Fairy Homes and Gardens

November 10, 2014 Book Reviews 8 ★★★½

Fairy Homes and GardensFairy Homes and Gardens by Ashley Rooney and Barbara Purchia
Published by Schiffer Publishing, Limited on 2014-10-28
Genres: Crafts, Gardening, Nonfiction
Pages: 128
Source: the publisher
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Many supernatural creatures are said to inhabit our world. Their magical, wonderland realm has been the subject of many books, movies, and our childhood dreams. In this richly illustrated book, 30 designers from around the world transform natural settings into enchanting displays that recreate that sense of wonder. Using artificial flowers, fabric, sticks, wire, crystals, berries, acorns, baskets, and polymer clay, these designers have been inspired to create their own “once upon a time” fairy home and garden for special events, storytelling, or just because they believe in fairies. In doing so, they tap into our inner child and help us to imagine a new world. This is a wonderful resource for designers and artists, as well as parents, teachers, or anyone looking to create their own magical place.

Illustrated with beautiful photographs, Fairy Homes and Gardens offers lush eye candy for those who love fairies and elves or simply enjoy a touch of whimsey. As a coffee table book and a source of inspiration, it’s delightful. The homes pictured range from the ephemeral, such as Sally J. Smith’s leaf and flower creations, to the longlasting, like Beth Wittig’s moss-roofed Claddagh house, made from an old birdhouse and a sturdy stump. Some are incredibly intricate, others much simpler; there are tiny cottages and fantastic castles, like Rob Hurd’s amazing (and large) Bough Houses, which remind one of a cross between Hogwarts and the Burrow. The gardens are similarly varied, and their settings range from a large broken flowerpot to beside a woodland stream. The book begins with a section on fairy lore, which invites readers to discard their skepticism and enjoy believing in fairies again; depending on your tastes, you may find this whimsical or merely somewhat twee.


One of Rob Hurd’s intricate Bough Houses; this photo appears in the book. (via Pinterest)


What the book isn’t is a how-to. Only one page spread offers anything resembling instructions on how to create the garden that you see pictured. If you’re interested in creating your own fairy homes or gardens, you’ll find plenty of photos to spark ideas, but hopefully you already have some crafting experience to go with your imagination. Almost all the homes and gardens in the book are created by artists and craftspeople who have been doing this sort of work for a while, and the level of skill exhibited is often daunting. However, as long as you don’t go in expecting instructions for beginners, Fairy Homes and Gardens is a visual treat that both children and adults will enjoy.

Note: I received an e-ARC from the publisher, but I would highly recommend the print version over the ebook, due to the visual nature of the book.



8 Responses to “Fairy Homes and Gardens”

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Oh, cool! Pictures, please? You could put them on your blog! (Just let me know because I might miss them – I’ve been so busy I haven’t been visiting as much as I’d like.)

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I’d like to do one, too, but first I need to get my real garden – or rather, my lack of landscaping – fixed up. We used to have some decent landscaping, but I don’t have a green thumb and everything either died or got taken over by weeds. So. . . yard first, fairy houses later. 🙂