The Greenwood Tree

Scroll to Info & Navigation

Cicely’s Real Life Flower Fairies

Cicely’s house in Croydon. You can see the green plaque on the wall.

Flower Fairies creator Cicely M Barker used children from her local neighbourhood of Croydon, Surrey, as models for her Flower Fairies.I found this sweet little article on a local history website about one lady, Betty Devlin, who modelled for several of Cicely’s fairy illustrations, including the Christmas Tree, Elder, Willow and Lavender Fairies.

Betty went once a week to Cicely’s artist studio at the top of her house in The Waldrons, a crescent of smart Victorian houses.

"I remember [Cicely] as a very tall, slim, delicate-looking lady with long, slim hands. She arranged to pay my parents a shilling an hour and that I would go to her house every Saturday and pose for her while she painted. "It was such a big house… I remember being fascinated by her budgie and, when it moulted, she would put the feathers in an envelope for me. I used to stroke the feathers and thought they were beautiful."