How It All Started

This is a fairy tale of unexpected proportions. A story of unintentional fairy escapades!

It all started innocently enough.

A while back, on Pinterest, I came upon a photo of a charming garden with a little Fairy Door hidden by a shrub.  Right then and there, I realized that our backyard was not complete!  I, TOO, had to have a Fairy Door. And as soon as possible!

Shelley, Lorie, Auntie Vi & Gnomes - (Auntie Vi lived next door to Grandma) - GardenFairies.caIt made me remember, when I was a small girl around six years old, and my grandmother had a cement bird bath in her backyard. For whatever reason, the bowl of the bird bath was removed and left, turned upside down, on the grass.  The next morning, when we went to return the bowl to its rightful place, we discovered the most intricate lacy pattern on the inside, made in some kind of magical way, by the long grass and dew making amazing marks in the dust that had been on the bird bath… it looked just like some kind of intricate lace.

My grandmother said it must have been done by the garden fairies. You’d have to know my grandmother – and her delightful backyard, to completely understand this.  It was full of lovely flowers and ferns and little mossy spots. It was COMPLETELY credible that fairies lived in her garden. Especially to a six year old. And it was even moreHow It All Started - Fairy Door - believable that Grandma absolutely believed they frolicked around at night. She might have even SEEN one. I’m pretty sure she did! This is just one of the many wonderful memories of my Grandma…

That was many moons ago… Over 50 years ago, if I’m being honest. And yet it is a very vivid childhood memory to this day. I truly believed those beautiful designs were made by Garden Fairies.How It All Started - Gnome Home -

But, back to how I became an unintentional Fairy Godmother. It was the summer of 2012…..

And, on a beautiful late-summer evening, we invited our neighbors over for coffee and dessert in our backyard. They have two young children, a young girl, and her slightly older brother.How It All Started - Fairy Door -

The girl caught a glimpse of our Fairy Doors and Gnome Home. “What’s that?” she asked, pointing to one. “Well, it’s a fairy door.” I said. Her eyes got as BIG as saucers. “You have FAIRIES in your backyard???” “Why, yes I think we DO! All these little doors just appeared one day!”

(And, YES, I DID just become my grandmother! And I’m not ashamed of it!)

How It All Started - Fairy Door -“Have you SEEN the fairies?” “Do you know their names?” “How big are they?” This began a barrage of questions, that continued for the rest of the evening.  It was just too cute, really.

So as the following Spring crept near, I decided that a fairy door should appear in her backyard. My plan was to sneak it in, while they were out, as a surprise for their whole family. I just knew in my heart that the parents would get just as much of a kick out of it, as the kids.

How It All Started - Fairy Door - GardenFairies.caSo, I carried out my plan. I saw them all drive off. I snuck into their yard and placed the Fairy Door peeking out from behind a rock, to the side of a big fern. It wasn’t super-obvious, but it wasn’t hidden either. A few days went by as I patiently waited… (well perhaps it wasn’t so patiently). A few days later, her Dad pokes his head over the back fence. “Guess what? It seems we have a fairy too!” he said with a wink and a big grin.

How It All Started - Fairy Door - GardenFairies.caNeither of the kids had discovered it yet.  Their parents had been waiting as non-patiently as I, for the big discovery.

Finally, a day later, the kids discovered the door.  And the little girl was especially excited.  I was equally delighted to hear how excited she was. And that was where we THOUGHT the story would end… A happy little girl with a fairy in her backyard.How It All Started - Note 1 -

But, the next thing we know, she has left a note at the Fairy door asking their names.

Well, this was an unexpected turn of events….  But… We’re game!

Along with her note to the fairy, she included a teeny tiny piece of paper so the fairy could reply. It was an inch square! With a micro-fine pen, I wrote back to her. I decided there should be TWO fairies – a sister and brother – Petal and Thorn Willowbug.

How It All Started - Reply 1 - GardenFairies.caAnd so it began…. After Petal and Thorn introduced themselves, it became an ongoing summer weekly routine. (The Fairies go to warmer climes, when the colder weather arrives… and the door disappears, as well.)  But in Summer, every week she leaves a note, and sometimes a gift, for the fairies. The fairies answer all her questions and sometimes leave little Fairy Treasure.  (Check out the Project Blog for inspiration)

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How It All Started - Fairy Door - GardenFairies.caWe continued this magical exchange for another six years… until our “littlest neighbor” wasn’t so little any more.

To this day, her mother swears she has no idea it was me… And I hope she never ever finds out. I *DO* hope that when she’s my age, she will fondly remember the mysterious and magical garden fairies. And MAYBE, she will do the same thing for her grandchildren or a sweet little neighborhood girl. How It All Started - Fairy Door -

Over on the PROJECTS page, I will share MY Fairy Tales with you, pictures of the notes, projects and treasures left behind by the fairies, in hopes that they will give you some inspiration or fun ideas to share with your children, grandchildren, or a child full of wonder.

All the best,