Alice In Wonderland Style Gardens

By Linda Wiggen Kraft

Last year I got the best compliment about my garden ever. A dog walker who came by daily told me my garden looked like an Alice in Wonderland garden. Although it is mainly organized chaos and a Midwestern version of English Cottage style, I like to think of it as a wonderland with its own quite tame adventures compared to Alice’s, but adventures none-the-less.

An adventure implies a journey, a going from one place to another with the intention of experiencing something that is life changing along the way. Perhaps that is how gardens should always be experienced, as adventures that change our lives along the way. An Alice in Wonderland garden is the perfect spot for just such journeys to take place.

How to have an Alice in Wonderland garden? Organized chaos is perhaps the most important part, a sense of underlying order that has somehow become untamed and grown wild. In that growing wild there is an abundance of flowers, foliage and food. Edibles mingle and grow along-side flowers for show. There are just enough weeds but not too many. And mixed in with all of this is a sense of surprise around every corner. Wild life describes not just how the garden grows, but all that is part of the garden.

An Alice in Wonderland garden has adventure waiting just outside the door. The adventures speed up during the blooming season when new growth brings quickly changing surprises. Flowers transform as buds open to perfection and then fade away. Hummingbirds are startled when the door opens and interrupts their feeding on the trumpet shaped flowers. Bees and insects are busy pollinating fruit trees and flowers both day and night. Edibles are planted along with flowers, so they can be easily picked and brought inside to feed bodies and souls. The untamed wildness comes into our homes displayed as jewels in vases and food that nurtures our health.

An adventure needs a journey and no better way than to walk down a garden path. Stepping onto a path is crossing a threshold into the garden where by being wide open in heart and mind the garden reveals its ever-changing surprises. An adventure in the garden can be simply taking the time to do a slow walk down a garden path. It can be a daylong time of planting and nurturing the land. It can be the morning walk to get from the front door to the car, but with an intention of noticing one new thing about the garden that day.

Whatever the journey, gardens are wonderlands that let us find adventure any time and every time we visit them. We just need to be like Alice, there to experience whatever the adventure brings.

Linda Wiggen Kraft is a landscape designer who creates holistic and sustainable gardens. She is also a mandala artist and workshop leader. Visit her blog: www.CreativityForTheSoul.com/blog or website: www.CreativityForTheSoul.com. Contact her at 314 504-4266.