Northwest Flower and Garden Show 2013
Swiss Family Robinson Theme for the Children’s PlayGarden
by Jeanne DeBennedetti Keyes
Seattle Children’s PlayGarden at the 2013 Northwest Flower and Garden Show with the Swiss Family Robinson-style tree houses, croquet greens and many fun activities for children is a winner!
The first thing you notice as you walk past the bamboo and palm trees (Trachycarpus Fortunei) and into the play garden are the fantastical ground level “tree house” structures complete with turrets, walkways between the houses, and even a captain’s wheel to guide Seattle’s children into a multitude of adventures. The attention to detail on the tree houses is amazing; from shipboard rails “recycled” from the family’s shipwreck to the “grass” roofs.
The kids are busy farming and carting fresh fruit and vegetables into the “houses.” An ingenious pulley system is available for the kids to bring food from the jungle floor up to the tree house play spaces, safe from wild animals, just like in the movie. Many fun activities such as planting sweet peas in coconut husks, playing dress-up in grass skirts and play clothes, and cooking in the island kitchen support the Swiss Family Robinson theme.
As an adult who recently enjoyed and shared the movie with my six-year old daughter, I noticed the care the garden designers took in setting the scene. Everything from clotheslines filled with the shipwrecked family’s Victorian-style clothing, to elegant lace parasols that Mrs. Robinson carried around the island to protect her skin from the hot sun.
A huge backdrop depicting an island scene along with exotic plants such as gardenias, fig trees, and bromeliads makes the visitor feel like they have joined the Swiss Family Robinson on their island paradise.
For more information, visit the Northwest Flower and Garden Show web site.
Images by Debbie Teashon.