You've asked your gardenblogging friends "How do you add magic to the garden?" I've given this a great deal of thought and wanted to be able to respond with more then the glib comment I originally gave you. It's true, we know immediately when we are in a magical space. Perhaps it's the lighting as it falls through the leaves of a tree or the paths that lead us around corners, but for me...it's more about our ability to suspend the concrete mind and go into our imaginations.
As a young child, with three sisters living in a small house ...space was at a premium. I found refuge and quiet amidst the noise and bustle under the coffee table! I would crawl under there with my pillow and from that little clubhouse for one would be magically transported to Captain Kangaroo's with Bunny Rabbit and Grandfather Clock! Later, I would discover books and the magic carpet ride to even more adventures.
But, the most powerful of all magical places for me as a child were outdoor spaces.
A backyard, a bower of trees or a woodland garden. One of my earliest memories is of the sights, sounds and sensations of making mud pies in my grandmother's front yard... Side by side, my big sister and I dug the dirt, added the water and shaped our mud pies. Pat, pat, pat went our little hands...dirt and muddy water splashing us both. It's a sweet and joyful memory for me.
When we are outdoors all the senses are engaged...We see the changing colors. We feel the air as it blows across our face. We feel the sun warming our skin. We feel the grass beneath our feet and the soft velvet texture of flower petals. We can hear the birds singing. We can smell the fresh soil and the scent of flowers. We experience the world.
I am so very glad you want your daughters to be able to find magic. You are a wise father. We live in a world were urban and suburban children are deprived of mud pie making memories. Where terms like Nature Deficit Disorder are entering the conversation. Where children have schedules as busy as their parents'. We want our children to be educated, to get in the right schools, to be capable decision makers and to be successful. But, right now, in those precious few years of early childhood, their imaginations are taking shape...They can delight in the feel of mud on their hands, they can imagine dogs and puppies in clouds and they can see fairies dancing amidst the flowers.
So Dave, continue what you're doing, read to them, write poems with them, take them for adventures, introduce them to the forests and woods, let them lay in the grass and watch the clouds, give them spaces to explore and hide, let them make mud pies and get dirty...because it is those experiences that will allow them to find the magic in the everyday and in any garden they visit.
for more on magic from Dave/Home Garden go here
quote from john thompson