Tour a Grandmother's Fairy-Tale Garden

An English-style garden with fairies, faces and other whimsical details delights a gardener and her granddaughters.

Bursts of Color

Bursts of Color

An English-style cottage garden in Atlanta.

Photo by: Photo by Angela West

Photo by Angela West

An English-style cottage garden in Atlanta.

Atlanta Master Gardener Katie Sanstead designed a fairy-tale garden for her two young granddaughters, who stroll the paths and create adventures for their winged figurines. Sanstead has thoughtfully created a space with children in mind who can let their imaginations run wild in the English-style garden and storybook-like shed. For a grandmother deeply invested in gardening, the opportunity for the next generation to learn about nature and gardening is an added bonus.

“I’m teaching them how to garden,” says Sanstead. “I wanted to teach them about plants and about nature, and about the cycles of life and the seasons. I want them to know the names of the trees and I’m teaching them — by sight and by sound — the birds.”

Her vision for the Atlanta-area property was big and challenging. When she and her husband, Bob, purchased the 1940s English cottage in Marietta, there was a chain-link fence surrounding the home and garden and a total of two plants. The heavy tree cover — some of the pecan and oak trees were believed to be planted more than 100 years ago — dictated that it be a woodland garden, which fit with the fantasy theme.

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