Moving from California to Canada has gifted us a real backyard--the fenced-in, green-grassed, tree swing kind of backyard--the kind of yard that inner-city and beach ranch living just don't make possible. Any plans to settle into our backyard oasis last year were a bust. Just 6 months after moving in, the birth of Fern in late May combined with summertime travels put a kibosh on planting a garden, composting, rain barrels, clothes line, hammock hanging and any other kind of backyard cozy-up. We built a sand box, hung a tree swing, and that was the extent of it. But, since spring has met us early this year and the warm temperatures have lured us back out for patio dinners and long swing pushing sessions, we have begun to ponder once again all that we'd love to do with the space.
Aside from all of the functional uses mentioned above, I have also
been envisioning ways to incorporate inspired playscapes--something in
lieu of the traditional purchased play structure--and imagining what I
could do with stumps, limbs and branches and began scouting out viable
sources for wood. Luckily, a neighbor of ours was in the process of
removing a tree to make way for a garden of their own and offered the
wood for my outdoor endeavor. It's still very much in the making, but
it's a start and already a hit with Noah. Stump jumping, reading and
snacking in the fort and constructing roads and towers with cut wood
blocks has been added to his list of favorite backyard past times. The
imagination and ingenuity that a natural playspace has the ability to
encourage with its limitless possibilities of creation is what draws me
in the most. I love its impermanence and fluid construction--the ability
for it to be one thing one day and something entirely different the
next. I hope to add large stones, a fire pit (for the family), tree
house and perhaps large logs on their side for sitting, balancing, etc.
It's clearly been as much fun for me as it has been for Noah.