How to Find Flower Fairies

How to Find Flower Fairies *****

by Cicely Mary Barker

I’m sharing my Edible Book Review, inspired by Jain at Food for Thought, a delicious blog for readers with an appetite for the written word.


“After centuries of being hidden from human sight, the Flower Fairies allowed Cicely Mary Barker a glimpse into their enchanted fairy world in Fairyopolis. Now you can continue the adventure with this spectacular new novelty book where every page unlocks the secrets behind the magical places the fairies call home.”


 Enchanted with the Flower Fairies, I created a table ‘By the Wayside’ with fantasy more than function in mind~ for this edible review.


 Suspend your disbelief and enter the Flower Fairies’ magical realm. . . after all, only true believers are able to see the fairies. . .


I started with a foundation of burlap and soaked some moss to re-hydrate it and make it easier to piece and form a blanket. Sprigs of ivy, violas, and butterflies dot the mossy carpet where fairies love to hold their feasts & banquets!

My Portmeirion Botanic Garden flatware is stamped with flowers & butterflies and make the fairies feel at home~ along with Lennox Butterfly Meadow Cloud plates.

“After much painstaking searching, I have discovered that there are five special places where fairies make their homes. Look within the pages of this book, and you will find these magical places; the tree tops, the forest floor, the garden, the wayside and the marshes.”

“When you are passing along the wayside, see if you can spot large numbers of butterflies fluttering around. Hedgerow fairies often fly amongst butterflies; they provide an excellent means of concealment when travelling.”

 This pair of mushrooms was hiding in plain sight, waiting for me at HomeGoods for my table. . .

  I filled some peat pots with ferns, since some fairies prefer the security of being on the ground.

Snail napkin rings hold fern print napkins, both from Pottery Barn.

“Be alert to the presence of fairies whenever you are in a garden. Even a snail trail may not be quite what it seems. Fairies use sprinklings of fairy dust to mimic these trails when they are travelling on the ground!”

“Flower Fairies wear outfits fashioned from fallen petals—by dressing to impersonate the flowers that surround them, the fairies may flutter by unseen!”

Cicely Mary Barker was born in West Croydon, Surrey, a small town near London, England in 1895. As a child she suffered from epilepsy and as a result was physically frail and unable to attend school. Cicely’s father, an artist himself, encouraged her artistic talent, enrolling her at Croydon Art Society when she was thirteen years old and paying for a correspondence course, which she continued until 1919.

At the age of sixteen, she had her first work accepted for publication as a set of postcards, which prompted her to devote her career to painting.

Cicely was influenced by the popular interest in fairies which developed from the Victorian enthusiasm for fairy stories and the immense popularity of J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan in the early part of the 20th century. Published in 1923, her first book, Flower Fairies of the Spring, was well received by a post-industrial, war-weary public who were charmed by her vision of hope and innocence.

She preferred to use real-life child models for her fairy paintings~ most models coming from the kindergarten her sister Dorothy ran in the back room of the home where they lived. She would have the child pose with the particular blossom, twig, or flower to accurately depict the texture and form of the plant, enlarging the flower to make it the same size at the child.

Always botanically accurate, Cicely’s flowers were painted from nature. If she could not find a flower close at hand, she enlisted the help of staff at Kew Gardens, who would often visit with specimens for her to paint.

  I was alerted to the presence of Flower Fairies on this delightful tin of confections, on one of my HomeGoods excursions. . .

“A fairy ring is a place where fairies meet to dance. To find such a ring, venture into a shady glade in a quiet part of the woods. Look for a circle of fungi growing. But remember that the fairies only dance by moonlight…”

 These little chocolate mushrooms danced right into my cart at World Market. . .

“Fairies appreciate the following:  Sweet delicacies such as fruit, jam and cake. . .”

 A cake fairies can appreciate~ an angel food cake, cut in thirds, layered with lemon curd, whipped cream, berries & chocolate mushrooms!

“Flower beds are a perfumed paradise for fairies that desire beauty above all else.”

“Every flower has its own fairy to care for it,  which explains why most of my own fairy encounters have taken place in the garden.”


 You can see Cicely Mary Barker’s beautifully illustrated fairies here.

“Tread softly and speak quietly when you set foot in the fairies’ world. Who knows—perhaps you too will be allowed a glimpse into their magical kingdom?”

Beautifully illustrated, the paper engineering with its lift-the-flaps, booklets, maps, holograms, and other ephemera, hold surprises waiting to be discovered, and are sure to delight both young readers and the young-at-heart alike :-)


Thank you for your visit, sharing with:

Tablescape Thursday

  67 comments for “How to Find Flower Fairies

  1. Jackie
    May 24, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    your posts just get better with age……beautifully done.

  2. May 24, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    I love all of this:) I have the first book..this one looks dear too..the cake is exquisite..Love the tin:) Jain gifted me with one..
    And the chocorooms..~


  3. May 24, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Oh, Mary…………I like all of your posts…but this one left me speechless….!
    Absolutely enchanting! I clicked on the fall fairy table and thought it was delightful also, but this one is the best of the two! So charming and exquisite. The cake in this one is also bursting with fairy goodness….Sumptuousity itself! I can’t wait to see you publish a book with your tablescapes…..

  4. Lindsay
    May 24, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    I LOVE this table, the cake, the details! By FAR (sure wish I could use larger fonts for some of these words!) this is my favourite of all your tablescapes! It’s perfect!

  5. May 24, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    I’m pretty sure the colors & items on that cake make up the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen. :~) Annie

  6. May 24, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    You’ve made several gorgeous tablescapes with themes from books and I am loving this one. This and your seascape theme are my favourites! Absolutely lovely!

  7. May 24, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    THUD! the sound of me keeling over on the forest floor in complete awe…

  8. Carolyn
    May 24, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    I “second” Jain. while on the forest floor, Fairies danced on my head, rolling my hair into tiny curls the faster they danced. Just as the moon lit up the midnight sky, The Fairy Queen served us the most beautiful cake ever seen in the forest. She told us that her friend Mary made it especially for us.
    I thought I was dreaming, but when I woke up I saw this delightful table setting and I knew then that it was real. So much beauty to behold. We can
    always recognize Mary’s creative tablescapes and fabulous photos.
    So thankful that you share your talents with us. Carolyn NC

  9. May 25, 2011 at 12:51 am

    The effort you put into these posts is amazing to say the least. When is your book coming out? (: fairies play a big role when we are in Maine. There are fairy houses in our yard where fairies leave surprises for the children most every day. What a disappointment when they don’t come!

  10. May 25, 2011 at 6:51 am

    If I were a fairy, I know where I would hide. In that beautiful cake!! I love the burlap and moss in your tablescape. Were we separated at birth? LOL

  11. May 25, 2011 at 8:04 am

    This is the most magical and enchanting tablescape I’ve EVER seen! Everything is a delight to behold. Just when I thought it couldn’t be any more wonderful….along comes a picture of THAT cake! I would feel transformed into fairyland sitting at this most delightful table.

  12. La
    May 25, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Those chocorooms look interesting. I may have to stop at World Market tomorrow.

  13. May 25, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    I am enchanted and transported into the secret world of the fairies! I have probably looked at each photo several times. It’s magical and enticing. I love your creativity, it’s a delicious art form! Thank you for sharing this magnificent wonder with us. It has certainly enriched my day today. There is not one thing out of place, not one thing less than perfect. Your chocolate mushrooms are magical too. The pictures of your cake makes my mouth water. thank you. xo~marlis

  14. May 25, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    I’m not a big fan of tablescapes, but yours are always so fabulous! This one is the best yet! I love all your fanciful fairy treats. That cake looks fit for the fairy queen!

  15. May 25, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Your post reminds me of when I was a camp nurse a few years back. One of the young girls stopped me midstride as I was about to step on a mossy rock. “Don’t you know that tiny fairies live in there?” she asked me. “If you step there, you will hurt them!”

  16. May 25, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Such a wonderous and magical trip to fairy land!

    – The Tablescaper

  17. JDaniel4's Mom
    May 25, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    The magic in this post is such fun.

  18. May 25, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    I even heard harps being played as I lingered over every detail of your tablescape which was artfully and most creatively put together. I am certain, that I also heard the flutter of tiny wings! ENCHANTING

  19. May 25, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Your table looks so magical. So pretty and enchanting!..

  20. May 25, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    The cake is beautiful. This was a great F post! Love the fairies. Have a great day! Anne

  21. May 26, 2011 at 2:45 am

    Absolutely stunning!!! I would like to take that cake home, along with a side of the chocolate mushrooms!! And I love the PB napkins!!

  22. Jo
    May 26, 2011 at 4:13 am

    Wow I think that this is one of the best tables I have seen in ages. It is so beautifully put together…….I think you must have had help from your adorable little friend!!! Isn’t she just to die for?

    The cake is amazing with all the colours on it. Do you want to save me a piece? I will be there soon!


  23. Happier Than A Pig in Mud
    May 26, 2011 at 6:57 am

    What a fun table, I love your napkins Mary! The cake is spectacular! I think it’s beautiful and would have loved to been there when you could finally bring yourself to cut into it! (It had to be hard:@)

  24. May 26, 2011 at 7:01 am

    GOODNESS!!!! What a fabulous table. I love everything about it, and then I saw the cake!!!!!! Stunning!

  25. May 26, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I absolutely love everything about this post. It is perfect. Your cake is the most beautiful cake ever. I want your plates. :-)

  26. May 26, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Mary, this table is really incredible! I enjoyed seeing all the wonderful detail you included, and then I scrolled down to see THAT CAKE! Simple gorgeous! I’m sending a link to this post to my sister.

  27. May 26, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    What a delightfully, charming post! The flower fairies are so cute, and every detail of your tablescape simply enchanting! I Especially love the butterfly plates and snail napkin rings… and WOW, that CAKE is just absolutely “too incredible to be edible”!!!

    I’m so glad you came by to visit or I might have missed this! Now I’m going to have a peek at the rest of your blog!

  28. May 26, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    this is a breathtaking post! That cake is incredible- what a beautiful work of art!

  29. May 26, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    I don’t even know where to start.. I just scrolled through this post so slowly enjoying every single nook and cranny so I would not miss a detail. This is enchanting and beautiful. I love it.

  30. May 27, 2011 at 1:52 am

    Oh, oh, oh, I am in fairy heaven! I want that table and I want a slice or two of that heavenly fairy cake! This is absolutely beautiful in every way! I just feel enchanted by every detail! I am sighing and drooling and wishing I had been at your table all at the same time.

    The fairy garden got set up this week, once the rain stopped. I had some urging from two little granddaughter fairy lovers. I will have to have them see your post. I can’t get over it! Just wonderful, wonderful!

  31. May 27, 2011 at 11:42 am

    This is a most delightful post, Mary. Your table is truly magical, right out of a fairytale. That cake is beautiful, too.

  32. May 27, 2011 at 11:54 am

    That is a beautiful post! Such a gorgeous cake! Love the decorations!

  33. May 27, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Hi Mary,
    This is one of the most beautiful, enchanting tablescapes I have seen to date!! I feel as if I’ve just stepped right into that charming book. I love that you chose something so whimsical to create a tablescape around. Thanks for sharing the info. about the book and the author. I love just about anything English.
    All the elements on your table are so colorful and magical. And I have those Lenox “Butterfly Meadow Cloud” dishes. They’re a lot of fun to work with. It’s difficult to choose my favorite thing on your table, but I think for me it might be those adorable mushrooms. And your cake is simply a work of art!! Thanks for sharing this wonderful creation.


    Denise at Forest Manor

  34. May 27, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    I don’t know what bowls me over most: your fairy tablescape, your fairy fruit cake or your fairy story… F is for Fabulous!

  35. May 27, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    What a fantastic looking cake!! Absolutely gorgeous. Those chocolate covered mushrooms are adorable. So fitting for fairies. Very beautiful tablescape, too. Your white dishes are so pretty with the little butterflies.

  36. May 28, 2011 at 12:32 am

    MARVELOUS!!!!!!!!!! That cake is 2DIE4!!! Where did you find your little statue? At Home Goods too? I think you & Jain have the best Home Goods around!!!!! Mine never has such great goodies! I adore this post! Thank you for sharing. Your table is stunning!

  37. May 28, 2011 at 8:26 am
  38. May 28, 2011 at 11:12 am

    I don’t think I’ve often seen anything more lovely! Beautifully presented, beautifully photographed, and fancifully believable! Gotta go look for some fairies!!! Thanks for sharing with Sweets for a Saturday…that’s where I linked from.

  39. Jen
    May 29, 2011 at 10:28 am

    What an amazing table setting! I absolutely love the whole faerie theme! So very enchanting to look at :) That book look beautiful from the bits and pieces I saw in your photos. The illustrations look amazing! I must see if I can find a copy of that book in Japan. Oh and that cake! Wow! If I can have cake like that everyday, I’d be so happy :)

  40. Amy
    May 29, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Your flower cake is gorgeous and the tablescape is just as beautiful! I love how you bring the garden inside. :) Those little chocolate mushrooms are one of my favorite snack! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful post!

    By the way, I’m hosting 2 Giveaways on my blog, please stop by to enter when you have a chance. One for $50 Thrive products and another one for baking molds and more. Have a wonderful weekend.


  41. May 29, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    I’ve read her book and I loved it! Your cake and tablescape is absolutely ethereally fantastic!

    Those little mushrooms are so sweet, too.

    I think you should send a picture of your cake and table setting to the author. I think she would be as enchanted as we all are!

    Thanks for another fabulous link to Alphabe-Thursday!


  42. May 30, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    what a delightful post!

    such creativity and beauty…that cake and tablescape is just awesome!

  43. June 2, 2011 at 3:07 am

    Oh my gosh, my mouth literally dropped open in awe when I saw your cake! It’s so beautiful that words fail me. You are truly talented. Thanks for linking this up to Sweets for a Saturday.

  44. June 2, 2011 at 3:22 am

    Just wanted to let you know that your fabulous cake made the Top 5 for last week’s Sweets for a Saturday. Congrats!!

  45. June 4, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Your pictures are enchanting and that is by far the most lovely cake I have ever seen!

  46. July 4, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    I just started Pinterest and I had to come back and search and find this beautiful fairy cake and share it with the world! I think it is the most exquisite thing ever! Just wanted you to know that!

  47. Liz
    August 21, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Oh my this is amazing! A friend just sent me your link because she knows I have some of these fairies in my garden! Your attention to detail is outstanding and your cake is just amazing!

  48. March 13, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Wow. This is so amazing.

  49. April 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    I found your post via pinterest. I have pinned some images, credited you, and instructed people to Go To Your Amazing Blog. So happy to have found you – I am inspired to throw a flower-fairy tea party for my 4 yr. old daughter and her friends. Thank you for being an inspiring photographer, researcher, and blogger. What a delightful find today!!!!!

  50. Frannie Stevens-Meshorer
    May 2, 2012 at 4:45 am

    the fairies have taken my breath away …. MAGICAL!!

  51. Lisa
    May 15, 2012 at 1:51 am

    This is absolutely amazing…I don’t think i have ever seen anything quite like this before.

  52. Pingback: Sweetie
  53. Kirie Broberg
    July 1, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    This cake looks absolutely delicious! Where did you get the recipe for the lemon curd? (: It looks very different from the recipe I use.

    • July 2, 2012 at 6:59 am

      No recipe~ it’s a jar of lemon curd mixed with 8 oz of light cream cheese :)

  54. July 15, 2012 at 6:17 am

    that table is the bomb, magnificent

  55. September 3, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    This is gorgeous!!! Regards from Panama Republic.

  56. September 26, 2012 at 10:16 am

    This is the most magical table setting I have ever seen, where I feel I could step in and be apart of all the wonderful beauty around me! I will never look at fairies in the same way again, this is a good thing! I want to find this book, and start collecting all the little things to set up a table for my two grand daughters…. thank you so much!

  57. May 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Love it! One question–where did you get that delightful fairy figure? You give sources for everything else but that.

    • May 27, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      The fairy and leaf tray was purchased about 15 years from a company no longer in business. It was sold as a decorative bird feeder :)

  58. Carolyn
    September 18, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Just now reading this one, Mary. What a charming idea you had, with all the nature treasures, both real & reproduced, edible or legible! I just love touches of whimsy! I have a wicker tea tray w/smooth bottom surface that I painted & then adhered little fairies from Wallies. I like using it to take tea w/my granddaughters. Now I may just have to pull out mushrooms, make fern napkins & find pansies to enhance the occasion. Love the sweet imaginative cake as well! Great job, Mary! (:

  59. Linda Muckerheide
    March 29, 2015 at 12:03 am

    Having read the comments, all I can really add is “yes…” Making the world more beautiful, one soul at a time…just like the fairies.

  60. April 12, 2015 at 9:25 am

    So very beautiful, that cake is simply “beyond”!!!!! You have inspired me!

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