Close your eyes and imagine a fairy. What do you see? Chances are, it’s a flower fairy . Of all the elemental beings, flower fairies may be the most familiar.
You’ve likely seen images of childlike fairies posing as guardians of particular flowers, but you may not know that they are the work of Cicely Mary Barker, an early twentieth-century artist.
Fairies were popular at the time. Books such as Peter Pan were capturing the public’s attention. Even Queen Mary sent fairy postcards to her friends. Barker enchanted the public with life-like depictions that were published in tiny books organized by season (we sell beautiful re-issued versions like this one).
She was a detail-oriented artist, acclaimed for the botanical accuracy she achieved by drawing from real plants. Her models were children from her own community dressed in costumes Barker built herself out of sticks, fabric, and gauze, made to mimic the petals and leaves of a particular flowering plant.
Barker’s fairy drawings are nostalgic and whimsical, even today. The classic images are so familiar that they have become, in my opinion, the backbone of the fairy world.
Adopt one for yourself! Give a home to one of our flower fairy statues, like this little helper , and bring a piece of history and whimsy to your own garden.
Or display a flower fairy friend at home for good luck in the garden. We especially love Fuschia for wooing hummingbirds and Scilla for making woodland borders sing with color. Imagine them helping the blossoms along, befriending pollinators, and tending secluded spaces.
Whenever you see one tucked beneath a leaf or peering at you from a shelf, say a quiet thank-you to Ms. Barker, who gave us such lovely, long-lasting friends.
Who’s your favorite flower fairy?
With warm smiles,
The Fairy Godmother