Legends abound of the mystical gardens of fairies and spirits. It’s not surprising, really. With mushrooms that seemingly appear overnight, flowers that open their petals every morning and close at night, and plants that “magically” produce red and orange tomatoes, deep purple eggplants, or rainbow-colored chard, it’s no wonder gardens have long held mysteries.
Add a few garden creatures to the mix and the soil is rich for stories of mystical gardens, some true and some fantastical. There are tales of foreboding and stories full of wonderful surprises, and we’ve collected quite a few over the years. You’ll even find a modern fairy tale in this collection.
That’s right. No collection of mystical garden stories would be complete without a magical creature such as “The Hairy Boggart.” In this British folktale, writer Andrew Normand captures the story of the mysterious garden boggart who promises one gardener that he “will eat everything you grow.” While that doesn’t sound like a good way to proceed, this gardener is undeterred, and something unexpected happens. I don’t want to spoil the tale, so be sure to read it!
It’s not always small hairy creatures that bring magic to a garden. Sometimes nature itself is the magic. That’s the case in Marka Rifat’s story, “Scottish Lot.” When a fast-food joint burns down, leaving behind an abandoned, fenced-in lot, it doesn’t take long for nature to reclaim the space. Soon, bees, butterflies, poppies, and clover appeared. But Marka wasn’t the only one interested in this blossoming lot.
Gardener Susan P. Blevins has a similar story about a garden she worked on that caught the interest of others, including occupants of the nearby house. Only these occupants lived there more than 100 years ago. “Digging in that soil had evidently dug up things from another time or dimension,” she writes in “My Uncommon Sense.” When Susan discovered why she felt so antsy working in that garden, she immediately contacted the new property owners. When you find out, you’ll understand why, too. And you’ll learn what happened when they ignored her advice.
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