An Enchanting Sudbury Trail Embodies a Magical Fairy Fantasy


SUDBURY – Longfellow’s Wayside Inn has been transformed into a fairytale wonderland – dotted with fairy houses, pixie dust, enchanting flutes playing in the gardens and ‘living fairies’, courtesy of Sudbury Thursday Garden Club.

The hostel, surrounded by wooded trails, a lake, small gardens and beautiful trees, was perfect for the Fairy Garden Trail club fundraiser last Saturday.

Related: The first Fairy Trail was held at Camp Sewataro

The event featured a special appearance from the Fairy Queen herself, Carol Droege, who came from her hometown of Watchung, New Jersey, to bring light, joy and sprinkle fairy dust.

Her pastel pink curly hair and sparkling smile shone across the garden as she greeted and welcomed all the little fairies.

Dressed as a fairy herself, 3-year-old Vivian Pimentel of Sudbury admires a fairy house during the Thursday Garden Club of Sudbury's Fairy Garden trail at the Wayside Inn in Sudbury on May 14, 2022.

As Droege walked along the lake after spreading her wings along the fairy path, she suddenly heard “not an inner voice” shouting, “It’s a fairy!” She’s a real fairy, she waves to me!

The smitten young star’s name was Frankie and “we had a wonderful visit.”

“That kind of excitement…I would wear wings every day for that,” Droege said.

After: Wayside Inn Hosts 22nd Annual Paws In The Park

Last year, when club co-president Angela Stoller hosted the first Fairy Garden Trail fundraiser, she was on the lookout for the fairy queen. Through her husband, Mark, she bonded with Droege who attended the same high school.

“I thought to myself, ‘I don’t know who gets up late at night and thinks of my name when it comes to this stuff,’ but I’m in,” Droege said with a chuckle and a smile. brilliant. “When she asked me this year, I couldn’t say no. I love it.”

She even made this writer feel like a kid again, giving a pinch of pixie dust to the hands and a tube of red glitter dust as a parting gift.

Droege, the wife of a retired pastor, enjoys creating various forms of art in her spare time, as shown in her handmade fairy queen costume.

Although she lives as a fairy in her “everyday life”, she plays the character of Fairy Queen only for the Garden Club event.

“An Ode to Her”

At the entrance to the Fairy Trail were two statues of fairies, which paid tribute to a member of the club for decades, Lee Phipps, who recently passed away. Stoller said Phipps’ daughter donated items from her home, and around the corner she spotted “those beautiful fairies” that were perfect for the Fairy Trail.

After: Wayside Inn among the best places to dine by the fire

Since the 1970s, Phipps had been a devoted member of the Garden Club who lived across the pond from the Wayside Inn, “so it was an ode to her,” Stoller said.

The Phipps Fairies not only marked the start of the trail, but also the start of Saturday’s scavenger hunt. Adventurous and curious youngsters scatter the trail to find a house the size of a mouse, a fairy with a mushroom, a butterfly wing, and more.

Sudbury's Fairy Princess Laura Erb talks to a young fan near Carding Mill Pond during the Thursday Garden Club of Sudbury's Fairy Garden Trail at the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, May 14, 2022.

These clues led them to discover the fairy houses that members of the Garden Club, along with a few non-members, made for the event. The fairy houses were made with natural materials such as pine cones, sticks, stones, and moss, along with additional crafting supplies.

More unusual supplies, including pizza boxes and bottles of champagne, were used to construct Sande Weiskopf’s magical creation. About 30 fancy dwellings have been housed along the trial for people to experience and enjoy.

Along the trail, fairy princess Laura Erb fluttered in her green wings, waving and posing with budding young fairies in a beaded corset and purple tulle dress – fit for any princess.

The exit from the trail led to the Story Tree, where children sat in the shade, captivated by magical fairy tales. Soon after, several young people convinced their parents to buy more fairy tales from Liza Garden Walsh.

June Bowers, 4, of Wayland, visits a fairy house created by Sudbury's Thursday Garden Club member Mary Hardwick on May 14, 2022.

Down the road, Walsh’s books, along with baked goods, were sold at Longfellow’s Garden. Walsh not only writes fairy tales, but also books on how to build your own fairy house. Visitors also took part in a raffle of a garden fairy house.

For history buffs, the Wayside Inn Foundation had an information table where they shared the story of a 1925 hostess, Priscilla Staples, who wrote a poem embodying the fun spirit of that event.

“Oh makers of this robe of mine / Makers of her silk so fine / Sewers of every neat seam / It makes me feel like a fairy queen!” Staples wrote.

Wayside Inn appeals to the host

Typically, the club’s fundraiser takes place every other year, but this event was so popular among adults and children that co-chairs Stoller and Karen Sample decided to open the enchanted fairy trail this year as well. Local businesses helped make this enchanting event a reality, with Main Street Bank being the platinum sponsor.

The event’s success also impressed Wayside Inn employees, who contacted the club and asked to host the fairy trail on its grounds, Sample said.

Not to be confused with the Sudbury Garden Club, the Thursday Garden Club of Sudbury was founded in 1951. It grew out of the Sudbury Garden Club being unable to accept more members.

“For some reason they came up with that name and now we’re stuck on Thursdays,” club member Mary Hardwick said with a laugh.

This fairy house was made by Sudbury Thursday Garden Club member Mary Hardwick on May 14, 2022.

Hardwick got his start with the club in 2008 as a way to socialize and make friends over a shared hobby. Since then, she has held various positions within the club, including that of president a few years ago.

“It’s nice to always take us back to nature,” she said. “Especially after what we’ve been through for the past two years and realizing that nature helps us stay focused… I think people are starting to get the gardening bug because of that.”

The club is a non-profit organization that offers educational community programs, citywide beautification projects, and regional high school scholarships for environmental and horticultural studies.

All proceeds from the Fairy Garden Trail go to the club’s civic beautification efforts, including decorating traffic islands and planters, going downtown for the holidays, as well as helping with the children’s garden and community programs. Goodnow Library.

Despite the joy, magic and success that fundraising brings, Sample said the Garden Club will be taking time off next year. But don’t worry, throughout the year you can see his contributions dotted all over the city.

The club meets on Zoom on the second Thursday of each month, September through May.

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