Saturday, March 27, 2010

Children's garden

Now that's it's spring and spring break for our pre-schooler, we are going to get our hands dirty working in the yard this week. I've spent the past seven years putting endless hours of effort and lots of sweat equity into our lawn's appearance. It's an on-going process and this year it leads me to creating a special retreat for our children.

Last summer we installed a playset. This year I'm landscaping the area around it to create a children's garden. Here's what I have in mind thus far: a playhouse, a butterfly garden (planting from seeds), ornamental grass hideaway (taking some of what I already have and spreading it around), a sunflower garden (starting from seeds), an herb garden (a variety of seeds), a hammock for snuggle story time (being moved from another part of the yard), a spot for a princess tent (I snagged at a tag sale last year), a homemade tee-pee (I'm making out of bamboo poles and a bed sheet), bench seat near the playset (already have) and potato vine to disguise the fence in the background. Do you have any ideas to add or thoughts to consider?

Here's the area. All the ferns were cultivated from one pot. They are beautiful, add a nice texture to the lawn, grow like crazy and the deer won't eat them (at least they haven't in my neck of the woods.)
All the ornamental grasses were cultivated from one pot.
Here's the playset nestled between the trees. The area behind it, to the right and to the left are what we are working on transforming. We will be digging and preparing the various areas this week and adding seeds/transplanting ornamental grasses as the weather warms.
When we lived in a shoebox in the city and had no yard, I filled my gardening desires by planting flowers in the tree-well in front of our building (while wearing a triple layer of gloves.) I love working in the yard and now I'm excited to have my children work by my side (or climb on the playset while I work.) Do you like to garden? What are some perennials that you love? Any gardening tips to share?

18 comments:

M.A.the2nd said...

Lisa your garden is beautiful..I can't believe you did all this. I especially love the top picture which looks like something out of a Robin Hood movie... the ferns look like Sherwood Forest. I love herbs too and I always use fresh herbs for my cooking like chives, rosemary and you should plant some rocket! I love lavender also but it doesn't do well here because of the humidity. And roses lots of roses! I am so impressed you do all this yourself. I also love star jasmine which has the most beautiful fragrance and climbs everywhere especially up trellises and arbours! Can't wait to see more photos!

MaryBeth said...

Amazing, maybe if you can tear yourself away from the Hampton's you could come help me with my black thumb in my garden.

Heavenly Housewife said...

Beautiful garden, that looks like such a nice place to spend an afternoon. I have a decent garden (though not as lovely as yours), but I have to mow it myself which is a total pain :( its really hard and sweaty work. I've tried to grow stuff in my garden, but no success, so I just kind of gave up on that.
*kisses* HH

The Zhush said...

Your yard is already so beautiful, by the time you are done with it, its going to be magical! Your little ones are beyond lucky!
xx
Sue

Kathysue said...

First I must say,your yard looks like a park. I love to work in the yard planting but not weeding trimming, you know all the maintenance stuff. In fact we have been working in the back and we are planting ferns and impatiens in a shadey area around my patio. Living in Calif our plant life is a little different than yours. Love the idea of the Garden for the children, I love Lambs ear for them to touch and the silver looks so pretty with the greens. Make sure they have some flowers they can pick all little girls can not resist flowers. I did a post on a fairy Garden you might enjoy for your little ones. Go here:
http://goodlifeofdesign.blogspot.com/2010/03/do-you-believe-in-fairies.html
Happy Sunday, can't wait to see what all you do, your ideas sound amazing,kathysue

erica@ moth design+luxe life said...

Your yard is gorgeous... I must get planting as mine is like a barren dirt pit.
Anyways, I thought I'd share that I passed along the Happy 101 award to you lovely. Come and see. xoxo

http://moth-design.blogspot.com/2010/03/happy-101-awards.html

red ticking said...

lovely garden and so fun to add the play area..

i love my garden and am out there every chance i get... it is my therapy!
enjoy your sunday xx

shari @ little blue deer said...

Oh, gorgeous! I wish we had a yard like this. Just wanted to let you know that I came by from Erica's post! Have a lovely night!

Hamptontoes said...

Hello friends,
Thanks so much for your comments. When we moved into our home we hardly had any grass, let alone landscaping...I have created what you see with my two hands and a lot of determination. I appreciate your words and hope you are inspired to work in your yard.

M.A.the2nd...love the jasmine vine idea!

Kathysue...definitely going to do the lambs ear and flowers for picking (I forgot about that); the fairy garden is fabulous...perhaps, I can make one for my daughter to play with her dolls.

Erica@moth design + luxe living...thank you for the wonderful award...I'm touched!

Traci Giles said...

Lisa, I've never seen your yard out East and am in shock that all of those grasses and ferns came from one pot! The children's garden is going to be really gorgeous, can't wait to see it!

The Pink Tutu said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. What a beautiful garden you have! Princess tent and butterfly garden sound so fabulous!

Hamptontoes said...

Traci,
The one pot of ferns and the one pot of grasses started many years ago and every year I cut back the existing and spread around...it's work, but I love the results and the one time investment.

Design Darling said...

oh my gosh, it's gorgeous! thank you so much for commenting on my blog — i'm happy to have found yours as well!

Ms. Wife of the Year said...

We still live in a shoebox in the city and although I can't imagine leaving it, I long for more green...

erica@ moth design+luxe life said...

Thanks for adding Moth Design to your daily reads! Just thought I'd let you know that I added you to my blog list too- it needed updating. xo Erica

SPLENDEROSA said...

Your children have such a wonderful mother !!
Isn't all this just so much fun to do? And as time passes it all just gets more beautiful.
xx's Marsha

Anonymous said...

WOW, GREAT WORK....
YES, IT IS THE ONLY THING THAT I HAVE EVER BEEN CONSISTANTLY PASSIONATE ABOUT....
LEFT A 30 ACRES ESTATE IN NEWTOWN, CT WITH MANY GARDENS... FOR CACTUS HERE IN THE WEST...
IT HAS BEEN 5 YEARS OF TEARS AND TRAUMA...
SO, NOW I CONTAINER GARDEN????
LOVE DAVID AUSTIN ROSES WHICH GROW REALLY WELL IN THE DESSERT AND I LOVE MOST ENGLISH GARDEN FLOWERS.....
I ALSO HAD HORSES, SHEEP, DOGS, CATS, CHICKENS AND MUCH MORE...


XXOO
LOST IN SANTA FE, NM
MELISSA

Hamptontoes said...

Melissa,
Wow, I think I'd be lost gardening in the desert. You have had some property to take care of...kudos to you for being so passionate about getting your hands into the earth.