For some of us, the backyard is a place to showcase our skills honed over many years of gardening. For others, it’s a place of recreation and relaxation. We say: Why not both?
For those who recall the magic and wonder of their childhoods, we know that a backyard can provide hours of enjoyment and learning to our children and grandchildren. You can encourage that by drawing inspiration from Winnie the Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood. Just search that phrase on Pinterest and you’ll see what we mean!
There are no rules to creating your own Hundred Acre Wood. Just consider adding one or more of these elements to stimulate imaginations young and old…
Hiding places. Young children love a cozy nook, in which to play or relax. A patch of sunflowers, a weeping tree, or climbing vines shaped on a trellis provide the perfect hiding spots.
A peaceful pond. A small water feature encourages birds, turtles, lizards, and other small creatures to visit. If you stock it with goldfish, even better! Add a small waterfall and you can enjoy the soothing sound of rushing water.
Inspired pathways. A simple pathway of stones or thin slices of logs can provide far more enjoyment than you might imagine! Children will enjoy going on adventures, following a winding path through the backyard, and can get exercise by leaping from one to the next.
A small bridge. You might recall that Christopher Robin and Pooh often played “poohsticks” on their favorite bridge. If you have a stream in your yard, adding a bridge can provide hours of enjoyment. But even if you lack running water, a small bridge can serve as a lovely focal point of your landscaping and inspire plenty of imaginary scenarios for the kids.
Wildflowers. What’s a magical forest without wildflowers? Wildflower seeds are inexpensive and usually need little care. Just toss handfuls of them where you want to grow a less structured garden, and enjoy their untamed beauty.
A picnic table. Hours of playtime make little bellies hungry. Provide a place to stop for a snack, ideally something with honey.
“Natural” playground equipment. Stumps for hopping, a rope course, a tire swing, and other types of “natural” playground equipment fit perfectly with the Hundred Acre Wood theme.