Location, Location, Location is the golden rule of real-estate that should be applied universally to outbuildings and play structures too. By putting these buildings in the right place or being blessed with a particularly inviting spot, the mundane can become an extraordinary addition to a property.
I meant to share this with you ages ago and just remembered (thanks to a visit to my mom’s FB page). I grew up in Colorado and my parents live there today. They have a a beautiful home with even more beautiful gardens on the side of a hill in Castle Rock. They have stunning views and their property is surrounded with scrub oak. So when my dad decided to build a play area for his grandchildren he genius-ly tucked it into an unused corner of the property, where the scrub oak prevails.
I think these pictures were taken in the early fall and you can just barely see the structure from the patio view however it it is very close (so you can hear what is is going on) and when the kids are there you can see them because while the scrub oak camouflages the area, it doesn’t completely block it out. Seeing this project, I am convinced that scrub oak has to be one of the best plants for around play areas. It provides exactly what I want as a design minded mom, the beauty of a screen with the practicality of still being able to see and monitor the kids.
This is no kit, my dad is too much of an independent, creative, do-it-yourself-er for that. He designed this and made it with materials he found at Home Depot so it fits perfectly on the site.
images all by my mom and the kids are my niece and nephew.
Being in the trees casts a beautiful light around the whole area and on the practical side, the trees help prevent hot slides and sunburns. Who ever thought that playgrounds should be placed in the center of heartless gravel pits? The trees and scrub is so much more fun and aside from the actual play structure, the kids the have created paths and explored the area in a way they might not have if the whole thing was located in the middle of the grassy area of the yard.
If I were to take the idea and apply it to a garden that doesn’t have natural scrub oak, I would perhaps put the play area amongst a small orchard of fruit trees, or make it surround or include a large existing tree.
What do you think? What are some other ideas for camouflaging but not blocking play areas? Do you know of, or have built a beautiful play area? I would love to see it….drop me an email.