Ideas for a beautiful, sacred, kid-friendly garden space? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 06-11-2005, 05:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We are having a garden soon for the first time in four years. I've REALLY missed it!!

ANyway, aesthetics are not my strong suit (neither is it DH's) We are very functional people. However this time, I've always dreamed of having a really "pretty" and inspiring garden. We are pagan and I'd love to have places to incorporate a closeness to the earth and all in the garden. Places to hang out w/the wee ones, etc

So far, I am thinking to have a couple of flower/vine teepees for the kids to play in. I want to have some sculptures of goddesses etc. as well. Maybe a center circle? Definitely a kid friendly "play" area where they can experiment.

I'd love to see or hear fun ideas!
Thanks mamas
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#2 of 10 Old 06-11-2005, 10:38 AM
 
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My kids call theirs the Secret Garden because it's a secluded area on the side of our house. The open end is actually bordered by a 6' tall red tip so you can't really see directly inside. You can walk the stepping stone path around the hedge to get in, but we also trimmed a pathway through the hedge that's about 2.5' tall so just the kids can crawl through. They like to sit under there too.

They have a child sized picnic table & sandbox. Another one of their favorite is the big elephant ears - ours usually get about 5 feet tall. They love to play in those. My dd also has an azalea. She grabbed it off the shelf at the nursery when she was 3 & announced it needed to come with us. So she named it Matilda & she takes care of that one herself. I also plant whatever annuals strike their fancy.

I like water features too. I don't have one in the kids area because we have a koi pond in another part of the yard, but if we didn't I'd probably have put some kind of little fountain in the kids area.
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#3 of 10 Old 06-12-2005, 12:45 PM
 
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I like prolific, edible things in children's gardens. Mint is awesome- and they can't kill it, as it takes over generally. Two different kinds of mint can teach about subtleties of taste, smell, plant genetics. Edible flowers: bachelor's buttons, nasturtiums, pansies come to mind. Lavendar is great in a kid's garden, because when there's an accident or mini-crisis, aromatherapy's right there!
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#4 of 10 Old 06-13-2005, 06:39 PM
 
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What I have tried to do with my garden is use predominantly local native species so it is very much in harmony with the environment. We live in a very marginal windy coastal area so it means my garden grows too I work on the principle of having a low maintenance garden that is functional so I have definite garden areas which are all local natives & definite vege/fruit areas which are permaculture so are not necessarily very neat & tidy! What I have found is I have a plan of what I want to plant. I get some plants. As I go along ideas & plant combinations show up more. I go to the local botanical gardens & see what is growing in there in their native plant section. I also get lots of books out of the library & look at them for ideas.

I've tried to grow quite a few of the more endangered rare local species. I've got a small lawn area with a deosil spiral of pavers which has a small divaricating shrub at the centre which I am going to topiary as it grows. I've got a tussock bank that moves beautifully in the wind. I've got shells around the garden for the kids to play with & listen to the sea in. I've got a bank of local plants you can weave with - pikao & flaxes - so the kids can make things when they get bigger. The flaxes will also serve as a wind block for my vege garden when they get bigger.

We don't have wild flower meadows as the country would be covered in bush if we didn't have ppl here. But a wild flower meadow would be awesome for the kids to play in. Would attract lots of butterflies - which we don't really have here either. But I do remember clouds of butterflies on some of the wildflower meadows from when I was very young & lived in England. You could do an orchard in the wild flower meadow so it is functional as well as pretty.

I've got some nice smelling native aniseed & tarata in easy reach that the kids pick leaves off & smell. I've also tried to plant a variety of trees so I always have some flowers in the garden. All my trees & plants are still small coz I only started the garden just after xmas but they will grow up & have hidey holes & spaces. I've integrated some veges beds for me & the kids at the bottom of the tussock bank where they grow veges they like such as carrots. I got some purple carrot seed for next year so dd is very excited. Their sand pit is by the vege garden area so they can play while I do the garden.

In front of the house, where it is sheltered, I am going to do sort of a japanese garden with native plants. I really like the dry gardens which they do & the patterns they rake in them. They tend to have standing rocks in the dry gardens, so I am considering doing a stone circle if I have enuf room, but you could always put a goddess statue in there instead.

I would like a small waterfall-type thing for the kids to play with which is also a part of japanese gardens. I am very into them at the moment as it is winter here so I am in my planning phase for next season.

I've got an area set aside which dh has strewn with pine logs right now for my vege garden next year. I got a very good book on permaculture out of the library & that talks about using mandala shaped beds. You then surround them with a mixture of herbs & useful flowers to keep the grass at bay. I'm also putting berries & fruit bushes around mine so the kids have something to munch on.

Out the back, we've got 3 acres of bush. We had the wilding pines growing in it logged but are having issues with getting the fallen logs removed so I am unable to do much to probably 2 acres of it other than clamber over the logs & weed the noxious weeds. We're building the kids a playhouse out there somewhere. I was thinking of doing it like a japanese teagarden. dd is very into having her rooibos & contemplating nature.

The other thing I want to do is plant a sacred tree circle. I still need to find a spot & decide on what exactly will be appropriate sacred trees for our area. I do have a native tree that I personally hold to be sacred but it doesn't grow this far south naturally & my only one I planted it struggling a bit. I'm going to try an experimental one in a more sheltered area & see how it goes.
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#5 of 10 Old 06-14-2005, 12:32 PM
 
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i have a weeping cherry 'snow fountain', which has an open space underneath that is trimmed & mulched & is their faerie house for tea parties. it is secluded yet visible from the front porch, & is kid-sized for them only. the bees buzzing are a little intense in spring :LOL but they are not scared of bees. (and the birds come eat the tiny cherries.) i have vine tipis too (and the whole garden is sacred & theirs to explore), but this is their own tiny canopied personal space.

herbal knot gardens for your center circle would be nice. you can't go wrong with herbs. (and, you can never have enough garden seating. it will be more inviting to you & your kids.) and the sound of water is very tranquil (i am thinking koi pond over here, amnesiac; do you have any old threads talking about yours?)

suse
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#6 of 10 Old 06-14-2005, 01:31 PM
 
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I don't know that I do Suse. Feel free to start one when you get ready to do yours though!
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#7 of 10 Old 06-15-2005, 12:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much mamas!! It keeps me inspired to read this!! T

THanks
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#8 of 10 Old 06-15-2005, 01:52 AM
 
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My son and I planted a pinwheel garden. Ds was having a hard time grasping that(most of) the garden goes away every year. So we planted something that doesn't go away as well as the usual garden goodies. We have pin wheels of all different sizes, shapes and colors. And now when we go special places, we look for pinwheels for our everlasting -twirling garden. Happy digging.
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#9 of 10 Old 06-15-2005, 02:34 PM
 
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I started my garden last year by planting something at a spot that is North, South, East, and West (North and South are small fig trees, East is a pear tree, West is a peach tree) Then I visualized a circle with each of those points included and planted along the circle. In the middle, I planted flowers and herbs. And vegetables and berries.
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#10 of 10 Old 06-16-2005, 11:26 AM
 
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What a great thread! I'm so taking notes for when my little bean is born!!!

In the child's garden I'm imagining, I'd also include tactile things -- funky, found-object statues or everyday things that can act as flower pots (old toy dumptrucks with a few holes drilled in the bottom?); SOUND -- windchimes, maybe even the kind you can make yourself out of thrift-store forks and spoons; a fairy ring of river rocks or other smooth stones; and I agree with PPs that edible, fragrant plants as well as places to sit beneath and hide sounds super.

What fun!
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