked ladies, autumn crocus, fall crocus , garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest

Belief In Magic

It was one morning in September 2006 when I realized fairies are real.  Dancing in the autumn chill beneath the birdbath was a flurry of naked ladies.

colchicum in bloom
photo by SVSeekins

I found them enchanting…
surely elves & pixies would pop up any minute.

Only a month had passed since we’d purchased our home.  I’d done nothing in the yard, besides delivering a few pots from our old home.  This magic just ‘happened‘…  unprompted.

birdbath 2006 09
photo by SVSeekins

We were crazy-busy, making the house our own.  It would be a long while before much time could be spared for gardens…
yet I knew, then & there, this circle of fairy dancers had to be incorporated into our landscape plans… Somehow.

Given the birdbath & tiny flower bed was awkwardly adrift in a sea of lawn, I needed imagination.  It took me a while to figure out what to do with it.

birdbath bed 2008 01
photo by SVSeekins

Finally, we moved forward, creating a corner border. Rock edging started at the forsythia & gate (to the right / east)…
encompassed the birdbath,  & cherry tree at the end of the driveway (center-right)…
then followed the northern fence line to the rhododendron (far left).  (photo: Xmas 2007)

birdbath bed 2009 08
photo by SVSeekins

Early on, it felt like a giant, near-empty space that would take forever to turn into a real garden.  The new shrubs seemed tiny & lost. The local deer nibbled the Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo).  They nearly destroyed the Bottlebrush (Callistemon) with their antlers. Happily, the fairies came back every autumn to dance in the shivery sunshine.  The deer gave them peace. 🙂     (photo: August 2009)

birdbath bed 2013 09
photo by SVSeekins

Five years in, it was starting to look like something more.   The Rhodo (far left) loved the company – growing almost as much as the newer shrubs.  Those shrubs were now large enough to stand up against the deer a little better, so I removed their cages.  The birds & fairies were enjoying the extra privacy as the garden grew up around the birdbath.   (photo: Sept. 2013)

birdbath bed 2019 09
photo by SVSeekins

After a dozen years, the party continues.  The shrubs have matured into small trees.  The border has grown into a mini-woodland.  The birdbath almost disappears in the dappled understory! I reckon it’s even more magical than before. And each September, the fairies come to dance.     (photo: Sept. 2019)


5 thoughts on “Belief In Magic”

  1. Hi SV

    I love this story and pictures over the years. Your garden has done so well with your amazing touch and creativity

    Hope you saw the flowers I posted on facebook the other day. Was from our drive around Oahu.

    Having a great time!


    Sent from my iPad


  2. Lovely writing and a beautiful job of a garden! Fairy dancers, what an apt name for them. I have some long leggy ones in an overgrown yard but did not know their name.


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