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How Fairy Gardens Brought a Community Together

You’ll never guess how one California woman got to know her neighbors. Learn how you can create your own fairy garden!

You’ll never guess how one California woman got to know her neighbors.

Learn how you can create your own fairy garden!

Photo by Dan MacMedan

1 of 7 “Give a Fairy Door to Each House”

In 2012, Susan Minegar Luna crafted a fairy garden by the elm in front of her Santa Ana home, seeking solace at a difficult time. She didn’t know most of the 39 families who lived on her street. Then a voice told her to make a garden for each neighbor. This house’s blue roof evokes that family’s native Peru.


Photo by Dan MacMedan

2 of 7 Honoring Her Iowa Roots

Susan’s original garden pays tribute to her youth and visits to a relative’s farm. An arborist neighbor made the wire fencing. She personalized each neighbor’s garden.

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Photo by Dan MacMedan

3 of 7 A Magnet for Children

Susan’s grandson, Zachary, 7, and great-granddaughter, Stella, 1, help her with weeding, planting and adding decorations. Inside the black lantern, fairies leave encouraging notes for little ones. Each garden includes a prayer behind a fairy door.


Photo by Dan MacMedan

4 of 7 A River Runs Through It

Decorative rocks are part of many of the gardens. Susan uses heavy-duty tin foil to create a lining for the rocks, making it easier for her to refresh them. Gardens include family pets, such as this cat walking across the bridge.


Photo by Dan MacMedan

5 of 7 Are You Ready for Some Football?

The garden of one neighbor, a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan, features America’s team. The gardens were a hit with the neighborhood’s men. “I think it harks back to when they were boys playing in the dirt,” Susan says.


Photo by Dan MacMedan

6 of 7 Neighbors Share in the Fun

Susan’s neighbors added their own touches, such as this fiesta scene for a Día de los Muertos celebration in honor of the family’s Hispanic heritage. Many of the items were handcrafted.


Photo by Dan MacMedan

7 of 7 How It All Started

This is Susan’s first garden, with a fairy door recessed into her elm. God saw its potential to grow and bring joy to the families of her street. A reminder to Susan that miracles are there at our feet, just waiting to be unearthed.

 

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