It’s National Tree week this week. This is an annual festival organised by the Tree Council of Ireland and the theme this year is, ‘Trees – our past, our present, our future’. The festival celebrates all the positive aspects of trees in our daily lives. People are promoted to plant more trees and are encouraged to recognise the important role our trees and forests play in the enjoyment of going about our daily lives. The Tree Council of Ireland website,www.treecouncil.ie/treeweek provides all the information you need if you and your community group wish to use tree week to enhance your local landscape. Posters and advertising opportunities are available on the website as well as a programme of events for the week.
As a child I absolutely adored climbing trees. I was lucky enough to live in the vicinity of some very old Horse Chestnut and Oak trees which were ideal. A good climbing tree is harder to come by nowadays for the younger generation (my tree climbing days are behind me now, sadly!). However there are still many ways in which trees can be incorporated into your kids’ play area.
We created a fairy trail for our daughter through a wooded area in our garden by hanging angels and fairies from low hanging branches. These can be bought at gardening centres. We collected little signs with ‘hush fairies sleeping’ etc written on them and made a little rough path for her prams and buggies by chopping logs in half and staining them.
We created an action man jungle for the boys by hanging a tyre from a sturdy tree and planting jungle style plants inspired by a trip to Dublin Zoo. We also made a little obstacle course for them to negotiate using an old telegraph pole (see picture). We got this idea from Kim Wilde’s book ‘Gardening with kids’.
If you want to go all out, a tree house is the ultimate kiddie attraction in any garden and again you only need one tree with a wide enough trunk for this. A hammock for older children in a shady area can also be suspended from just two trees, or one tree and a good strong pole.
Things to do this week-
– Cut the grass