Is tiggers are wonderful things. When I was a kid, my favorite TV show was the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Disney played this show every Saturday morning and my brother and I watched it. We learned the values of friendship, helping others, hard work, and truthfulness. My brother and I were both fond of Rabbit and his garden and Tigger’s bouncy outlook on life. We both became gardeners in life, basing many of our ideas from Rabbit’s character in the stories. We also both used Tigger’s sayings in our everyday life, showing just how much the show meant to us.
Now, after my brother passed, and I with 3 kids of my own, I am beginning to design a garden centered around the characters of my youth. Recently, I cleared out the brush and undergrowth beneath a medium sized bur oak tree on the west of our property. Here is where I will begin. The bur oak is going to represent the large beech (Fagus sylvatica) tree that Piglet lived under. I will include Pooh’s thoughtful spot-a simple log where one can sit and reflect on life, a mailbox for Gopher, a tree house for Owl, a small garden plot for Rabbit, and a bouncing tree for Tigger.
I am doing all of this in memory of my brother and for my kids, so that they can experience my childhood joys in real life. We need to get our children out into this world to learn. I know many live in large cities and have no backyards to play and create in, but there are usually large parks or arboretums within an easy travel time. Take your kids there. Let them run and jump and holler. Take them to the arboretum in autumn and bring a rake; pile the leaves up and let them jump in!
There is so much to learn and enjoy in the outdoor world. I remember reading the Secret Garden when I was young, and imagining being there when Mary first watched the emergence of the young daffy-down-dillys and crocuses and snowdrops. Our kids need to see these things too. Maybe it would benefit you as well. Let them see bugs and dirt, trees and flowers, stones and sand, water and ripples. The world is a playground and a garden, let us all be children again and gardeners.
For those who live in Northeast Kansas, come out to Grimm’s Gardens Hiawatha location, we have installed a new children’s play area. It is not huge, but we have put in things for kids to use their imaginations with. A tunnel under boulders and plants, a hollowed log to play in, a sand pit, and a log stepping path leads around a large hollow tree made to look like house-right out of Winnie-the-Pooh’s neighborhood!
Keep on gardening!