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A garden where fairies roam

Cindy Telega works in the fairy garden she creates every year in the yard of her village of Superior home. She describes it as her “fun” garden. Jed Carlson/

Cindy Telega's yard in the village of Superior offers a wonderland for fairies, literally.

"I started out with one little house," Telega said. "And it got a little bigger."

What started as a 3-foot-by-3-foot garden six or seven years ago — an idea sparked by do-it-yourself television — is now a 3- by 15-foot space where miniature fairies and a gnome mingle among small bushes and trees, and tiny blossoms to create a raised-bed fairy garden.

"I'm always on the lookout for new stuff for the fairy garden," Telega said.

The garden features a fountain, a little antique wagon — where the gnome lives in its own little home — a plate painted to look like a coy pond, complete with fish, and aquarium rock create a village where fairy figurines can flitter about. Tiny porcelain ducks swim in a hand-painted pond.

"Every year I get a couple new fairy houses," Telega said. "There's just a couple bare spots I want to fill in with fairy houses. I've gotten them as gifts, because people know me."

Small bird figurines live in the trees.

An artist, Telega said she enjoys recreating the space every year — it's never the same twice. And when the summer ends, and she puts it all away, it's time to repaint the fairies, which fade in the sunlight.

"Sometimes I find little things at rummage sales and I revamp them for the garden," Telega said.

To build the base, Telega said she had to start by putting sand down to prevent mud from seeping up and making the tiny figurines dirty when it rains. Aquarium rock over the sand creates the landscape where bits of tiles create paths

"Those kind of fell off my firepit, and I thought I'm not throwing that away," Telega said. "That'll make great sidewalks."

She said shopping for the garden is fun. She said at a garden center in Winter, she saw a pond that recycles the water through a fountain, something she would like to do someday.

"It's fun," Telega said. "This is my fun garden. It doesn't get a lot of weeds so there's not a lot of weeds. I redo it every year."