Trees are such a major element in many types of story telling. But they almost become a character in their own right with fairytales, whether in groups or alone.
Several trees make up the forest, where so many of our favorite stories take place. The woods can offer protection from danger and a hiding place for those like Snow White, searching for a safe haven. Or the woods can cause confusion and lead to trouble, like Hansel and Gretel ending up at the Witch’s gingerbread house.
Trees individually can be homes to wise elves, fairies and other magical beings. And trees with an enchantment put upon them can even serve others, like the apple trees in the Wizard of Oz. But one of the most popular trees in many stories is the willow. Usually found along streams and other bodies of water, a willow holds a special place for many story lovers.
Not only are willows beautiful, but they are said to have a magic all their own. Willow branches are so connected with water that they are often used for divining well water. And willow branches root so easily, that “willow water” is actually said to make rooting other plants more successful. Willows can also grow in moving water like streams, where other trees may wash away in spring flooding.
So the next time you think of what type of fairytale garden might be right for you, don’t forget trees. Almost any garden has room for an apple tree or dwarf evergreen. And if you’re very lucky, you might even find space for a willow. There’s nothing wrong with having a little magic in your garden…