Building a Children’s Garden- Part two

Welcome back to part two of the Children’s Garden construction.  This phase is focused on the construction of the Hobbit House.  While a Hobbit House isn’t an element that you would want to add to every garden, it is a welcome addition to a whimsical garden.  

So when we completed phase one, I left you with this image of a giant pile of dirt and asked for your creative vision to see the future Hobbit House. So now you can relax those imaginative muscles… it’s time to build this thing.

A Hobbit House is basically a pile of dirt (a hill), a few timbers (we are using leftover railroad ties) and rocks. Lots of rocks.  These are the big “foundation” rocks to help us form our hill.  Our Hobbit House is just for looks.  It’s a whimsical element in the garden.  Initally, I had thought of adding a large tin horn- allowing the children to actually crawl through the hill, but I decided that as neat as that would be, I don’t want to have to clean out snakes or spiders who find the Hobbit House the perfect cool place to call home.  (But if you are a braver soul, then add a tin-horn for a passage way before piling up your dirt and then continue.)

The large rocks have been set, the timbers placed for what will become the door and the dirt formed into our desired hill. Now, it’s time to add sod… or another soil erosion deterrent. We opted for fescue sod.

We aren’t finished with dirt yet, now it’s time to determine the height of the door you want. Our door is 30″ in diameter. It’s made of old barn wood with a vintage knob. I like to think the salvage pieces add charm.

At this point, backfill with soil behind your “entry.”  You will also need more rocks.  Luckily this next set of rocks can be managed with a wheel barrow and a lot of elbow grease.  The rocks help stabilize the soil for plantings and also add to the appearance of your Hobbit House.

We’ve added some rocks to help stabilize the additional soil and plants, but we’ve got more rocks to go. Yes, more rocks. (I’m thinking at this point that a tiered bed might have been easier, and I hope this house turns out as good as I had imagined in my head. And I’m pretty certain at this point my husband’s faith in my creativity was wavering a bit. I certainly wouldn’t blame him.)

More rocks and a framed door are added. As well as a vintage art deco porch sconce I found at a local antique shop.   A few annuals around the entry make for a happy Hobbit Home.   (I must admit, I’m already contemplating the addition of an eyebrow porch. But for now, it’s charming and a great feature in our children’s garden.  After all, we’ve got a swing to paint, flagstone to lay under the swing and flowers to plant.  Oh, and I can’t forget the fairy garden.

A few quick notes on the type of plants we used for the Hobbit House.   Perennial plants were used on the top of the hill, including Stachys byzantina ‘Helen von Stein’ (lambs ear), Salvia ‘May Night’, Sedums, Mexican feather grass,  Pink pincushion plant and Blue Rug Juniper.  

Join us for phase three…. as we complete this new garden.

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