I painted a very large and heavy white plaster Green man piece.
 I like it. He is wired to my fence over vines on a trellis.

Green Man and  Green Woman, are beings interpreted as a symbol of rebirth, representing the cycle of new growth that occurs every spring. The Green Man is most commonly depicted as having a face which is made of, or completely surrounded by, leaves. Usually referred to in works on architecture as foliate heads or foliate masks, carvings of the Green Man may take many forms, naturalistic or decorative. 

The simplest depict a man's face peering out of dense foliage. Some may have leaves for hair, perhaps with a leafy beard. Often leaves or leafy shoots are shown growing from his open mouth and sometimes even from the nose and eyes as well. In the most abstract examples, the carving at first glance appears to be merely stylised foliage, with the facial element only becoming apparent on closer examination. 


And where would a Green Man be without his Green Lady?

The Saints, Spirits and Deities of Nature and Gardens

Vintage Christmas card - St. Francis of Assissi

Saint Francis of Assisi (c. 1182-1226) was an Italian religious leader and Catholic mystic who founded the 
religious Order known as The  Franciscans. He is known as the patron saint of animals, birds, and the environment. 

St. Francis believed that all creatures, not just humans, must be included in the celebration of Christmas. He requested that the emperor ask all citizens to scatter grain along the roads on Christmas Day, so that the birds and other animals would have 
plenty to eat. Walls should be rubbed with food, and the beasts in the stable should receive a bounteous meal on Christmas Day.  

Saint Fiacre is the patron saint of growers of vegetables and medicinal plants, and gardeners in general. He is commonly invoked to heal persons suffering from various infirmities, premised on his reputed skill with medicinal plants. He was a  hermit and gardener of the seventh century who was famous for his sanctity and skill in curing illness and disease. He emigrated from his native Ireland to France, where he constructed for himself a hermitage, together with a vegetable and herb garden, and a hospice for travellers.

Nature and Garden Deities

A nature deity is a deity in charge of forces of nature such as a water deity, vegetation deity, sky deity, solar deity, fire deity or any other naturally occurring phenomena such as mountains, trees, or volcanoes.She embodies natural forces and can have characteristics of the mother goddess, Mother Nature or lord of the animals.

In Greek mythology, Hegemone was a Greek goddess of plants, specifically making them bloom and bear fruit. 

Pomona, goddess of fruit trees, gardens and orchards

Aristaeus learned the skills of agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry; the Myrtle-nymphs, who raised him on Apollo's behalf, taught him other useful arts and mysteries, such as dairying; how to prepare milk for cream, butter and cheese, how to tame the Goddess's bees and keep them in hives

Demeter - In ancient Greek religion and mythology, she is the Olympian goddess of the harvest and agriculture, presiding over grains and the fertility of the earth.

Ceres was a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertilityFeronia, goddess associated with wildlife, fertility, health and abundance
Fufluns, god of plant life, happiness and health and growth in all things

Flora, goddess of flowers and the spring; equivalent to the Greek goddess Chloris

Chloris - Greek Goddess of Flowers - Chloris was born a  nymph, a nature spirit who tended to Nature .

Anthousai are nymphs of flowers in Greek mythology. They were described as having hair that resembled hyacinth flowers.

A mother goddess is a goddess who represents or is a personification of motherhood. When equated with the Earth or the natural world, such goddesses are sometimes referred to as Mother Earth or as the Earth Mother. The concept is complementary to a "Sky Father" or "Father Sky"

Persephone was identified with the spring season and her return from the underworld each spring is a symbol of immortality

Frey, a god in Norse mythology god of rain, sunlight, life and summer,associated with prosperity, fair weater, with good harvest and peace.

The White Goddess Druantia - In poetry Druantia is an archetype of the eternal mother as seen in the evergreen boughs. Her name is believed to be derived from the Celtic word for oak trees. She is a goddess of fertility for both plants and humans. She also rules protection of trees, knowledge, creativity.

The Horae - The Four Seasons -A distinct set of four Horae attributed as the four handmaidens of Hera.The seasons were personified by the ancients, the Greeks represented them generally as women, but on some antique monuments they are depicted as winged children with attributes peculiar to each season. 

Spring Crowned with flowers, holding either a kid or a sheep, and having near to her a budding shrub
Summer Crowned with ears of corn, holding a bundle of them in one hand and a sickle in the other.
Autumn Holds bunches of grapes, or has a basket of fruits upon her head
Winter Well clothed, and the head covered, stands near a tree deprived of foliage, with dried and withered fruits in one hand and waterfowl in the other

various entries  were derived from Wikipedia articles


Garden Folklore

 

In English folklore, the Apple Tree Man is the name given to the spirit of the oldest apple tree in an orchard, and in whom the fertility of the orchard is thought to reside.

Trees - In folk religion and folklore, trees are often said to be the homes of tree spirits. Germanic mythology as well as Celtic polytheism both appear to have involved cultic practice in sacred groves, especially grove of oak. The term druid itself possibly derives from the Celtic word for oak. The Egyptian Book of the Dead mentions sycamores as part of the scenery where the soul of the deceased finds blissful repose. The presence of trees in myth sometimes occurs in connection to the concept of the sacred tree and the sacred grove.

Hamadryádes a Greek mythological being that lives in trees. They are a particular type of dryad, which are a particular type of nymph. Hamadryads are born bonded to a certain tree. Some believe that hamadryads are the actual tree, while normal dryads are simply the entities, or spirits, of the trees. If the tree died, the hamadryad associated with it died as well. For that reason, dryads and the gods punished any mortals who harmed trees

Talking trees - In Greek mythology, all the trees in the Dodona (northwestern Greece, Epirus) grove (the forest beside the sanctuary of Zeus) became endowed with the gift of prophecy, and the oaks not only spoke and delivered oracles while in a living state, but when built into the ship Argo the wood spoke and warned of approaching calamities.The rustling of the leaves on an oak tree was regarded as the voice of Zeus.

Ents are a race of beings in J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy world Middle-earth who closely resemble trees. They are similar to the talking trees in folklore around the world. Their name is derived from the Old English word for giant

Wishing trees - In many parts of the world travelers have observed the custom of hanging objects upon trees in order to establish some sort of a relationship between themselves and the tree. Throughout Europe, trees are known as sites of pilgrimages, ritual ambulation, and the recital of Christian prayers. Wreaths, ribbons or rags are suspended to win favor for sick humans or livestock, or merely for good luck. Popular belief associates the sites with healing, bewitching, or mere wishing.

The World Tree - Numerous popular stories throughout the world reflect a firmly-rooted belief in an intimate connection between a human being and a tree, plant or flower. Sometimes a man's life depends upon the tree and suffers when it withers or is injured, and we encounter the idea of the external soul. The world tree, with its branches reaching up into the sky, and roots deep into the earth, can be seen to dwell in three worlds - a link between heaven, the earth, and the underworld, uniting above and below. This great tree is said to hold up the cosmos, and provides a link between the heavens, earth, and underworld.

The World Ash in Norse myths. 1847 Engraving by Oluf Olufsen Bagge
From Northern Antiquities.

Yggdrasil is an immense ash tree central to Norse cosmology and considered very holy.The gods go to Yggdrasil daily to hold their 
courts. The branches of Yggdrasil extend far into the heavens, and the tree is supported by three roots that extend far away into other 
locations; one to the well in the heavens, one to the spring, and another to the well Mímisbrunnr. Creatures live within Yggdrasil.

    

Nymphs -  female spirits of the natural world--minor goddesses of the forests, rivers, springs, meadows, mountains and seas. They were the crafters of nature's wild beauty, from the growing of trees, flowers and shrubs, to the nurture of wild animals and birds, and the formation of grottos, springs, brooks and wetlands. The nymphs were depicted as beautiful young women with attributes matching their abode.

Nymph  

A dryad  is a tree nymph or tree spirit in Greek mythology. Dryads are specifically the nymphs of oak trees, but the term has come to be used for tree nymphs in general, or human-tree hybrids in fantasy. They were normally considered to be very shy creatures except around the goddess Artemis, who was known to be a friend to most nymphs.

Fae, (fairies) Sprites, Pixies are said to inhabit our garden if given the right protection and care. They are the stuff of dreams and legends, and we'd be lucky to have them inhabit our gardens. Myths and stories about fairies and such do not have a single origin, but are rather a collection of folk beliefs from disparate sources all over the world. Various folk theories about the origins of fairies include them as spirits of nature.


Painting by Sophie Gengembre Anderson

 

Fairy - a mythical being of folklore and romance, usually having magical powers, and dwelling on earth in close relationship with humans. It can appear as a dwarf creature typically having green clothes and hair, living underground or in stone heaps, and characteristically exercising magic powers to benevolent ends; as a diminutive sprite commonly in the shape of a delicate, beautiful, ageless winged woman dressed in diaphanous white clothing, inhabiting fairyland, but making usually well-intentioned intervention in personal human affairs; or as a tiny, mischievous, and protective creature generally associated with a household hearth.

In Celtic folklore, thick stands of nettles indicate that there are fairy dwellings close by, and the sting of the nettle protects against fairy enchantment. Red Cmpion is associated with Robin Goodfellow. In some parts of Ireland, the picking of campion is discouraged, for this invites the fairies' attention. But in other parts of Ireland, Campion in the house represents the fairies' blessing, provided it's been picked with care and respect.

According to Britannica, Fairies are usually conceived as being characteristically beautiful or handsome and as having lives corresponding to those of human beings, though longer. They have no souls, and at death simply perish. Fairies are said to be of human size or smaller, down to a height of 3 inches (7.5 cm) or less. Female fairies may tell fortunes, particularly prophesying at births and foretelling deaths.

In folklore, fairies are said to sleep in foxglove's bell-shaped flowers, and wear them as gloves. In addition to foxglove, thyme is thought to be a favorite of fairies. Bluebells are also enjoyed. Legend has it that they ring the bluebells to call a meeting. Large flowered plants are said to be used as parasols or upside down to catch dew and bathe in. Any plant that attracts butterflies, bees  and hummingbirds. Fairies are said to be close to these pretty garden creatures. It is said that they also  love Pansies, Bee Balm, Foxglove, Sunflowers (birds love the seeds).Nasturtium, Columbine, Tulip, Snapdragon, Cosmos, and Violets.

Any plant that gives food, and shelter to wildlife while enriching the soil with its cast off leaves are plants that attract fairies.

Read more at Gardening Know How: Plants For Fairy Gardens: What Flowers To Plant To Attract Fairies https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/spaces/attracting-fairies-in-the-garden.htm

The label of fairy has at times applied only to specific magical creatures with human appearance, magical powers, and a penchant for trickery. At other times it has been used to describe any magical creature, such as goblins and gnomes. Fairy has at times been used as an adjective, with a meaning equivalent to "enchanted" or "magical". It is also used as a name for the place these beings come from, the land of Fairy.

The Fairy Doors of Ann Arbor, Michigan, are small doors installed in local buildings. Local children believe these are the front doors of fairy houses, and in some cases, small furniture, dishes, and various other things can be seen beyond the doors. 

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