Through thick and thin, Falling Waters showed up and braved the weather this past weekend to give visitors of the 34th Annual Garden Show an experience they would never forget. We were hesitant of how the audience and the panel would receive our display, but the response was unexpected and we are so blessed by the outcome.
Most of the feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive, most parents thought the design was a breath of fresh air compared to the sales teams bombarding them inside the Home Show. We were able to show homeowners the possibilities of implementing easy play elements in their own backyards, and then also the joy and energy kids contain when they are exposed to their natural environment.
No rain or cold could stop kids from wanting to walk across the plank from one hill to another, jump from rock to rock, or collect seashells in the rock pit. The simple design enticed both children and adults and once they were in they didn’t want to leave. A last minute decision of adding another beam submerged within the grass berms ended up being the hit of the display (see picture on the left). Also the maze, even as simple as it was, produced some deep thinking as children tried to navigate its path, we will definitely be using this again. Since this design was such a success, we are even more excited to permanently implement it into the elementary school.
Side note: the Flora Vista Garden is a public garden and is open on weekends for the community to use at will.
In actual implementation this playful garden would be best in public communal spaces where families with kids can go and hang out, for instance; the interior area of a mall, near a coffee shop, wine bar, beer garden, etc. If the line of sight is left open so parent can see their child and the area is generally safe and insulated from cars, then it’s a perfect space to encourage people to STAY longer. People staying longer will encourage them to buy more drinks, food, or other stuff. There are several studies about how tree-lined streets command larger rent and the stores have better sales. I think this is a natural extension of that same idea. Interesting articles below:
Now to get into our questions that we had throughout the weekend:
Q: Did you make/design the pergola yourself?
A: No, we actually used a Toja Grid. This is a modular pergola system that has endless possibilities of formations that can fit into any backyard. Go on there website, pick the kit, and then go to your local hardware/lumber store and get your accurate posts and beams, bribe your friends with dinner to help set it up in 45 min, and you have yourself an overhead structure. Follow the link for more details https://tojagrid.com/.
Q: What is this kitchen made out of?
A: Concrete! It is actually a WWOO kitchen. It is an innovative, modern design of an outdoor kitchen, completely customizable and fabricated of durable concrete that requires little maintenance at an affordable price. Follow the link for more details https://www.wwoous.com/home.
Q: What are Bug Hotels?
A: Well these custom hotels introduce zones in your garden for beneficial insects and invertebrates, and materials that birds can use to build their nests. Any and all bugs are invited and there are always vacancies!
Q: Where did you get your materials from?
A: We had a few generous vendors that partnered with us to make the display possible. We already discussed Toja Grid and WWOO, but Concrete Collaborative, Village Nurseries, Dutch Country Living, KRC Rock, The Glynn family, POC Studio, and Terra Sculpture all helped our design come to life.
Q: Ryan, what would you have done differently, now that it is all said and done?
A: Ryan: If I was to do this again, I would probably have tried to create something with water or that was even more interactive since we got such a great response from our playful elements; 3 days is just not enough time. Also, I think a lot of people thought the installation was just a spot to hang out and didn't know its purpose. We could of had more signage and more info-graphics to help inform people of the WHY behind the design.
If you have any further questions that we did not answer above, please reach out via Instagram direct messaging or email and we would love to get those answered as well.
For those that came and supported our display we want to thank you, it was such a fun weekend for us and we hope that you had a great time PRACTICING PLAYFULNESS!!
The Falling Waters’ exhibit was honored with the following awards:
Best Appeal to Children
Best Interpretation of Theme
Most Creative Use of Space
We were in utter shock by these, but the Falling Waters Team is grateful that their hard work and ingenuity paid off.