The Happy Den

Where we live is surrounded by trees and close to the sea. The garden is what really attracted us to the property. It’s not easy to find a flat section in the hilly topography of Wellington. And to find somewhere set back from the road with a safe driveway for the children to ride their bikes on was a bonus.

Our garden wraps around the house and the energy of the children playing in it through the seasons leaves an imprint in the very air we breath and the trees that grow as they do. They say ‘sing to the plants’ and ‘talk to them’ to make them grow. Well, I think the trees and plants in our garden are very happy with the sounds they hear as they grow marvellously.

I have fond memories of the garden of my childhood at the home of my parents and when ever I return it is like saying hello to an old friend. The oak trees smile at me and the little corners I used to hide in and play with my friends beckon me back. I would run in the garden through laughs and tears. The garden would always listen openly.

This week of the school holidays, with colds and coughs taking their nasty grip on Alice and Sophie in particular, we’ve laid low and not gone out as much as I’d planned. But with the sun on our side and a beautiful garden to play in we’ve been perfectly happy. So happy that the girls decided to create ‘The Happy Den’ in the garden.

Recently Decorations in the den

I let them into the boxes of Christmas decorations under the stairs and they have turned the garden into a place that fairies and gnomes would be delighted to call home.


They took tables and chairs up to the den…

The Happy Den

and made themselves morning tea, which they ate in their den under the swaying scent of freshly cut lavender bouquets…

Morning tea and fresh lavender

Charlotte wrote this sign, which made me laugh and certainly ‘happy’ – minor spelling error included 😉

Charlotte's Happy Den sign

And she also took many of the beautiful photographs in this post, including the one below of her sister on a ladder looking at the garden gnome (which she is certain winked at her). With all the happy sounds in the garden, and glittering decorations to dance in the sunlight, I feel hopeful that our crop of pea pods and strawberries will be plentiful this summer 🙂 But should I feel the need to make an extra wish I can always visit the newly painted purple wishing well!

Sophie and the gnome


This post was partially inspired by this week’s Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop, where one of the prompts this week was ‘Show us where you live’.

I’ve also added it to the wonderful ‘Childhood 101: We Play‘, where I always find inspiration for wonderful play activities to do with my children.