Does anyone remember the days when Garden Design magazine came printed on brown paper? Neither do I, but my Aunt Joyce gave me some vintage clippings (the 80's, I think) of a few enchanting articles and thought I would share. This feature highlighted the gardens described in children's books and I couldn't help but be fascinated by two very different styles.
One, the "Dear Old Briar-Patch" exemplifies exactly what a native habitat garden should do. Bunnies, birds, spiders and mice (well, maybe the mice aren't so good) cavort under the safety of an overgrown garden. I tend to take two views of this- providing a space for wildlife to make a home in the garden, but also imagining making a little burrow for myself to hide away from the freeway noise. In my design work, these somewhat opposing goals become part of a larger goal: make a place for wildlife to play, but not at the expense of its human inhabitants.
I have to admit, though that my absolute favorite is this illustration from "The Wind in the Willows" and I might just have to walk down to the library to check out and read for myself. Here's an excerpt:
"On the walls hung wire baskets with ferns in them, alternating with brackets carrying plaster statuary- Garibaldi, and the infant Samuel, and Queen Victoria, and other heroes of modern Italy. Down one side of the fore-court ran a skittle alley, with benches along it and little wooden tables marked with rings that hinted at beer mugs. In the middle was a small round pond containing goldfish and surrounded by a cockle-shell border. Out of the centre of the pond rose a fanciful erection clothed in more cockle-shells and topped by a large silver glass ball that reflected everything all wrong and had a very pleasing effect."
Ok, that's it. I'm going to have to make an underground garden with cockle-shells and plaster statues!