Shade and shadow provided by trees and tall shrubs are places children enjoy playing under and near - it excites their imagination and creativity and so they stay within the garden as it gives them a place to be themselves. Its both more comfortable and safer to be able to play away from the direct sun and yet be with all that nature offers outside of the classroom.
Raised soil areas, a meter high usually and gently sloped form a shape in the garden, become favourite places to run around and over but also to roll down sideways (a never ending pleasure). Trees and shrubs planted on these berms grow strongly, adding to the pleasure of being in the garden with the various seasons and the birds which will come and nest.
Low rocks set into a berm or a feature by themselves create places to sit but also act as stepping stones to walk on and between - flat rocks set nearby into lawns suggest sitting area and paths, but also patterns to hop and skip over.
Mulches on beds, berms or on flat areas give all-season play surfaces when lawns are too wet or too hard due to drought (this also means far less watering than a lawn!)
Fruiting trees and shrubs such as Serviceberry, Elderberry, Dogwoods and many more give seasonal interest and fascination while drawing the birds to compete in harvesting the fruit.
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