The Playful Garden
By the Southend Parks Technical Team. Gardens are often designed with a limited age range in mind.
The garden builds on the changing perception of play and aims to challenge traditional views.
This garden is designed to appeal to multiple generations by integration of fun into vegetables growing and leisure areas. The garden will also challenge some of the normal perspectives of growth habits of plants. Elements of the garden will allow children to play and interact with the features and plants.
Plants can be fun to look at, feel and smell, especially if they are grown upside down. This garden may challenge perceptions of how plants can grow and will appeal to adults as well as children encouraging interaction and exploration through play in new and different ways.
A large number of the species are edible but also have aesthetic value so there is no reason to put them out of sight. Texture, colour, height and hidden paths provide more chances of play amongst the five metre grasses.
Denis Lloyd leads the team for this project and comes with twenty years experience of teaching horticulture and design at Writtle College. Dennis has won five Gold, seven Silver and three bronze RHS medals at both the Chelsea Flower Show and Hampton Court Palace.
Click on any of the plant names below to learn more and to add to your own plants list.
Back of Garden
Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. spectabilis
Deschampsia cespitosa 'Goldtau'
Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’
Imperata cylindrica 'Rubra'
Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus'
Miscanthus sinensis 'Silberfelder'
Molinia caerulea subsp. caerulea 'Variegata'
Panicum virgatum 'Prairie Sky'
Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah'
Pennisetum alopecuroides f. viridescens
Stipa tenuissima 'Pony Tails'
Cupressus sempervirens 'Pyramidalis'
Upside Down Garden
Range of French and Runner Beans
Solanum tuberosum 'Pink Fir Apple‘
Fragaria x ananassa
Herbs and Salad
Melissa officinalis ‘Aurea‘
Mentha spicata var ‘Crispa‘
Oreganum ‘Country Cream‘
Petroselinum crispum var neapolitanum
Thymus x citriodorus ‘Golden Queen‘
Thymus x citriodorus ‘Silver Queen‘
Thymus x citriodorus 'Doone Valley'
Chard Bright Lights
French Bean Cobra
Lettuce Catalogna Rossa
Lettuce Catalogna Verde
Lettuce Little Gem
Radish Mooli ‘April Cross‘
Onion Red Baron