The Faerie Garden

Stone steps lead up to the Faerie Garden in Fairview, North Carolina.

Stone steps lead up to the Faerie Garden in Fairview, North Carolina.


In the autumn of 2014, Hammerhead Stoneworks collaborated with garden designer Mardi Letson of Gardens by Mardi to create the Faerie Garden. Commissioned by a couple in Fairview North Carolina, the garden is meant to be a special place for their grandchildren to explore and play when they come to visit.
Stone terraces lead up to the Faerie Garden in Fairview, North Carolina.

Stone terraces lead up to the Faerie Garden in Fairview, North Carolina.


The location they selected already included several small terrace walls, mortared of a local gneiss. Our scope of work included removing and replacing the lowest of these, which was falling apart, and building a new wall at the top, where the Faerie Garden would be. The walls we built are all drystone of a matching gneiss called Hooper’s Creek. We also added a set of trail-grade steps that lead to the Faerie Garden and a Toadstool Table in the garden’s center.
The stone Toadstool Table is a bit of whimsy, but is solidly built. The river rock support is anchored into concrete and has rebar pins that reach into the circular sandstone cap. Colorful marbles are mounted into the edge and sparkle in the sunshine.
Stone toadstool table

Stone toadstool table


The homeowners had a collection of antique glass insulators from old electric poles scattered around their property. We suggested using these in the walls. We built six niches to contain the more colorful of these beautiful pieces of glass. As good designs tend to do, the idea evolved as we worked; we installed electrical conduit in the wall such that the insulators could be illuminated at night cool LED fixtures.
Glass insulator in a drystone wall

A niche in the drystone wall contains a glass insulator at the Faerie Garden in Fairview, North Carolina.


The glass insulators in the drystone wall are wired for nighttime illumination. Photo by Amelia Fletcher

The glass insulators in the drystone wall are wired for nighttime illumination. Photo by Amelia Fletcher


Thank you to photographer Ameila Fletcher for sharing her nighttime images of the garden with us.
Bits of whimsy and telling details are found throughout the project, in our stonework and Mardi’s personal details. It was an ideal collaboration between the designer (who is also the gardener), the homeowners and the stone workers. Everybody brought ideas and excitement to the table. And in this case, even brought a tableā€¦
Detail of the stone toadstool table

Glass marbles are set into the side of the stone toadstool table

We set a jasper marble in a drill hole made at the quarry for blasting.

We set a jasper marble in a drill hole made at the quarry for blasting.


Faerie Garden entrance

Two stone sentinels surround the entrance to the Faerie Garden.


Engraved dedication stone

Garden designer Mardi Letson had this dedication made for the Faerie Garden. Martin Monuments of Fairview, North Carolina made the inscription.