Magical Landscaping

I recently had a wonderful stroke of luck (thanks to a neighbour/friend), and was introduced to a family with a remarkably creative and beautifully landscaped yard. Starting with an acre of grass lawn, Shauna Leis and Kirk Bergey gradually (over 11 years) converted it into a wildflower paradise filled with a plethora of unique play spaces and structures, all woven together with winding trails.

There is a Hobbit hole. Yes, you read that right. There is a hill,Image with a little round door opening to an underground playhouse.

Not far away, a magnificent play structure, nestled in the trees, was built with found materials, driftwood, scraps and contributions from friends and neighbours. It was designed to resemble an “Ewok village” with a pirate ship and airplane docked next door. Some other features include a well-equipped play/mud kitchen, a spectacular vegetable garden, a grape arbour tunnel, a teepee, and a host of quirky additions (a bicycle, hanging guitars, sunken chairs) all along the trails. In the winter, the Imagesloped network of trails becomes a luge track.

Now, here’s the really impressive part:  It was all done by hand. Massive amounts of planning, digging, building and maintenance went into this landscape. Nothing was pre-fabricated or even pre-designed, no machines were brought in to move earth, and very little money was spent on materials.

The family spends most of their time outside, and they truly live what I have been studying for years. Their children are, without a doubt, connected to nature. This coImageuple has created paradise for their children (and themselves). What a wonderful gift.

Is there a contest for the best children’s landscape? They’ve got my vote. Hands down!

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11 Responses to Magical Landscaping

  1. Wow, I really feel like I haven’t brought out the potential of my yard after reading this.. Very cool!

  2. This would make an awesome place to play! What fun!

  3. ML Kattides says:

    Truly a magical place; what fortunate children!

  4. That is amazing. The pragmatist in me wonders how easy it is going to be to sell a house with a yard so specific to children–or what happens when the kids are too old to enjoy ewok villages and hobbit holes. It is gorgeous, though.

    The wildflower garden part is very much what I would like to do with my own yards over time. And it will probably take me 11 years or so too. 🙂

    • I focused on the children’s parts, but they all blend in very nicely and make a lovely setting for adults too.

      Besides, is anyone really ever too old for a hobbit hole?

      There are always grandchildren too!

  5. Pingback: Kate’s Place for Everyone: An Accessible Playground | Unlocking the Gate

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  7. Reblogged this on Guelph Street Garden and commented:
    Wow! What an amazing concept for a naturalized play area 🙂 Something like this would fit right in at our community garden park, don’t you think?!

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