Tour a Grandmother's Fairy-Tale Garden

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

As soon as this Atlanta cottage, with whitewashed brick, came on the market, Katie Sanstead told her husband she wanted to buy it and have the outdoor landscape match the English design. They added the cobblestone driveway, which is bordered by annuals and flowering shrubs such as deutzia, clematis, 'Georgia Blue' speedwell, 'Black and Blue' salvia, cranesbill and forsythia.

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.

Shop This Look

Next Up

Asheville, North Carolina, Is a Garden Mecca

These hills are alive with farm to table cuisine and a thriving garden culture.

Road Trip: The Atlanta Botanical Garden

Anyone stopping in the city would be strongly advised to check out this local treasure.

Take a Virtual Tour of Charleston's Historic Gardens

Stroll down Chareston, S.C.'s historic streets and take in the views of some of the most beautiful private gardens in the world—all without leaving your home.

A Southeast Sensory Garden Plan

Choose these plants and flowers to create a garden founded on the senses.

Sow and Tell: Biltmore Estate Walled Gardener Travis Murray

This plant savvy pro has a plum job overseeing Biltmore's famous gardens.

A Florida Sensory Garden Plan

Use this guide to create a stimulating, sensory garden.

Landscaping Ideas: Take a Chicago Garden Tour

Find design ideas and inspiration in this personal garden.

Southeast Water-Wise Garden Plans

Purple coneflower, Mexican feather grass, blue flag iris, yucca and St. John's wort help add color and interest to this water-saving entryway garden.

A Florida Fruit Garden Plan

Kumquats, figs, key limes, blueberries and navel oranges are just some of the fruits you'll harvest in this beautifully landscaped garden retreat.

A Fruit Garden for the South

Follow this detailed plan to create a lovely sitting area that's a treat for the senses.

Go Shopping

Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.