Explores the purpose, beauty, and benefits of creating children's outdoor environments in public gardens
The Magic of Children's Gardens
Inspiring Through Creative Design
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Lolly Tai, foreword by Jane L. Taylor
Merit Award from the PA/DE American Society of Landscape Architects, 2017
Children's gardens are magical places where kids can interact with plants, see where food and fibers grow, and experience the role of birds, butterflies, and bees in nature. These gardens do more than just expose youngsters to outdoor environments, they also provide marvelous teaching opportunities for them to visit a small plot, care for vegetables and flowers, and interact in creative spaces designed to stimulate all five senses.
In The Magic of Children's Gardens, landscape architect Lolly Tai provides the primary goals, concepts and key considerations for designing outdoor spaces that are attractive to and suitable for children especially in urban environments. Tai presents inspiring ideas for creating children's green spaces by examining nearly twenty case studies, including the Chicago Botanic Gardens and Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA.
Exposing youth to well-planned outdoor environments promotes our next generation of environmental stewards. The Magic of Children's Gardens offers practitioners a guide to designing these valued spaces.
"The Magic of Children's Gardens is a great resource for landscape architects and designers. Lolly Tai's case studies feature a robust series of children's gardens created by recognized designers. Each case study includes a plethora of plans, sketches, photographs, and plant lists—everything a designer could want for inspiration and guidance. In the past, this information was available only to the lucky few who had the resources to travel the United States, tour sites, and meet owners and designers in person. Tai brings the whole measure to us in a single must-have book."
"The Magic of Children's Gardens is a superb resource and reference tool for anyone interested in children's outdoor environments-from design professionals to public garden specialists, urban planners, educators, and students of design. The detailed garden descriptions, plans, and plant lists provide a template for the development of future children's gardens around the world that may well serve to inspire the next generation of horticulturists, scientists, and artists."
"Tai features 19 U.S. public gardens devoted to children's entertainment and education. Each is showcased with plant lists, landscape sketches, architectural drawings, and color photographs.... VERDICT Educators, landscape professionals, and community groups would benefit from understanding the vital considerations necessary to create inviting garden-themed play parks for kids. Recommended."
"(Tai) breaks down each garden's goal, concept, and design, providing plant lists and showing sketches and photographs of completed projects around the United States. Beauty and educational value are given their due...but for kids, whimsy always wins."
Lolly Tai is Professor of Landscape Architecture at Temple University and co-author of the award-winning book Designing Outdoor Environments for Children.