Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Playgrounds & Microbiomes

Too many times I'm told, "We must have a lawn for the children."
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'Poppycock' my grandfather would say.
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Chose his word in mission to the front porch/yard, below.
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He was a doctor, he served in WWII.  Member of the greatest generation.
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How many of the greatest generation had the ubiquitous lawn-to-play-on ?  Few.  Instead, it was their generation bringing that lawn into ubiquity once they returned from war.
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Fun, below.  Makes me want to play seesaw too, a doll, and a dog in a wheelbarrow, plenty of running around space.  Scope for the imagination as Anne of Green Gables said in earnest.
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Today, will site my oldest wheelbarrow near the fig & meadow.  Laskett always follows me to the fig bush.  Up he goes, into the wheelbarrow, camera click.
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Better, I'll put a vintage Christening gown on him, to wear in that wheelbarrow.
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Play.  It's contagious.
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Remember well, playing quite hard growing up.  Designing gardens with children, I know to give them 'flow' around entire house.  Solid fence at a side of the house?  Up and over they go.  I did.  No professor in college for horticulture mentioned 'flow' for children in Garden Design.  It is intuitive.
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Twenty years in to my Garden Design career I went to a Feng Shui lecture.  She, the expert, can't remember her name, certainly put 'flow' around a home into her lecture.  With slides to back it up.  Sweet.
 

Pic, above, here.
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Now, this photo reads as a scene from a movie.  We traded for foundation plantings, monoculture tidy lawn, homeowner association rules, deed restrictions, and out the window went this scene, above.
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Complaints about lack of outdoor childhood play have been written about for decades now.  More, scientific studies are arriving showing our bodies need many layers of microbiomes found, yes, outside.  When will the study arrive proving the 'play' construct of childhood is Nature's way of getting us those Microbiomes.
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Swath of lands my childhood play included ranged from our yard, friend's yards, empty lots, the saltwater lake, a street over, behind our house, and a peninsula of land in Galveston Bay 2 blocks away.  Bless that era.  The peninsula, which I considered mine, is now fenced & gated, a sign-in sheet for entry, which the police check, and warnings of all types.  Warnings.  Seriously?  It was my playground, no fear, pure fun.  Different world now.  More important than ever to include play spaces.
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Garden & Be Well,   XO T
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More than making sure children have play spaces, make sure you have play spaces.  A conservatory with vintage furnishings, invite girlfriends for lunch or in the evening for wine/canapes, best 'tea party' ever.

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