An Updated and Seasonally-Changing Fairy Garden

An Updated and Seasonally-Changing Fairy Garden

***Please excuse any old ‘’ watermarks you might see. That’s the old blog name. But I’m too lazy to switch out the images.***

Yep.  Even the fairy garden’s getting a makeover.

For anyone who has followed along for awhile, you might know that the center point of our yard and gardens is a big ol’ grapefruit tree that I’ve bedazzled with chandelier crystals and mason jar candleholders.

The grapefruit tree at, all dolled up with tree jewelry.
She’s a pretty old girl.

Quite some time ago, I ran with a whim and added a fun, little vignette to the base of the tree.  I do love some quirk in the garden:

The fairy garden of
No. I am not too old for this.

I always thought this was pretty cute.  But, to be perfectly honest, while I appreciate those brightly-colored ceramic mushrooms they were a bit….how do I put this?  Obvious.  They just really stood out.  I don’t know why, but it kind of bugged me.  When you looked out into the yard at that gorgeous tree, your eye immediately went to those little pops of red and orange at the base.

The fairy garden of
They are cute. Can’t deny it.

So after far too much deliberation, I decided to paint them a satin cream color; cutting down on both the color and the gloss.

The fairy garden of
Painted like this, they are very similar to some of the real mushrooms that push up in these parts.

The pathway is still more or less the same.  It is made from pieces of Home Depot off-the-shelf ’tile’ sheets which are composed of little limestone pebbles adhered to plastic tile netting.  Cut into several bits and pinned by landscape staples into a meandering shape, they look pretty good as a little cobblestone path.  The problem?  Boy do those pieces fly like missiles when the chickens get to chicken-scratching.  Staples be darned.  I needed to make the thing a little more poultry-proof.  So for this reincarnation, I actually cut a pathway shape from 1/4″ plywood and then used dirt-colored grout to adhere the pebble tile sheets to the wood.  This created a very heavy single unit that the birds can’t do a darned thing to other than take a leisurely stroll along.The fairy garden of

While I wanted the mushrooms to be less conspicuous, I wanted the door to stand out a little more.  The original color of the thing was so weirdly close to the color of the tree bark that it practically disappeared into it.  Besides….I just love me a chippy turquoise door.  So using acrylic craft paint, I gave it a fresh coat, then distressed it with sandpaper.

The ferns have really filled in, and I love the way they create natural, pretty arches over the pathway:The fairy garden of

I’m also quite happy with the way everything kind of disappears into the grapefruit tree garden….

The fairy garden of
Much less obvious.

I kind of wanted the vignette to be hidden in the fern forest under the tree.  I want people to stumble upon it, not see it from across the yard.  I think my little refresh achieves this quite nicely.

Additionally, it would seem that the fairies like to shake things up seasonally. Ie: They throw lots of parties.

For instance, a happy little fête for the Autumn Solstice:

Autumn Solstice party in the fairy garden |

It wouldn’t be a garden party without some lovely lanterns–these are actually made from the pods of Chinese lantern plant. And, of course, tiny pumpkins scattered about (the fruit of Pumpkin-on-a-Stick plant). And, of course, fairy lights. Lots and lots of effervescent little battery-operated fairy lights.

And then, come wintertime, even though we live in Southern California, it somehow manages to snow:

Winter in the fairy garden | #fairygarden

I have no explanation for this.


  1. Lindsey

    Love this!

  2. Liz

    That does it! I’m so going to do this around the base of my big tree! Love it — love it — love it!

  3. It looks so perfectly cute that some tiny magical creature might want to move in!! lol

  4. Sharla

    I love the mason jar candle holders! We have horrid hot summers here, so what’s your secret to keep the candles from melting – do you only put them outside when you plan to light them?

    • Sharla–I use battery operated timer votives. They look pretty darned real, and having fake candles allows me to keep the lids on the mason jars so no water or dirt gets inside. Works pretty well!

  5. Darling! And where oh where did you find the little door?

  6. Oh, it looks marvelous… what really makes everything show so extra nicely is how the tree is in that raised bed… it brings the lovely scene closer to eye level. Inspiring accomplishment. I want to play!!

  7. Simply lovely! Great job <3

  8. Susan Pleasant

    I really enjoy your creativity!!!

    Sent from my iPhone

  9. Adorable, simply adorable. I love the cream toadstools with the turquoise door – perfect colour combination. I would have loved this as a child (well, truthfully, I still do).

  10. I know nothing about battery operated timer votives,,, Its the “timer” part that I don’t know anything about. Are these from a big box home improvement store? I have had a door that I got at Hobby Lobby for awhile in the unpainted wood section. (Actually, it is a long sought replacement for the one my granddaughter snatched before I could do what I wanted to do with it.) I don’t have an appropriate place under a tree so my plan has been to have it floor level next to my front or back door so the fairies can come inside to visit. (I wonder if they’d do windows if I left some cookies out?) I, too, would have loved this as a child and, as a 68-year old person, also still do!! I have to join the chorus of “Adorable!!” because it is!!!

    • Hehehe–thanks, Charlotte. Yeah, I’ve seen the fairy doors done on walls and into the base of stairs and such–and I just love that, too!

  11. Naomi


  12. Ohhh Emm Gee! So darn cute.

  13. Every once in awhile, please hang a “vacancy” sign; I am sure there will be lots of responses. I am sure the little people will be by for a visit……….

  14. So cute. Maybe next year the fairies will install path lighting 😉

  15. Simply BEAUTIFUL! Love the whimsy 🙂

  16. I’ve always said I was going to do this… soon as the girls are old enough to not run off with the little pretties! 🙂 I may officially be inspired to the point of HAVING to do it NOW! 🙂 Once again Kate, you leave me without words. 🙂 Thank you!

    • You gotta do it! Your girls will love it!! I wish I had had stuff like this when I was little–making up for lost time! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  17. I love, love, love the makeover! The blue is perfect, and while the red mushrooms were cute–the white are subtle and darling. Fairy gardens are among my favorite things. My girlie and I used to make them all the time when she was an itty bitty, but our rule was that we had to use only things found in nature–otherwise, fairies wouldn’t move in. She made some pretty amazing fairy gardens and houses out of sticks and mulch! This year, I broke my own rule and made one with a fairy “portal” I bought from a local artist. Now, I want to go rehab my fairy garden after seeing yours! Brilliant, as always, Ms. Kate! 🙂

    • Awww, thank you, Julie! I agree with your rule of ‘only things found in nature’–those are my favorite….and I’ve actually got some projects like that in the works!! I cheated on this one—but it sure is nice and sturdy and chicken-proof!!! 😀

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