We first began making plans to renovate our yard last fall. We knew many of the elements that we wanted to include; a bigger garden, some seating areas, and a small hill with a slide and tunnel. We had the basic ideas but we didn’t plan any of the details and since the snow melted we’ve been slowly putting the pieces together.
There has been a circular area in the pea gravel reserved for the hill and the children have often asked when it would be built. To be honest, I’d planned to have it done long before now but I kept running into minor roadblocks which delayed construction. Well, as August arrived the hill began to take shape.
Like most of my projects I won’t ever consider it to be ‘completed’ because everything here is constantly changing. This hill, however, will be a very slow process because it is a ‘living’ hill and thus we have to wait for it to grow. I have planned to have native prairie plants covering the hill — their amazing root system will help to make it strong. I have to thank Shirley at http://www.prairieoriginals.com/ for all her help and suggestions for plants for this project.
So far I’ve only got a few small wildflower species started and the rest is covered with landscape fabric to prevent the soil from washing away. I placed some pots of day lilies to temporarily add some greenery but I don’t want these here permanently. Don’t laugh at them — they’re survivors — I had thinned them out of the front yard and for three weeks they lay in a pile beside the deck with only the soil that stuck to them when I pulled them out. I only plopped them in pots as an afterthought when the hill looked like it needed ‘something’. In my mind I can see the hill covered with wildflowers and surrounded by butterflies, birds, and of course, children playing.
The ‘tunnel’ is made of clear plastic panels through which I hope someday the children will be able to see roots and worms and other cool stuff. Right now I just like the pattern the sun makes as it shines through the boards on the platform above the tunnel.