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There Are Fairies Living In The Garden

One of my 153205325 ongoing projects was FINALLY completed this past weekend.

Alexis' fairy garden.

The idea originated when we were at Disney World two years ago. There is a Tinkerbell-themed garden area that makes an appearance during the Flower Show, and it features tons and tons of fairy houses.

Alexis saw the fairy houses and declared that she wanted one. SO BAD. But, she wanted hers to be pink. Ask and ye shall receive . . . eventually.


I already had the big metal container that the fairy garden lives in. I don't remember where it came from, but it has been a part of my garden since college. (I refuse to do the math and figure out how many years that is. REFUSE.) (GET OFF MY FAIRY LAWN, WHIPPERSNAPPERS.)

The house is just a plain old wood birdhouse I picked up at JoAnn's. I painted it and decorated it using some stuff that I found sitting around the yard (bark for the front door, rocks around the windows) and some stuff that was in my craft box (mirrors for windows and twine for general decor). Alexis helped me glue some pennies to the roof because she said that pennies are lucky and so are fairies. Somehow that justification made sense when she first brought up the idea.

There's a path made out of rocks, tiny little fencing we found at JoAnns, a clothesline for the fairy clothes, a seashell pond, and even a tiny bench holding an even tinier watering can.

It's all stuff that we've found at random places in the past two years. Except the fairy clothes. I made those. Anybody who is a real seamstress best not look closely at them because I made them late on a Saturday night by the light of a flashlight at the order of a Tiny Terrorist. She doesn't know how badly they are made, which is good because she'd probably crack her whip and make me do it again. Of course, sewing fairy clothes on a Saturday night is EXACTLY how I expected to eventually spend my summer nights.

The "grass" is Irish Moss that I found at Lowe's. There's also lobelia, alyssum, and a couple of dwarf trees I found at Bedner's. One of those trees holds Alexis' favorite part--the fairy swing.

Thanks to the wind moving things a bit and a bird dropping a feather by the seashell pond, Alexis is convinced that fairies really have visited her fairy garden. She will tell you that they eat the blueberries and strawberries from the other side of the yard. She'll tell you that only the fairies can open the door to the house. She'll tell you not to touch the tiny rake because it's exactly where the fairies want it.

It's probably best that you play along. Otherwise, she may just stab you with the tiny fairy pitchfork.

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Reader Comments (62)

oh hell. Thank GOD I saw this when Mag is asleep! SO BEAUTIFUL and sweet. And of course the roof should have pennies, why not. Fairy swing, AWESOME. I'm pinning this post, unless someone beats me to it. LOVE IT!!

June 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGinger

I totally believe that Alexis is absolutely correct! I also totally believe that you are one of the rockin'est moms I know. Whatever shortcomings you might have in other areas of your life are SOOOO made up for by your love for that little girl. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. xoxoxo

June 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDamama T

it totally won't let me pin it, said pics are too small!!

June 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGinger

@Ginger--Pinterest LIES. I left the photos full-size on Flickr, which is where they are hotlinked from here. Bad, Pinterest!

I'm not sure that words can express how darling this in on so many levels.

June 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

You are just the coolest mom, you know that? This is SO awesome!

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbessie.viola

Yeah, I'm pretty much speechless over the awesomeness of this.

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCrista

You are the best mom ever. And you can't ever meet my child because then she will know how much I suck. Seriously cool garden :)

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle Smiles

SO jealous! This is absolutely the best idea EVER!

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBetsy

You have MAD skills! That is amazing!

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Very purty! It is amazing to me that people have this much creativity and talent. You should see the pants I hemmed for my kid last fall. Not pretty.

And the photos are amazing. I just want to walk down the path, sit on the bench, and climb on that swing.

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterfacie

I can't believe I'm crying. Oh, wait. PMS. But still! That brought tears to my eyes! Must be fairies with their tiny pitchforks in there or something...

Thanks for telling me how to do it. Did you plant the stuff first (on dirt?) and then arrange the trappings?

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Mommy

@The Mommy--I filled the container with potting soil then planted the Irish Moss (knowing full well I wanted a path down the middle). Then I filled in the other plants and things based on where there were gaps. The path was the last step. I set the big stones so that they made a defined path, and then used the tiny gravel to fill in between them and make the path stand out a bit more.

oh my fuck, i am in awe of you. seriously.
and that little swing is spectacular.
i think you need to adopt me. soon.

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf

p.s. i was at bedners yesterday, but only for basil and snapdragons. love that place.

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf

I am nearly 40, and I have no little girls, but I am totally building myself a fairy garden in an old copper washtub I was trying to find a use for. Is that wrong?

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristin

Wow. Amazing. I had no trouble pinning it.

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa


not wrong at all!! i am less than a month away from 40 and have no children, but would totally make one of these if i had any gardening abilities. i say good for you!


June 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf

Alexis is SOOOO lucky to have you as her mom! You are the bestest mom in the whole wide world!!
But i still can't believe that it is possible for someone to be as talented as you! Keep rocking...

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmandeep

adorable and I vow to never show this to my daughters because I'd be in fairy garden making mode, STAT.

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

I want one! by the way, your fairy's yard is nicer than mine :(

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim Adams

This is one of my favorite posts you've ever written - love everything from the project (*obviously*) to the details to the tone. Love, love, love. (I even love that you were brave enough to include a tiny little pitchfork. At my house, I would have to sleep with one eye open.)(Or, um, NOT, because pitchforks hurt when they are stabbed into your eye.)

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie in MA

Ohmygosh!! Katie from over at Can't Get There From Here just forwarded this to me with the subject line "Guess what you're doing in August" (when I am visiting her two little ones. And, well, her.). I have always loved miniatures and fun garden-y things. These are just TOOOO cute! Glad your own little dictator cracked that whip ;-)

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie's sister Kim

I'm with Kristen. No little girls living at our house but I totally want a fairy garden now. My new project....

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShelly

Love it!. So....are you taking orders? Email me for my mailing address. tee hee!!! I want one!!!

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline

I love this so much I want to make one for my niece.... unfortunately, I don't have a green thumb.

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle S

That is so cute!

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Amazing! And of course there is a tutu hanging from the clothesline.

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

You are like THE best girl mom ever. Although my boys would think this is pretty rockin' awesome too, because it SO IS!!! Gorgeous. I love it. Alexis is one lucky little fairy-lover. :)

June 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElaine

I LOVE IT! I am feeling a lot of guilt about my fairies being homeless, so I guess I better get at it. ;)

P.S. The little swing? I die!

June 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMermanda

I just stumbled across this post and so happy that I did. No little ones at home, but I completely want to make this for my friends little girls--they would love it!!! thanks for sharing.

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdeb

LOVE these little projects...could loose myself just in studying the examples you have here. Thanks so much for sharing!

February 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBee

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this and think I'm going to try to replicate in a half wine barrel. For me. No kids yet. Your daughter is lucky to have a mom like you!

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarzbar

Great job on this! It's beautiful!! I might try something like this & I hope it turns out half as good as yours!

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

I have one of these metal tubs as well and would like to make one of these for my granddaughter. Is the base filled with dirt or is there something under it (to help drainage)?

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSue

That looks so fun! I've got to tell my children about this, especially my girls! They would love making a small place for dolls or pets. Thanks!

March 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

This is beautiful!! I honestly had a tear in my eye reading this... my oldest daughter loves fairies and wants a fairy party for her birthday this year (July) so I'm going to TRY to make one of these for her! I'm SO not a gardener, but I'm willing to try!

March 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLynea

I absolutely love this! You are amazing!

March 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

My daughter and I just finishing ooh-ing and ahh-ing over this. I know what's going on our spring to-do list! And we have a photo of the same fairy garden photo from EPCOT last year. Your angle is better. I didn't take the time to stoop down to get the shot. :) Little did I know year later I'd be pulling it out to see it again AND planning our own fairy garden! Thank you for the inspiration.

I really want to make a couple fairy gardens....they seem so magical. I'm wondering what happens when it rains? Do they flood?

April 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarb

This is so stinkin' adorable!!! LOVE the clothesline and swing! SO sweet and such a magical place! :)

April 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Iowa Farmer's Wife

Doing this as a mothers day gift thanks for sharing <3

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

i believe......

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersumanasa pixie

This is awesome! I used to make miniature cake toppers - which were miniature scenes over top of the birthday cake (terrible at decorating with icing) for my sons. They absolutely loved them. I also did a dream bedroom for my niece and a party patio for my brother. But the fairy garden brings together my love of creating scenes and the love of flowers. Now I am going to make myself something. Thanks for sharing!!!!!!!!!

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

This is so cool. I want one for my yard.

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterheidi

I made 5 of them for a craft fair this weekend in Whites Creek. I even themed them for Fall and Christmas. I hope they small ones for $40, medium $50 and the largest for $60.

Such a lovely, creative idea and beautiful execution!

October 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDee Dee

Your garden is lovely. You have inspired me to try this in my garden. Thank you so much for sharing.

January 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPat Franz

I am a Gramma who wishes she would have seen something like this when my Granddaughters were small. Oh well, I have wee Grandsons who will love it. Mine will be made with a copper kettle that I've been saving for a great idea. Even though I am the fairy lover in this big family, I can still teach them the love of all things itty-bitty! My Mom would have just adored this. Thank you..........

January 31, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergrammyjan

What a beautiful fairy garden! No need to use imagination to believe the fairies love living there. Thank you and Alexis for sharing your inspiration! I may have to make one of my own :)

April 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShirley

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