At the End of the Garden...

While exploring the story behind the English Oak Collection, we found ourselves delving deeper and deeper into the landscape and legends of England’s mighty forest. The rolling mists, the mossy knolls, the twilight whispers and the secret world of fairies. And, as with most intriguing tales, the ‘truth’ about fairies is somewhat hazy. Mischievous creatures, they like to keep us guessing. After all, that’s their job…


1. JM Barrie, Creator of Peter Pan, knew a thing or two about fairies, and gave this explanation of their origins: ‘When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.’

2. In early English folklore, fairies didn’t have wings, but flew on the backs of birds. Fairies can, however, help people fly (as Tinker Bell did with the Darling children) by sprinkling them with fairy dust, and asking them to think happy thoughts.

3. In some circles fairies have a reputation for naughty behaviour, such as playing in the hair of sleeping children, tangling it into ‘elf-locks’. Winged or wingless, fairies are no fallen angels…

4. However, there is a theory that the reason fairies are so irascible is because they are too tiny to hold more than one emotion at a time.

5. Here are a few tips on fairy etiquette: Never thank fairies for anything. They don’t like it. Never accept gold from a fairy, as it can quickly turn to withered leaves in human hands. And, if you stumble upon a fairy ring, never step inside the toadstool circle. The fairies might never let you leave.

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