Forest Fairies

Forest Fairies, The Primrose Path

Finally, I justified my hoarding of nature’s decorative gifts…dried flowers, acorn caps, seed pods, feathers, beech nuts, shells from the beach….these all found renewed purpose as fairy garments.

Two young friends came over to ‘herb around’ with Mrs. Drake and so I put them to work: destemming dried wild plants, decanting some herbal tinctures, deseeding seed pods…at one point we took our wild edible seeds with us on a walk around my mountain to spread the life: Milkweed, Burdock, Evening Primrose, Queen Anne’s Lace, Amaranth, Lambs Quarter, Chicory and a few medicinal seeds like Teasel.

Here the girls are releasing some Milkweed parachutes from their dried pods to find their way to new homes.

Milkweed Parachute Fluff is so SOFT

My son Brian is a BASE jumper and a sky diver, packing his parachute is serious business! Milkweed pods are mysteriously packed with hundreds of brown seeds whose silky chutes are hidden behind the brown seed ‘scales’ (not unlike fish scales).  When the pod dries out it splits open along a seam.  The wind tugs at this opening releasing each miraculous seed to fly to a new home to germinate and begin life again.  In this case, Bethany and Hannah helped the process along!  It was a happy time of watching in wonder and chasing the flying fluff!

Seed Spreading JOY

More information and pictures on Milkweed here:

Mullein Seed Stalks Framing Faces

During our hike I took them to see two towering Mullein stalks that are like twin sentinels.  They are so dignified in their existence that we left them there to stand watch till Spring.  I told the girls of the many yellow flowers I had collected from this pair last Summer and described the many common names of Verbascum thapsus: Roman Torch, Witches Taper, Shepherds Staff, Grave Dust, Our Lady’s Flannel, Quaker’s Rouge… Mullein is an amazing gift in a plethora of ways.  Check out my blog on Mullein.

With our box empty and paint stirrers planted next to the seed patches we headed home to make Nettle soup for dinner and spent the rest of the afternoon ‘wild crafting’!  I gave them my stash of wild decorations along with the moss, fungus and twigs they gathered while hiking for the Fairy making wardrobe.

A Tray of Possibilities

Hannah inspects Bethany’s creations

Bethany Presents “Elaine” to Grandmom Elaine

Each woodland creature had a distinct personality that emerged with additions of peppercorns or cloves for eyes and rose buds for feet. The girls named them: Mrs. Green, Rose, Elaine, Charlotte and Genevieve.  The hair barrettes look lovely as well.  Here are the cast of characters:

Mrs. Green

Mrs. Green, though rather plain in her Rhododendron leaf garb, carries a Rose petal revealing it’s beauty below her Evening Primrose sleeves.  Her Acorn cap hat sports a feather softening it’s rather bulky look.  Wings of Mullein leaf.


Charlotte’s tight fitting gown of Sage leaves is accented by her Rose petal bouquet. Stunning Peppercorn mahogany eyes stand in contrast to her golden silk petaled hair.


Genevieve loves hats, today she is wearing a white shell hat sporting bright red Barberries.  She is looking forward to a tea party under the Mayapples this Spring.

Side View of Genevieve


There is nothing ‘plain’ about Elaine.  Her Rose petal apron contrasts nicely to her Rhody underskirt.  Curly Yarrow hair flows over her slender form beneath a befeathered hat.


Smelling like a Rose, Rose is swirling in petals from her hair to her toes. Her mushroom wings add to her mystique. Clove eyelashes give a rather ‘flirty’ look to this rather shy fairy.

Elaine and Charlotte locked away

Undoubtedly these classy ladies have many adventures to live but one they can look forward to later this Spring is a tea party with new friends at the Mayapple orchard.

Bethany, Hannah and I had so much fun fooling around that we decided to invite other girls over after Spring has sprung for another Forest Fairy adventure.  We’ll forage for wild teas, bake Crabgrass muffins with fresh Spring grasses, smothered in butter & topped with Rose petal jam and of course make a glorious mess creating more woodland ladies.

Wild blessings abound!


“You who dwell in the gardens with friends in attendance, let me hear your voice!”

Song of Solomon 8:13

Check out the rose petal barrettes lining the path!

BTW, Bethany and Hannah did all the creating.  Good job girls!



















  1. Oh, Holly…this old gal has just had so much fun making your wonderful pictures into a keepsake book for children that visit the woods…….I can see you teaching children just like this, just like this, simple things that touch life in a wonderful way for them. The simple things like watching fluff, the mullein stalks, all are really the things I would share in a small book, as a take home keepsake for children. Maybe this could be your calling??? A simple walk, simple discoveries, and just having a peaceful time yourself? You have so so much talent, girl! The pics are like a VICTORIAN keepsake in my mind to keep the child dreaming…and REMEMBERING the experience!
    Just another thought for your jammed mind of wild foods…………sorry, had to say this…I know really what it is like to have SO SO many thoughts on THIS SUBJECT!!!!!! You are a wonder! Thank you for the adventure of wonderful pictures this morning!!!! love, me

  2. Susan Rattliff says

    What a wonderful way to have some fun and teach at the same time!

    • I agree with you Susan, by the end of our ‘play’ time the girls knew the names of each of the seed pods and seeds that they used in their creations. While we worked we talked about the uses for many of the plants for food and for healing.

  3. Oh these are so absolutely precious! So much more learning involved using things found in nature then a bunch of pipe cleaners and sticky foam pieces. They are true works of art that can be treasured, displayed and talked about for years!

  4. I soooooooo enjoyed that post! What a great nature fashion show!!

    • Bringing more Forest Fairies to life today. Can’t wait for the Mayapples to offer their expansive umbrellas on the woodland floors this Spring!
      I love recycling nature’s leftovers! 🙂

  5. What treasures and what an amazing way to spend a day! I love it!

    Are those faerie orbs in the last picture at the window? I’m sure they were giggling with you all day.

    • Now when I’m out on my foraging adventures I am looking not only for wild edibles to harvest but for fairy costumes from nature’s leftovers and for rocks, driftwood and moss for woodland settings for play. 🙂

      I also have this cool idea of making fairy costumes out of a single plant in it’s various forms, which means I’ll be collecting plant parts from each season to make a complete outfit. Buds, leaves, flowers, seed pods, seeds, twigs, bark, roots etc… This will be educational as well as WILDLY fun!

      • That sounds great! Do you have a plant press? You can press and have some beautiful flowers for skirts, hats, etc. You can also use them on paper to make faeries and have lovely note cards, etc. Not that you need any ideas! teehee. You’re a walking plant idea factory.

  6. Maria Ingle says

    So Lovely! This is a perfect idea to share with my 10 yr old who pretends she is not interested in my weeds lol Doing this!

Leave a Reply to Susan Rattliff Cancel reply