Friday, April 4, 2008

Secret Gardens

As we're really starting to think about summer projects (yes, it's already summer here - high of 85 today), I was thinking of building a secret garden for my kids. I remember playing in our plants when I was little and having all kinds of tea parties and such in there. But, the yard I grew up in was an established yard, and ours is not even close. I was talking with Tom about it and he brought up some good points.
  • How big do you want it to be?
  • What do you want inside it? Table, playhouse, creek?
  • What kind of look do you want it to have? soft, textured, etc?
  • Do you want a gate or arbor?

He did give me a good suggestion, though. He thought using wax myrtles (Myrica cerifera) for the walls would be really good. They're native here and I can probably dig them up from the farm. Pluse they make great shrubs or small trees, depending on how you prune them. And, they fill in pretty quickly. All good things when thinking about the walls.

I did a little Internet serching on secret gardens for kids and didn't come up with much. Anyone have any ideas? What other plant material should I think about using? It has to be sturdy enough for the kids and the massive puppy. My kids are yound and could play in this for many years. Should I think about putting a playhouse in with maybe a creek or pondless water feature? How big do you think it should be? Any suggestions would be helpful...


Allison said...

Wax myrtles also keep bugs away. I remember playing in them with the stream running through and the arrowroots and flags blooming. Grandma's ferns and bamboo also made great "playhouses."

Wicked Gardener said...

Have you seen some of houses made by sunflowers? Pole Bean tee-pees are cute too. They look like so much fun, but I haven't tried them. I remember a huge lilac bush becoming a private area when I was a kid in New England and would love something like that for my daughter. I'll have too look up wax myrtles - I'm sure I'd recognize them if I saw them. Can you believe they are forecasting weather in the 90's this week? Summer is not wasting any time!

Emily said...

allison - thanks for reminding me of the ferns and bamboo! I'd forgotten.

wicked - i'd like to try the sunflowers and pole bean tee pees also.