Doorways to Creativity
By Erica Vilkus
There are some new mysterious additions to the Nature Coast Botanical Garden. Tiny doors have popped up among the flowers and trees of the 3.5 acre garden waiting to be discovered by visitors.
They are Fairy Doors and, despite their appearance, weren't crafted by small woodland creatures but were handmade by Pinellas based artist Carla Mogan. They are miniature works of art, usually installed on the base of trees, that inspire people to use their imagination. They act as literal doorways to creativity.
The mythology of fairies or fae stretches back centuries and exists, in some form, in many cultures. The fairy doors are a recent addition to fairy lore. The Fairy Doors of Ann Arbor, Michigan marked the beginning of the artistic craze in America back in 1993. Illustrator Jonathan Wright installed a 6-inch tall door in his home and his children immediately created a mythical world around it.
Mogan began her journey into this mythical world with a generous project. She said, “I wanted to make a little broken pot indoor garden for my mom, for Mother's Day, when the pandemic started. Once I got started, I was hooked!”
Then she began attending markets and expanding her aray of fairy furnishings. Mogan has put together all the essentials like bookshelves, tables, and even toilets. Her attention to detail also shines in her more intricate pieces like a piano and a Mother Kombucha market stand.
“I love the idea that anything can become a fairy house. A broken pot, an old boot, a big coffee mug, the tree in your front yard, you name it! And I have wanted to do something fun for the public to enjoy since I started making fairy things. It just came together when I met with the director of the gardens; doors!” Mogan explained.
Mary Wuest, the manager of the garden, thought the fairy doors would complement the garden well. She said, “This is a cute little secret. They are not obtrusive.”
The Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, located at 1489 Parker Ave in Spring Hill, is one of the hidden gems of our county. The garden boasts 23 sections of flora ranging from tropic palms to colorful firecracker blooms. It’s funded and maintained by the Spring Hill Garden Club.
It is a great place to appreciate nature in the middle of our ever growing community and this was kept in mind when the decision was made to incorporate Mogan’s work. The focus is not on the doors themselves. The doors actually emphasize their natural setting and encourage visitors to slow down and take a closer look at all the care put into the garden.
“They are a nice surprise for our visitors. It’s a delight when someone sees them,” said Wuest.
These fairy doors show the wonder of art in its purest form. One small door decorated with twigs and pinecones insights curiosity, awe, and endless creativity all the while highlighting the beauty that surrounds them.
The gardens are free to the public and are open 7 days a week from dawn to dusk. The Nursery is open for plant purchases on Monday’s and Saturday’s from 9:00 AM to 12:00 noon, all proceeds go to the upkeep of the gardens. Explore their website https://www.naturecoastgardens.com/ for more information.
To keep up with Carla Mogan you can vist her website www.Fairy-Little.com or follow her Instagram @fairylittlecreations.