Staff Blogger: Alexis Oatman, Advancement/Communications Intern

fairy garden 1When you visit Lakeside Chautauqua, there are so many things you can do – shop or dine in the business district, walk along Ohio’s Most Beautiful Mile or see a show in Hoover Auditorium, to name a few. Yet, there are hidden gems among this quiet community, the fairy gardens.

fairy garden 5What is a fairy garden? According to, “A fairy garden is a miniature garden complete with structures and actual living plants. It is designed to give your green thumb a place to tend year-round and to lure fairies and with them, good luck, to your home. It’s a tiny space created and tended with love. The design and components are limited only by your imagination.”

These gardens are quite similar to a regular garden, but instead of gnomes there are colorful fairies and even more colorful homes they live in.

fairy garden 3Fairy gardening has been around since 1893, that’s almost as long as Lakeside has been in existence. In the beginning, they were small bonsai dishes that got some notoriety at the Japanese Pavilion at the Chicago World Fairs. Later, there was a New York Times article written about these little treasures, and as a result, their popularity spread throughout the country.

The fairy gardens here consist of various themes, statutes and colors. These gardens not only add a colorful centerpiece to any front yard, but they are also very easy to maintain. Here are a few:

  • 329 Oak Ave. Garden features many pink and blue hues with sparkling fairies all around.
  • 457 Oak Ave. Garden is shrouded with leaves, which gives it an exotic island feel. Yet, you can always find it with the help of the colorful mushrooms bustling at the top.
  • 303 W. Fifth St. Garden is surrounded by rock and contains a small community filled with colorful fairies and their homes.
  • 353 Sycamore Ave. Garden is one of the more subtle gardens here at Lakeside. If you’re not careful you can miss it! This colorful garden is covered with all kinds of animals and fairies.
  • 323 E. Sixth St. Garden is the pièce de résistance of fairy gardens at Lakeside. It features a tall yellow tower and is encompassed with grass and stone. The garden has many little bushes and colorful fairy homes, not to mention all different kinds of fairies.

fairy garden 6In addition to fairy gardens being something nice to admire, they also make great gifts for anyone you know with a green thumb.

If you’re interested in starting a fairy garden at Lakeside, there are plenty of websites, such as Happy DIY or where you can order a starter kit online.

Also, here at Lakeside, Marylin’s Two and World Next Door offer amazing little treasures and trinkets that would fit perfectly in a fairy garden.