Flowers & FairiesFairies are often considered to be nature spirits and there is a long association between the fey folk and plants. Fairy gardens and glens are a common feature of folklore: you only have to think of the phrase "fairies at the bottom of the garden".
Fairies have often been depicted together with various plants and flowers, with mushroom or toadstool circles a sure sign of possible fairie activity. The name foxglove is said to come from the phrase "folk's glove" after a belief that the wee folk used the flowers as gloves.
In Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Oberon talks of Titania (Queen of the Fairies) thus:
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight
Flower FairiesProbably the most well known link between flowers and fairies comes from the Flower Fairies of Cicely Mary Barker. Barker was born in England in 1895 and studied art as a teenager. When she was only 15 a set of postcards was published based on her art. Her first book of fairy art, Flower Fairies of the Spring, was published in 1923.
Barker's Flower Fairy paintings are renowned not just for their aesthetic appeal but also for their accuracy. The children were modelled on real children and the flowers are botanically accurate, simply scaled up to fit the picture. Using this as a guide, flower fairies vary between roughly four and six inches in height.
Barker also wrote fairy poems to accompany her art.
Today the books are published in 11 languages and annual retail sales are valued at around $40 million. You can also buy all manner of other Flower Fairy stuff including calendars, wallpaper and figurines.
"Flower Fairies" is a trademark of the estate of Cicely Mary Barker. This site is not associated with or endorsed by the estate of Cicely Mary Barker