Report from PIA – October 2
This day started out cool and clear, so after walking The Dog I decided to take my coffee outdoors. I sat on the circular steps that lead from the entry garden up to Annual Alley and the vegetable garden beyond. Propped to one side of the top step is a stone plaque that reads: Don’t Piss Off The Fairies.
I loved this sign the moment I saw it at Twigs in Falmouth. Its message was just surprising and offbeat enough to make me laugh out loud. I bought it and brought it home.
As I looked at this plaque in the early morning light, I wondered just what it would take to piss a fairy off. Obviously, using poisons in the garden would do it. Powerful insecticides or fungicides raining down on the plants and soil would surely make a fairy mad.
I began to wonder if monoculture plantings might prove exasperating to these supernatural creatures. Do fairies look at the expanse of turf grass, kept weed-free by herbicides and pre-emergent products, and feel their blood boil? We might perceive our lawn as a green carpet, but perhaps it’s a wasteland to them.
Looking at some self-seeded Verbascum around my feet, I decided that too much tidiness might annoy the fairies as well. It seems to me that just enough disorder to show that the plants have been allowed to have a say would please the nature spirits greatly. Plus, some dead and dying plant matter might be welcomed.
The presence of dead foliage provides food and shelter for a host of insects and microorganisms that have been the fairies’ drinking buddies since the beginning of the ecosystem… it must brighten their day to see some decomposing leaves around.
Such musings are good fun on a fall morning, but at their root, pardon the horticultural reference, is a fair amount of garden wisdom.
Perhaps a good number of books on gardening could be reduced to that single sentence: Don’t Piss Off The Fairies.