This Trend for Spring 2021 is Magic: How fairy gardens are inspiring community after COVID-19 year
The tiny hand-painted doors and mushroom-shaped houses are nestled at the base of Ficus tree trunks, constructed inside pots or shyly peeking out under hedges. I search the small pathways and wee ladders for signs of footprints: proof of the fairies, gnomes and mythical creatures who’ve moved into our neighborhoods.
After a year when urban vegetable gardens have been both therapy and food source while we huddled in our homes, fairy gardens have again become a delightful trend as we emerge from our reclusive COVID-19 year and head back outside for Spring.
Recently I’ve spotted a growing number of miniature fairytale adornments guarding flower beds and raised garden boxes in our Santa Monica neighborhood.
Homeowners and passers-by pause for a moment to connect and smile, sometimes commenting on the enchanting surprises and the strong sense of community and joy they’re bringing.
These small moments of connection are an antidote to the solitude and fear we’ve all been experiencing these past months.
Before the pandemic, the streets of my small community were often crowded during peak traffic hours. For the past year, with many people working from home, no school and less traffic, everything slowed down. More people have been biking, walking and slowly strolling including me. This is how I discovered the abundance of fairy folk, although they weren’t the first ones.
Perhaps these fairy landlords were inspired by my neighbor, Amy Hill, who created a fairy garden with her daughters for their front yard six years ago.
Her home, which is on the walk to our elementary school, became a favorite stop for families. Their tiny scene is made from scraps of wood, canvas and hardened clay. Friends began to donate items, including fairies to live there. Over the years, she’s decorated it for holidays; it even became political during the election with wee anti-Trump…