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Pay a visit to the fairies, during Buffalo garden walk

CALLING ALL FAERIES — An elaborate fairy garden that is so large it could be called a fairy village may be seen at the home of Lyn and Bill Rezabek, during South Buffalo Alive’s garden walk, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 21.
HAMBURG — A fairy garden is a miniature display where these mini sprites could live. Some gardeners arrange a fairy garden in a small planter or tuck one into a perennial bed.

But what Lyn Rezabek has created is more like a fairy village, complete with houses, fences, benches, a fire pit, clothesline and, of course, an area with tiny gardening tools.

The public may view this fairy village during South Buffalo Alive, a garden walk that will take place from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 21.

This event will include more than 60 gardens that display poolside landscaping, ponds and waterfalls, vegetable plots and train gardens. The charge is $2 for the self-guided tour.

Pick up maps at Tim Russert’s Children’s Garden, located at 2002 South Park Ave. in Buffalo, next to the Dudley Library.

This is one of the many National Garden Festival events, which are held right here, in Western New York.

When Rezabek began to fairy garden, four years ago, she started out small, with just one raised bed. As she collected more items, her husband Bill built three more raised beds.

Flat rocks are used for pathways, throughout the garden. The stones are important, because they hold down the soil and keep it from splashing up when it rains.

To create a fairy garden, you need small plants, such as herbs and sedums. Some garden centers now sell plants that are tagged with a picture of a fairy, indicating that these types do well in miniature gardens.

While you can choose perennial plants and keep your garden basically the same, from year to year, Lyn Rezabek said that she likes to start from scratch, every year. She does not have a set design.

“It’s too hard to plan out the plants and rocks and things,” she said. “You just kind of do it as you go along. I like it to seem like it’s whimsical and not too planned out – like it’s a wild and free place for the fairies to live. Just let the fairy garden create itself.”

Doors are used in various ways. Some are simply set against the edge of the raised bed. Other doors are located near a corner of the bed and are surrounded with rocks, giving the impression of a fairy house.

This gardener’s husband built a larger structure that has two hinged doors on it, so the fairies can go in one side and out the other.

The kind of tiny items that might be used in a doll house add personality to Rezabek’s fairy garden. New this year is a fire pit, complete with chairs, bottles of wine and tiny glasses.

In another area, a fairy might have just finished working. A straw hat rests on a chair and a pair of work boots lies underneath. Grouped in still another spot are gardening tools: a wheelbarrow, hose, watering can, saw, shovel, bucket, basket and yellow mud boots.

Located throughout the fairy village are a bird bath, hummingbird feeder, terra cotta pots, gardening shears, lantern, gazing ball, mushrooms, bird houses, mailbox, wishing well, cats, rabbits and a plate of chocolate chip cookies.

Rezabek said that she encourages others to try fairy gardening.

“Just start picking up a few pieces,” she said. “You can’t do it all at once. You have to do it little by little.”

These fun, tiny gardens do not require much maintenance. The small pieces can be blown by the wind and the couple’s four cats sometimes tip pieces over, so Bill Rezabek occasionally checks on the fairy village, to make sure everything stays upright. But he said that he doesn’t mind puttering out there.

“I think one of the things I like best about fairy gardening is that it’s a magical place to go,” he said. “If I can come out here for five or ten minutes and look around in the fairy garden and move a piece from here to there, you just feel like you recharged your batteries.”

Connie Oswald Stofko is the publisher of, the online gardening magazine for Western New York. Email

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