Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

The Garden of Magical Childhood


The Garden of Magical Childhood

May 30, 2013

My daughter adores buttercups. We are clearing a patch of garden which has become overrun and it will be her patch. She wants to grow the things she likes and that includes the creeping buttercup. Other favorites are dandelions and daisies, bluebells and wild strawberries. For a child, they are all value-added, plants you can play with or eat. For an adult, they have to get out of the borders.

Photographs by Kendra Wilson.

dandelion  20  clocks

Above: The best/worst moment in the life cycle of a dandelion depending on whether you are a child or a grownup.

Ava  20  bluebells  20  hi  20  res

Above: Bluebells are on my daughter’s list of top five plants because they are shaped like bells and fairies live in them. There is undoubtedly something magical about a bluebell wood for children and adults alike. The double hit of color and scent is transcending and if fairies live in the flowers, then all the better.

teddies  20  and  20  cowslips 0

Above: When the toys are not cleared away. This is a problem for many adults.

At the Chelsea Flower Show this year a small garden in the “Artisan” section attracted a lot of attention. It was a children’s garden which was intended to provoke memories in visitors of their own childhoods. The tree house made out of old pieces of wood, the space hopper and the ancient teddies certainly took me back to west London in the ’70s and would have struck a chord with most people who had had gardens as children, during any era since the 1950s.

bombsite  20  rocket

Above: The Garden of Magical Childhood was down an alley of gold medal-winning gardens at Chelsea. Tucked away in a wooded area with birds singing, its location added to the atmosphere of the garden. This was about un-manicured areas, in which children are allowed to be themselves. Planting includes Linaria purpurea or “bombsite rocket.” Other plants which are allowed to thrive undisturbed are great clumps of dock, stinging nettle, horse chestnut seedlings and lawn daisies.

marbles  20  in  20  border

Above: Marbles in the flower beds. How annoying is that? Here, they are semi-hidden among sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum), probably the most legit ground cover here; among clover, shepherd’s purse, and bluebells.

Considering sweet woodruff as a round cover? Galium Odoratum is $29.95 for three plants from White Flower Farm.

viburnum  20  chelsea  20  childhood 0

Above: Another informal and respectable plant which appeals to children and adults alike, with its spheres of acid green, is the guelder rose or Viburnum opulus.

Children aren’t the only people who call viburnums “snowball bushes.” A Viburnum Opulus ‘Roseum’ Snowball is $39.59 from Grimm’s Garden.

foxglove  20  and  20  greater  20  stitchwort

Above: Foxgloves and geum (shown here: G. ‘totally tangerine’). These can be enjoyed by both parties. But what is that at the bottom? Meadow buttercup and greater stitchwort (Stellaria holostea). Oh dear.

A 4-inch pot of Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ is available seasonally; $7.95 from Annie’s Annuals.

(Visited 130 times, 1 visits today)
You need to login or register to view and manage your bookmarks.

Product summary  

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation