Within the Heart of an August Garden

Within the heart of my garden there is a special place for just being and thinking.

memories of summer (1)










Birds congregate with butterflies; Fairy Folk and a special child or two.

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Dreams and secrets are shared here.

Within the Heart of an August Garden (2)





A place where for an hour or two you can be anything or anyone you dream your self to be.

You can even ask a bird how she sings!

Within the Heart of an August Garden (3)










Tiny wonders, everywhere.

Within the Heart of an August Garden (4)














“Troll Slaw” A Troll Tale and Recipe

Trolls are an elusive group and among the largest inhabitants of the Fairy Kingdom as well as perhaps the most misunderstood.

Here on the north side of a small mountain in Maine we live and work side by side all sorts of magical beings including a Clan of Trolls.

Some Troll facts :

Did you know that Trolls have the gift of invisibility so they are not often seen? Did you know that Trolls speak in tones so low they are seldom heard? Trolls love music, and some of them sing but the vibrations are of a frequency that other beings can’t hear them unless they want them to…which mostly they don’t. Trolls are very, very shy and with the exception of the Grand Fairy Spring Ball they mostly keep to themselves.

Fairyland Post a (8)










Eugene is a dear friend of mine and a Troll from the Clan of the Knoll. He is a metal smith and constructs all sorts of magical implements, such as the lovely Miss Millicent Mae Mailbox, as well as bells and finely tuned keys for mbiras and kalimbas.

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Eugene’s cousins Beyla and Laszlo Troll are craftsman too; they carve rustic furniture

Troll Craftsmanship










and paint not so rustic furniture.

Troll Cave










They live nearby in enchanted lichen covered caves close to the top of the hill.











Most Trolls of the Knoll are carvers and make lovely over sized furniture and exquisite instruments.

Troll Zither (2)










Just below Beyla and Laszlo’s cave lives William Edwin Troll and his wife Nora Russell Troll.

William Edwin is a talented musician who plays many instruments including the piano, the zither, violin, cello, viola, mbira and kalimba. (to name just a few!) William Edwin also composes music which he plays for his wife Nora as she prepares their meals.

Nora Russell Troll is just as talented as her husband. Nora Russell plays piano and is lead soloist in the Grand Troll Opera. She and Edwin make quite a pair and during the Grand Fairy Spring Ball if the breeze is just right you can hear her accompanying his melancholy playing as she hits both the high notes and the lowest of the low with her beautiful voice. Who knew Trolls could sing and play music, and so beautifully at that?

But there’s another thing about Trolls that might surprise you even more…

All Trolls are excellent chefs.

However, as you may have guessed, unlike Fairies or Pixies or most residents of the Fairy Kingdom Trolls are not vegetarians; they consume copious amounts of fish along with the furred and feathered.

Worry not, they consume only what they need, always blessing the food they eat with gratitude.

Out of respect for other members of the Fairy Kingdom while attending The Annual Grand Fairy Spring Ball all Trolls leave their meat dishes at home and prepare a beautiful vegetarian dish which always, always includes cabbage. Trolls absolutely love cabbage!

Their favorite meatless recipe is Troll Slaw. Yes, Troll Slaw not Cole Slaw….same thing but with a few differences.

Following is the recipe and I think you might appreciate the creativity of the Troll Clan in a way you never did before after you sample just one bite. Yes, it’s that good.

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Dressing for Troll Slaw:

1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper or a pinch or two more.

2 Tablespoons Stevia (Truvia) or  1/4 Sugar (I do as the Trolls and use stevia)

1/4 cup minced and chopped fine cilantro

2 tsp peeled, grated and chopped fine fresh ginger


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In small bowl or a 1 cup glass measuring cup whisk together the above ingredients, cover and let set.

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For The Slaw:

3 cups very thinly sliced and chopped small organic red cabbage

3 cups very thinly sliced and chopped small organic green cabbage

4- 6 scallions chopped thinly

2 large carrots grated

1/2 red bell pepper sliced very thin and diced small

1 large handful of snow peas sliced very thinly (snip off ends if need be)

1 can organic garbanzo beans drained and well rinsed

1/4 c. or to taste sliced and diced jalapeno peppers, I use organic in jar with NO yellow dye!

1 handful organic dried cranberries ( or raisins)

8-10 seedless organic pitted dates

1 handful of pine nuts (you may substitute sunflower seeds)


1/8 or so cup of organic black sesame seeds

4-5 beautiful heads of calendula flowers if you are fortunate enough to have some.


A Troll Slaw (4)








For your slaw the Trolls highly recommend all your ingredients be at room temperature and I agree; it really does make a difference and you will find that warm cabbages are more welcoming of the oil and vinegar.


A Troll Slaw (1)








A Troll Slaw (5)








With clean washed hands do as the Trolls do and mix all of the above slaw ingredients (except black sesame seeds and calendulas) together in a large bowl. Set aside.


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Right BEFORE you are to serve your slaw, whisk your dressing and drizzle on slaw, tossing and turning to coat all ingredients evenly using two wooden spoons.

Dressing minutes before serving prevents the slaw from becoming soggy, (unless you prefer soggy slaw of course). Trolls prefer their cabbage crisp.

Lastly sprinkle on your sesame seeds.

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Finally, if you happen to have calendula flowers, which are edible by the way… snip off 5 or so flower heads and gently but firmly pinch off only their petals then sprinkle petals atop your Troll Slaw as a lovely garnish.

Nora Russell Troll is a romantic and always looking for ways to make William Edwin smile. Sprinkling on the edible and cheery calendula flower petals is a very special way of expressing her love for him.

I think after you try this recipe you will have a whole different appreciation for Trolls, because Troll Slaw is REALLY good….Trolly good!


Click on the above link to hear William Edwin Troll play his beautiful Marguerite Waltz for Nora Russell as she prepares his slaw.

William Edwin Troll on violin and Beyla Troll accompanying on piano.

I suggest you play this as you prepare your own Troll Slaw.

Troll Cave








Troll Zither (1)










Some Fairy Fun Facts:

William Edwin Haesche (born in New Haven Ct on April 11, 1867 ) was an American composer.










Gr. Uncle Will co-founded the New Haven Symphony Orchestra where he played first violin and conducted the People’s Choral Union, a choir of 250 voices. In 1903 he became instructor of instrumentation at Yale University. At the end of his life he taught violin and music theory at Hollins College in Roanoke Virginia.








He wrote a number of works for orchestra, chamber music and songs, as well composed choir pieces. Will composed “The Marquerite Waltz” for viola and piano. In 1890 he married Gr. Aunt Nora Helena Russell, a noted soprano.










Together they created their own great story of music, love and companionship.



Live now the stories your children and their children will later tell.








The possibilities are endless.



A Fine Fairy Tea

A hot July afternoon is the perfect time for hosting a fairy tea party.

A Fine Fairy Tea












Horse Fairies











In the evening when every human is fast asleep Nightingale and the horse fairies arrive. They spend hours riding Old Horse taking him with them into the fairy realm where dreams are made.

Together they ride into the dreams of sleeping children looking for true believers of fairy folk and enchanted horses who never grow old.

As dawn approaches the fairies must return Old Horse to his stable.








There they tenderly hug him goodbye for the daylight hours, showering him with affection.








Every evening the fairies will return to Old Horse and they will enter into the dreams of slumbering children.







In the morning when the little girl rises she goes out to the stable where she feeds and grooms Old Horse. He is her guardian; her best friend and watches over she and her sister as he did their mother before them.

Long ago Old Horse was enchanted by fairies and though he ages he never grows old.



Tiny Wonders


7 7 choices








Choosing  just the right dress for a fairy party takes quite a bit of time and consideration, especially when one is distracted by charming little fluttery folks sprinkling fairy dust all about. This little girl is being encouraged by fairies to enter the wardrobe chamber at the edge of my garden. It is filled with all sorts of silky finery for mortal children, like caps and capes, crowns and wings, instruments like drums, pan pipes and bells that ring.

Maine Garden Magic


Garden Magic







Magic happens in every garden.









Foxgloves For The Fairy Folk

Late June through July is when Foxgloves bloom here in Maine, a favorite plant of the fairy folk.

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Tall, lovely plants they are biennial, which means they bloom the second year when started from seed and then their life cycle is completed.

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Here at the farm I gather seeds once the blossoms have dried on the stem, sprinkling them here, there and everywhere.

scattering foxglove seed






The scattered seeds settle on the ground; when  summer draws to a close fairies gently tuck them into the soil where they will rest through the winter. The seeds will “slumber” beneath dried leaves and deep snow, sprouting the following spring.

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The first year foxglove seedlings will grow lush green foliage but they will not produce a single flower.

Foxgloves for the fairy folk (1)









It is during the second year of their life cycle that Foxgloves grow tall bursting into full blooms.

The fairies all the while continue to sprinkle them with magical dust, nourishing and encouraging the plants to grow.





Scenes from the Garden.

Lilacs, Alliums and Sweet Dames Rocket line the walkway.

Lilacs, Allium Sensation and Sweet Dames Rocket line the walkway.










Gardens are mysterious places where magic really does happen. As I walked through my garden this morning these are some of the plants and wild-lings I happened to encounter.

Eastern Tiger Swallotail (Pterourus glaucus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Pterourus glaucus)












The garden provides food for butterflies like this beautiful Eastern Tiger Swallowtail sipping nectar from a common white lilac blossom.

Children's Garden June 10 2014

Children’s Garden June 10 2014









The Children’s Garden is full of surprises, like this new sculpture that found it’s way here.

That's Pocahontas Lilac on the left, common purple on the right.

Pocahontas Lilac on the left, common purple on the right.












The Lilac on the left is called Pocahontas, she is very fragrant and bees, moths and hummingbirds favor the nectar from her flowers.

Guardian of the Garden

Guardian of the Garden 


A tribute to the fairies, this garden angel watches over both children and Fae. Did you know Fae is another name for Fairy and can be spelled either Fae or Fay? Some other names are Little People, Good Folk, Flutter-by, Wee Folk, The Hidden People and Faerie. At my farm the Home Place Fairies hold court. They are garden and house fairies native to the state of Maine, they help tend gardens, are fond of children and pets and live inside large old trees.


Honey Bees in Peony

Honey Bees in Peony Flower.








American Toad (Bufo americanus)

American Toad (Bufo americanus)










Toads are companions of the fairy folk, they like to snap up insects ,earthworms and slugs with their long sticky tongues. This little girl toad is named Brunhilde, she is only about an inch long.

Outside the greenhouse door.

Foxglove purpurea Apricot Beauty.












Fairies love foxglove flowers. These beautiful apricot foxgloves are growing beside the entrance to my greenhouse door. The fairies like to wear hats made from these cap like flowers!

In the Glass Greenhouse working with the fairies.

In the Glass Greenhouse working with the fairies.










Spring is a busy time in the greenhouse, yesterday I finally planted most of my seedlings into the garden. Whew!

Rosemary resides in the Pit greenhouse.

Rosemary resides in the Pit Greenhouse.









Large rosemary plants live year round in my under ground greenhouse, called a pit-house it is insulated by the earth on three sides, sunlight warms from above. These Rosemary have become large and quite heavy over the 25 plus years I have housed them. Too heavy to transport outdoors each spring, as I have not grown younger. This week I will take cuttings and root them for fresh new growth plants.

Baby Catbirds in nest outside my window.

Baby Catbirds (Dumetella carolinenis)









Catbirds are curious birds and somewhat annoying. Their name comes from their catlike call. They are mimics and imitate other songbirds as well as tree frogs and mechanical sounds! They make nests in coniferous shrubbery, like this one outside my bedroom window. They are fierce parents and will swoop down without hesitation on who or whatever goes near their nest. They allowed me to photograph this nest only because I am such good friends with the fairies.

ground bird nest in my wild garden.

A small ground bird nest in my wild garden.









Can you spot this little ground bird nest I found while edging the perimeter of my wild garden, I am not sure what type of bird is making it.

Humming Bird Moth (Hermus thysbe)

Humming Bird Moth (Hermus thysbe)









This glorious little creature is called a Hummingbird Moth and in my garden they are plentiful. A close friend of the fairy folk you can be certain fairies are nearby when you spot one of these little fellows.Their name comes from the fact that they look a lot like hummingbirds and are often mistaken for them. Unlike other moths they are not nocturnal, preferring the bright light of day to the darkness of night. They have olive green bodies banded with red stripes and  little tufts of hair on the ends of their tails which resemble feathers. They arrive here at the farm as soon as the Lilacs, Dames Rocket and Dragons wort begin to blossom, sipping nectar through long tongues they roll up under their chins.

Hummingbird Moth

Hummingbird Moth










Common Robin (Turdus migratorious)

Common Robin (Turdus migratorious)










Remember this little fellow from the Tower by the Lake in one of my earlier blogs? Last seen as a nestling, now fully feathered, this little fledgling hopped out of her nest and flew off shortly after this photograph was taken, much to the delight of two little fairies who happened to be passing by. This little Robin’s parents will watch over her and assist in her feeding for 3 more weeks.

These are some of the sights in my garden from this morning. I wonder what I might see tomorrow?



Fairyland Transport

Which way to Fairyland?

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Be yourself.


Full Blue Moon










Everyone else is already taken.

Oscar Wilde





Copyright © 2022 Robin Horty