This week I have tried a little experiment. When I am asked by people how to create a children’s garden I often say to look at it from a child’s perspective and if they have very young children think about placing items of interest at toddler height. When my 8 year old was tiny he had a chalkboard, and outdoor mirrors located for him an appropriate height. He also had an old butler sink as a little garden, which he could easily identify as his own. Beyond that though I have never tested what I recommend others to do.
So this week I took a look at my garden in October from the height of a toddler. I reckon the average 2 year old is about 34 inches high. Therefore I went on my knees and then bent a bit more.
It looked very different. Plants and vegetation merged into one another and there seemed much more space around. I found it much harder to take photos as points of interest seemed to have disappeared.
The stone pot which I have recently planted with cyclamen stood out from within the border. It seemed to be an ideal focal point for a toddler.
The view of my gorgeous Acer tree, currently with beautiful yellow leaves, all but disappeared when I shuffled close to it. Instead it was replaced with a picture of its trunk and foliage from plants nearby.
These apples were hanging at picking height for any toddler – just irresistible.
The bark peeling and shredding from the Eucalyptus tree, something that rarely draws my attention was an obvious feature for my 2 ½ foot high camera.
The green man, which for nearly 2 years is still waiting to be attached to a wall was an immediate and easy focus of attention. Ground level was definitely an easy height to spy upon.
When I did look up next to the cosmos, they arched over me almost feeling the same height as the trees in the distance. I found it slightly disconcerting and I wonder if a toddler would find it a bit scary or perhaps enchanting.
No one saw me on my knees moving around my garden – thank goodness– I think that perhaps I need to invest in a tripod to make the experiment a little more scientific. It definitely did make me think and feel slightly different about my garden. I’d love to have a go again a different point in the year especially when plants are just emerging in spring and when flowers are in full bloom in the summer months.