I have never done one lick of design work for this client-she and her husband do their own. They design, they plant, they mow and maintain-on their own. They shop my store, and I may advise about this object or that pot, but they have a point of view, and they act on that. Parts of their gardens are designed for the pure unadulterated pleasure of their three childen. They cleared this shady area behind the house, and set to making that spot condusive to play. The blue rectangle in the above picture-an in-ground trampoline- what a blast.
They like rustic and whimsical objects in their garden-this spot is no exception. The Adirondacks style bench with integral planter gives them a place to sit and watch the kids. The ground is thickly mulched with pine needles. This makes for soft landings.
This playhouse began as an actual stump, to which a second floor was added. What small child would not be delighted to have this as a clubhouse in the woods? I could not help but laugh when I first laid eyes on this. Though the architecture was aimed at their children, it is incredibly beautifully built. The child-size doors keeps adults out. My favorite part? That brand spanking new roof, sagging dramatically.
The staircase with its woven rope railings looks like a gangplank-I can imagine lots of childplay set on this stage. Nestled in close to an existing tree, and furnished with its own birdhouse and barrel of flowers, its a home away from home.
A stump sculpture depicts a bear, slumped over a tree stump, asleep. The wood is starting to acquire some moss with age. This kind of exposure to a woodland playground has to be good-don’t you think? This is as friendly, unassuming and undemanding an exposure to nature and natural forms aimed at kids as I have ever seen.
My clients situated their seating area close enough to the woodland to keep an eye on the kids, but this space was designed for grown ups. Oversized furniture and pillows upholstered in bright colored fabrics looks sumptuous and inviting. The pergola overhead makes outdoor entertaining in the rain a distinct possibility. There are gorgeous views to gardens on three sides.
The pool deck is loaded with big handmade Italian terra cotta pots, stuffed to overflowing with annual flowers in mixed colors. The old farm pump spilling into a vintage wood farm bucket is not only whimsical, but fun. My clients tell me their kids love splling the bucket on each other’s heads. This does sound like great fun.
The front yard is home to a wood house built from pallets, originally part of a Halloween haunted house vignette. In the summer, the house gets dressed up like a garden shed, complete with a tin rooster on the roof.�
It is obvious that beyond the time and daily effort they spend making their gardens beautiful, this is a very happy place for a family. This garden is jam-packed with joy.