Saturday, May 24, 2008

Time for landscaping!

As the school building reaches infrastructural maturation and we're this close, THIS CLOSE, to being ready to move in (Monday? Tuesday?). My attention has moved to the outdoors.

The house was a little wild jungle when we first laid our eyes on it. We were in the midst of an unusually rainy season in Aruba then. The growth had been allowed to prosper for something like 10 years disturbed only by the occasional empty beer can being flung from defecting De Palm Island passer-byes. There was wild grass and lots of crazy contorted shrubbery, a bougainvillea that had busted through the ceiling and was growing onto the roof, iguanas and birds galore. I had a vision originally to preserve the wildness untouched except for the positively hazardous thorny acacias, the stinging nettle bushes, and the other injurious plant life.

Construction and summer certainly exert their toll on the landscape and the wilderness that was no longer is. So now we turn our minds towards transforming the landscape into a new wilderness.

In terms of the landscaping I am leaning largely toward a natural elements playground. Giant plastic structures don't fit the bill exactly. We want lots of quiet shady spots to sit under, natural objects for moving, climbing, and balancing, and areas for planting and tending to plants. We're segmenting our large yard into areas and half of the yard is destined to become a fruit tree orchard.

I have researched and come up with some indispensable items that we will certainly include in our design such as:

A tire swing.
Check out this clever tire swing modification, perfect for 2-3 year olds!

Rope Swing for swinging ecologically.

Sandbox under a shady tree for sensory experience- and digging, and forming, and building, and experimenting.

Raised beds for planting, and watering, and hopefully one day harvesting.

A Crocodile bench made out of driftwood for sitting and balancing. (This is a project for Yair.)

Boulders and stumps for balancing, climbing, and sitting.

A little tiny Japanese style garden with gravel and boulders for raking, and observing, and enjoying! I must say, Aruban boulders lend themselves perfectly for this project!

This most ambitious garden adventure will be the focus of our work for these weeks to come. Also, the Montessori materials are arriving sometime next week. That's also a focus.... :)


Anonymous said...

Hey, This blog spot is really cool. and I was just wondering where did you find the picture of the first tire swing you have posted? or did you take it yourself? It is a very lovely picture.

Darcy said...

I am so inspired by these images. Where did you find the tire swing modified for 2-3 year olds? It is exactly what I want to make for my little one.

Susanne said...

Hi Darcy, I just googled "tire swing" and some of these pictures came up... (not too helpful.) But I think it would not be so hard to modify the tire to make that swing! Good luck!