Saturday, August 29, 2009
Especially for Gardeners: Faeries’ Favorite Herbs and Flowers
According to traditional European folk wisdom, certain herbs have strong associations with faeries. The one that is best known of all is thyme -- in Midsummer Night’s Dream, Titania even sleeps on a bed of it. Planting thyme in your garden is supposed to protect your home from faerie mischief, while wearing an essential oil distilled from this herb should allow you to see faeries. It is important to note that any thyme used to make such an oil must grow “where faeries used to be”. St. John’s Wort, now a popular herbal remedy for depression, was used in Shakespeare’s day to break spells cast by the “little folk”. It was considered especially useful for counteracting their “sickness darts”, which they threw at humans to cause illness. Rosemary bushes are said to be a favorite place for faeries to hide because of their dense foliage.
Foxglove may be the flower that faeries like best -- they supposedly enjoy sleeping in their bell-shaped blossoms. Perhaps like foxes, slightly larger fae can also wear them as gloves. Other flowers that attract magical beings to gardens are primroses and marigolds. Any night-blooming flowers that are white in color will draw faeries who prefer to fly about after dark. If you plant any herbs or flowers to attract faeries, it is advisable to leave wine and sweets out in the garden for your winged guests, so that they will bless your land.