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Report From An Opinionated Gardener – August 10

When I was a child in the late 1950’s, I attended Burris Elementary School in Muncie, Indiana. One summer someone designed and built a “creative playground” and a key component was a series of large, concrete mushrooms.

On the one hand, these were perfect for kids to sit on, or leap from top to top. On the other hand, they were made of cement, and not very forgiving for children who might slip and fall. I still have a scar on my leg to prove the point.

I was reminded of these mushrooms recently when I visited Pleasant View Gardens in New Hampshire. Several varieties of Calibrachoa were displayed in bowl shapes that reminded me of upside down mushrooms, or colorful faux topiary. It was a fun, cartoony presentation of these annuals that brought me back to my childhood.

This has me thinking about ways that we use our landscapes to playfully connect with such periods in our past. I’m not sure where I’ll go with this, except to ask you all if there are places in your gardens where you play with color or shape in this manner.

A playful display - makes me wish that these could just land in my yard for a time...

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