You will see whatever you came to see

I saw a sea of green, perfect for garden fairies to hide in on brightly lit days at the Bellevue Botanical Garden.

The docent at the garden saw Oxalis oregana redwood sorrel, which she said can be somewhat invasive. It is a native plant found in the wooded areas of the Pacific northwest, but it is only hardy to USDA Hardiness zone 7, so it is off limits for my garden.

Perhaps the closest we could plant to this would be the much larger leaved mayapples, Podophyllum peltatum. Though perfectly hardy for my garden, I lack enough shade to grow it in big swaths beneath tall trees.

The garden fairies will just have to make do in my garden by resting in the shade of the zucchini plants or toughing it out in the corn rows.

I saw a door, quite unexpected in a woodland garden.

This clearly is the door to another world, one where perhaps giant garden fairies go to seek shelter from the rain or the sun or the people, though it is really hard to say for certain what was on the other side.

The docent tried to explain it away as the door to a root cellar put in by the original residents of the property. The door was padlocked and closed, so I could not verify this. I just know that if the garden fairies back home see this... well, let's just not tell them about it.

As I walked out of the forested area of the garden, I saw one more curiosity-- a path that went right under a tree.

Though it was much too small an opening for me to get through, it appears to be a well-worn path that someone is using regularly.

I don't want to conjecture too wildly, so I'll stick with the explanation of "garden fairies" because that is clearly the most logical answer for anything that has no other explanation.

I don't know what others saw or thought when they saw this, or if they even saw it at all. Perhaps they just saw a tree raised up by its roots.

In any garden, you'll see whatever you came to see... So what not see something enchanting, mysterious, or inspiring?


  1. I'd have assumed it was an animal track going under the tree.


  2. I saw you bend down to take that picture of the tree trunk, but I didn't see that little opening!

  3. I see the ghost of a nurse log that supported this tree when it was a tiny seedling and has now vanished, leaving only the empty space where it used to be.

  4. I love your imagination and the way it imbues your surroundings with a sense of quiet magic; I must try to look at my own garden in that way every now and then...

  5. Sounds like you are in green heaven out there! It even looks nice and cool and pleasant there, unlike the sweltering heat we have here!


  6. Definitely garden fairies use the path under the tree as well as other woodland creatures.

  7. I've always sworn the elves were flitting through the woods at twilight. It is good to find a kindred spirit.

  8. I don't know what others saw in this Botanic Garden, but I'm not surprised you saw signs of the garden fairies here, Carol. I can also see you getting inspired and taking some of these ideas home with you, which should please the fairies. And definitely better than taking home those $400 truffles!!

  9. Thank you for showing me the meaning of root cellar. I really hadn't thought about what the term actually mean, so now I know...a multipurpose place near the roots of trees where vegetables can be stored and an important reminder that garden fairies come in all shapes and sizes.

  10. We have a little native oxalis that also grows in places beloved of fairies. It tastes green and sharp like apple skin.

    Thankyou for this lovely post!


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