FAIRY HOUSES AT EPCOT’S INTERNATIONAL FLOWER AND GARDEN FESTIVAL, 2009

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FAIRY HOUSES AT EPCOT’S INTERNATIONAL FLOWER AND GARDEN FESTIVAL, 2009

If you have children and are lucky enough to be travelling to Orlando between the months of March and June, then don’t miss visiting the wonderful Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, as there is so much for them to enjoy.

Should you have children who love everything to do with fairies, then make sure you go and find the amazing and enchanting fairy houses, which are located in the Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden area. Not only are there astonishing topiaries of the fairies, such as Tinkerbell, Iridessa, Rosetta, Silvermist and Fawn, but you will also find some simply exquisite fairy houses.

These little fairy houses are the size of bird boxes, but are made of natural materials which provide a home for the little pixies. They are made with moss and bark, shells and flowers, feathers and dried rosebuds, tiny stones and interesting rocks and pebbles, leaves and twigs. Inside there are tiny little rooms, and roofs made of moss and twigs. One even has a tiny wishing well outside. Some are really complex with different levels joined by tiny bridges, whilst others are made out of household items like kettles and teapots – the open lid reveals the tiny homes within.

If your children are as enchanted as we were, then they can make their own fairy houses once they get home, by gathering natural materials and creating their own pixie abodes. Apparently, this tradition was started by a reader of Disney’s ‘Family Fun’ magazine, who described her children’s tradition of building fairy homes for the little sprites who might take refuge in their back gardens overnight. As the fairy houses developed her children would even furnish the inside of the buildings and landcape the area around them. Each day the children would rush outside to check to see if any fairies had visited the little homes. Of course, they knew at once if anything had been moved, or if something extra had been added.

Here are some tips for making your own fairy houses:

1. First, you need to find somewhere safe and secluded to build your fairy house – perhaps against a tree or a wall, or if you have an old tree trunk that is a perfect place. Fairies like to be hidden.

2. Find some sticks and push them into the ground, and then prop them against each other to hold the roof and walls in place.

3. Make the roof with pieces of bark, twigs or moss, and use sticks to make the walls – you could use stones too.

4. To make a path to the front door look for tiny pebbles. Small pinecones are great for making fences.

5. Use feathers and dried flowers to decorate the home and leave a small welcome present inside. For example, fairies love acorn cups to sip out of, and pussy willow buds make great pillows. Stems of lavender make ideal wands, and you could leave some food for them on plates made out of miniature shells – little berries are perfect, as are nuts and seeds.

6. Scatter dried rose petals on the floor to make a soft carpet for the fairies to walk on.

7. Make them a little swimming pool in the summer so that they can cool down in the sunshine – just find a lid and fill it with water and add pebbles round it for a sun deck.

To add to the magic, parents can move things around overnight, and add bits and pieces to continue the illusion that the houses have had tiny visitors – of course, that is only necessary until the fairies find their new house!

However, none of this is any use if you don’t attract fairies to your garden in the first place! So grow some of the plants and flowers that fairies love, such as lavender, daisies, snapdragon, pansies, and bizzie lizzies. They also like the delicate leaves of the ferns and Japanese Maple, and of course they love blossom.

Fairies are also attracted to water, and water fairies may appear as dragonflies, so make sure you have a bird bath or a fountain. Don’t forget wind chimes, as these are essential to call them to your fairy sanctuary.

You will see fairies when you least expect them – as a flash of silver out of the corner of your eye – but remember, they are very shy. The most important thing is to believe. . . . .

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