Sunday, November 14, 2010

Through A Child's Eyes

Simple pleasures
Whenever I design a garden I aim to create an ‘experience’ not just something to be observed. To me that typically means including meandering paths with a few surprises tucked around corners, the sound of water, fragrance, birdsong (including dive bombing hummingbirds!) and a seating nook or two in the shade to quietly sit and soak in the atmosphere.

I want ladybug wellies too!
I was given a lesson recently by an adorable three year old little girl, who showed me what a garden was really all about. Lilly is the daughter of my good friend and award winning photographer Ashley DeLatour of 'One Thousand Words Photography' and all these wonderful pictures are examples of her artistry.

Checking for frogs...

Standing water in a garden is a source of concern to me as I consider how to address drainage problems. I immediately adjust my potential plant list to exclude those that insist on sandy soil and seek instead moisture loving varieties. Not Lilly. To her this is a chance to go puddle jumping! Just put on the cute wellies and jump as high and as hard as you can. After all when else do you get such a good excuse to get soaking wet while fully clothed? Nice deep puddles might have frogs however (I explained to her how tiny our pacific tree frogs were) so she was very careful to check carefully before she jumped….

What could be more glorious than swinging on a big tire under the canopy of a towering Douglas fir tree? It offers a whole new perspective and who cares about all the needles and cones that clog up gutters?

When ‘grown up’s come to visit our garden-in-the-making I am immediately apologetic about the weeds, straggly grass and significant lack of nice plants as we tackle our huge landscaping projects. Lilly didn’t notice any of that. Her pleasure was taken from much simpler things. She didn’t need to be wowed by a stunning plant combination, nor have a trampoline or sand box to play with. She just needed the freedom to explore.

Our tire swing is available to all ages…….


  1. Lilly is so adorable!!! I wish I could have been there! I was always torn between the frog wellies, and the ladybug wellies....

  2. I want to see if those wellies come in my size!

    On a separate note, thank you to everyone who FLOODED my inbox yesterday with comments and reflections. It seems that little Miss Lilly touched many of us with her love of such simple pleasures. Her visit is certainly one of our most cherished garden memories. It also reminded me that one of the things I love most about a garden is sharing it with others and Lilly gave us the opportunity to do that on a whole new level.

  3. Gardens are nature's school room and play ground! I'll never forget my oldest son, just 4 months old, looking up into the trees and flapping his arms like he could fly with the birds. The wonder in his eyes were contagious. Now I enjoy my grandkids and their wonder in the garden! Wonderful post, Karen - you truly are a kindred spirit!


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