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Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Thorny subjects

Recently, I've been planning a garden, that young children will use. In the past, when designing with children in mind, I've had a few discussions with clients who are concerned about introducing any plants with thorns or similar.
I've spent my childhood playing in large gardens with all kinds of plants, and later moving to a house that bordered a nature reserve with other types of dangers. My parents taught me to be careful of any plants that I didn't know about, and to have a healthy respect for nature.
I really do believe that being given a fair amount of freedom, and not being kept too safe made me into the independent person I am today.
Gardens are like life - they are full of beauty and full of danger, but they help to teach us where our boundaries should be. Sometimes these boundaries are found by standing on thorns, or being stung by insects, sometimes even breaking bones from falling out of trees, but every bit of pain was a valuable lesson learned.
A garden for a child without 'danger' whether imagined or real is boring and lacks stimulation.
Obviously its extremely important not to place life threatening plants or objects into a garden, but to have a completely sterile and safe environment teaches us nothing about life outside the garden.

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