Living out my childhood dream; the garden playhouse

**I have been meaning to post this blog for almost ONE YEAR! One poor Instagram follower of mine (hi Natalie!) has been waiting on this for so long so I’m really hoping it’s still of some use although a few items are unavailable now – eeeeek! Anyway, now that the days seem to be trying to stay sunnier – oh god don’t speak too soon – it feels like a good time to finally post it.**

In the last year we’ve had so much fun in this little house though. Although, mind your head adults! A favourite memory is when we had a proper thunderstorm last summer complete with hailstones. Elodie and I were in the garden when the weather turned and we darted (with our late pup Rupert) into the playhouse and just giggled at John running around the garden in the hail. Seeing, feeling the thunder and lightening just made Elodie completely awestruck. It was amazing.

Anyway, here’s the long overdue blog. I’m off to clean the playhouse because it’s not looking quite so spick and span these days…ha.

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Mine was black. I don’t think it had windows, or it might have had one on the side that was pushed right up against the garden fence because of lack of space. It was right next to dad’s big stone shed at the bottom of the garden at our family home. It was stuffed with bikes and toys, cobwebs and leaves. But, to quash any misunderstanding at this point, I loved it. I loved it because it was mine, fuelled my imagination as I would pretend it was a castle or a den in the middle of a forest as it backed on to a house beyonds garden trees. I can almost smell the wood as I recall it in my mind. 

At a young age I tried to soften the interior. I would lug mum’s indoor cushions and blankets down the garden path, frequently getting them caught on the rosebushes that lined it. I would invite ALL of my teddies and dolls in for tea parties. I would pin up photos from wildlife magazines (sure) for artwork.

And now here I am, thirty-something years later. With my wonder girl, Elodie, now almost 3. 

Just as lockdown 2020 became a real thing, I hurriedly ordered her a little wooden playhouse for the garden as we approached Elodie’s 2nd birthday. It seemed like garden time was going to be key through the pandemic so it was time to make the most of ours. Nothing more than a google search had led me to finding it, complete with little veranda. It’s not big, just 5ft x 5ft but it was the stuff of childhood dreams. Except, not my childhood now, but hopefully hers.

John had to put the little flatpack house together, easy given he pretty much built big parts of our real house extension. I’d asked our gardener to clear the perfect little spot for it, nestled in between some bushes, and we were good to go.

Over a few days of sun and rain, typical, John had put the thing together and painted it. Elodie found it mega fun to dart in and out of it while he was working away on it, endlessly opening and closing the little door.

Meanwhile I was busy ordering things online to make it priddy.

So this was around March/April 2020 time and with her 2nd birthday approaching in May, the idea was to unveil the decorated finished article to her on the morning of her birthday. So the inbetween time it really was just a shell of a house, but still she loved it.

I decided that we needed storage in there and wanted a shelf to hang at a low level to act as a desk/counter for two little stools to sit underneath. I also decided that it was probably a place for her to a) learn more about nature; garden animals, weather, seasons and b) serve people coffee and doughnuts from. Naturally.

To the right of her house I have created what can only be described as a haphazard garden patch. Basically I threw some wildflower seeds down on to less than suitable earth cleared by our gardener and voila! We actually bloomed last year. I need to get on to that again this year. 

Forever tinkering, I am now finalising plans of what to do to the left hand side of the house. We’ll lay some sort of chipping down, pop a mud kitchen and bench there for her, possibly for her upcoming 3rd birthday.

Anyway, the details: 

The playhouse: Here although there are so many similar, bigger, smaller, etc etc

What’s inside?

  • Storage trunk from Argos
  • Rug from TK Maxx a million years ago
  • Poster with magnetic wooden frame from H&M (they don’t have the exact poster that we have anymore but this one is a cute one too)
  • Pom pom garlands from Etsy – similar to these ones
  • Macrame rainbow hanging from Etsy – similar to this one
  • Wooden coffee machine from Zara Home – no longer available but similar here
  • Metal tea set from Clas Olson – here
  • Wooden till from Clas Olson – here
  • 2 wooden stools from Ikea – here
  • Wooden doughnut set by Le Toy Van here
  • Wooden plates from Babipur here
  • Wooden shelf as a desk from Etsy
  • Wooden ice lolly set by Kid’s Concept here
  • Selection of garden/nature related books:
    • Out and About 
    • What Makes it Rain?
    • Teddy Bears Picnic
    • The Tiny Seed
    • Garden bird song book
  • Wooden broom and dustpan set from Zara Home – similar one here 
  • Little wooden mouse from Zara Home – no longer available
  • Wooden dolls cot here – we ditched the bedding.
  • Little wooden pull along dog – unknown, gifted by family for her birthday
  • Wooden doll and pet bunny by Tender Leaf here

What’s outside?

  • Set of battery operated timed festoon lights from Amazon BUT we are due to replace these with ones we can plug in to a power supply in the coming weeks. In the last year John has built a pergola and we have festoons on that so we have a spare plug going – woohoo. 
    • Example battery ones here
    • We’re going to upgrade to something like this soon 
  • Large wooden ‘E’ from eBay
  • Faux willow garland from Etsy
  • 3 large pastel windmills – eeek, can’t remember.
  • Wooden border for her little wildflower garden, from Amazon

What paint?

  • Cuprinol Garden Shades – White Daisy and Fresh Rosemary

Vx

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