With all the snow and ice outside, the only gardening activity I can enjoy is reading garden books. A Child’s Garden: 60 ideas to make any garden come alive for children by Molly Dannenmaier.
My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Luppinaci, read Frances Hodgsen Burnett’s The Secret Garden to us, and I don’t know if the vision of that garden has ever left me. This beautifully illustrated book has lots of ideas for garden spaces that will entrance children – and many adults.
Dannenmaier lists the essentials beginning with water. Water certainly considered essential in all our gardens these days and she shows children playing in tiny ponds, streams, pools and fountains. I think all us parents and grannies know that water will keep a child busy for hours. And then will sleep well. Actually, my technique to handling the little grandsons is to keep them cold and wet. They have a good time and I assure that they will sleep well.
The need for heights, refuges, places for movement, creatures and plants to care for, room to dig, all are playfully provided for. I love all those vine covered hiding places. The weeping mulberry reminded me of the ‘mulberry bush’ in my cousin’s yard where we hid and whispered for hours. Whether you have children or not, you’ll find charming ideas for a welcoming and imaginative garden.