I am trying to explore outdoor spaces in preparation for our Forest Playgroup and on my list was Boxerwood Gardens, in Lexington, VA. We finally got there last week, and then returned at the weekend so that my husband could come along too (he took all of these photos…..thanks Chris!!!)
What an amazing and inspiring place it is. They have a children’s playtrail which is (in my mind) like a dream play space for children. everything is created out of logs, stones, mud etc and there is a mud kitchen, willow tunnel, treehouse etc They even have an area that is just for digging! It was very cold when we were there and there was a layer of ice over the digging area. The didn’t stop us though. We had such fun using the shovels to break up the ice and look at the organic shapes that were created by the bubbles below the water as it froze.
As we explored the rest of the gardens we discovered the wonderful sculptures that had been made of natural materials. I think our favourite was the giant’s chair! How fun it is to be beside something that makes you feel like a little elf!
Something else that has interested me for a long time is the idea of having instruments as part of the natural landscape. I have wanted to make marimbas, drums and chimes that can be discovered within a lush garden. But alas we do not have that lush garden (yet) and so the instruments have yet to be made. But here is Boxerwood they used another tact by having an old piano out in the field beside haybales. It was opened up so that you could see the inner working and it was beautiful. My daughter climbed on it, touched the keys and bounced the hammers against the strings. From across the field, carrying a sleeping baby, I was able to hear my daughter and husband’s laughter, mingled with the wonderful sounds of music. What a magical experience.