Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Place For Children

I may have made mention here that I am somewhat lacking in the green thumb department. I maintain this is because all the green genes went to my sister. Amy is a master gardener and her husband is a talented landscaper. Not only is her house surrounded by beautiful plants and rocks, but she also put in a natural prairie filled with native plants. It's lovely to look at and also invites climbing.
(It could be that these plants are so healthy because they are the final destination of the poop scooped by the pony riders in the previous post.)

Amy's other ongoing project is a children's garden created and maintained by her group of master gardeners. I've been hearing about this project for several years, but to be honest, I had no idea of the scope of this project. My own children's garden at the library is a 16 X 16 ft. piece of dirt where we plant, weed and harvest during the summer and plant rye in the winter. While I knew Amy's garden would be more elaborate than that, I was not prepared for the reality.

Unfortunately my camera was dead by the time we got there, so I don't have as many pictures as I'd like to. I found the above picture online. You can see the metalwork entry. There is a variety of metal sculptures, all painted bright kid friendly colors. There is a butterfly house.
By the time of our visit, all the butterflies had gone off on their annual Mexican vacation, but I'm assured that they were in residence over the summer. There is a pavilion for programming, a potting shed for obvious purposes, a secret garden complete with sleeping cat, a Japanese garden with bell that the kids can ring, and a mini version of the 100 Acre Wood complete with Eeyore's house and a bee tree. There is a tunnel maze and a sun dial, all kid sized along with a great photo op.

Isn't that the cutest little ladybug ever?

I was frankly amazed. Although we visited very late in the year, there were still lots of plants and flowers, and the structures were lovely. But of course the garden wasn't built for me, so my opinion isn't what matters. What matters is that my kid swept into the place like a mini tsunami and loved every single square foot. The mark of a great place for kids is often whether or not the children need to be told how to enjoy it. Apart from the sun dial, Kate needed no instruction. She flitted from spot to spot like a super excited hummingbird and covered every inch of the place. This is definitely a place for kids.

She took a ride on the rhino and finally came to rest on the butterfly chair.

Good job Aunt Amy!

1 comment:

goldiebug said...

oh wow, what an amazing place for kids! that is really neat. And a very good point about the best places for kids are those they don't have to be told how to use.