Linda Heatherman has taken a page from poet Robert Louis Stevenson's 1885 classic "A Child's Garden of Verses."
Stephenson saw the garden as a place for children to explore, imagine and learn. Linda's modern version serves the same purposes for her grandchildren, 5-year-old Evelyn Kay Bastin and 1-year-old Ethan Cole Bastin.
Linda takes care of the two youngsters each day for her daughter, Dr. Crystal Bastin, and son-in-law, Shawn Bastin. Obviously, the children and the yard are her two loves, and she's combined the needs (and whims) of the children into her landscape seamlessly.
Her green thumb is evident throughout the corner lot in South Charleston's Southern Woods subdivision. There's a plant for everyone here - astilbes and yarrow and daisies and broadleaf euonymus and ferns and low-growing, red-tinged sedum - and they all blend to make a gorgeous landscape.
But the unique beauty of the landscape lies in the way the children's toys and play areas blend into the garden beds, obviously an integral and important part of the yard, but not obtrusive in any way.
Somehow Linda has managed to make Little Tykes plastic toys fit in with the beds of lilies and evergreens like they were planted along with the shrubs and flowers. There's even a hot-pink baby pool on the patio that seems to fit in with the lovely plantings.
And there are plenty of spots for grandma to sit and observe the play areas. A pretty bistro table and two chairs make for a perfect morning coffee spot, with a clear view of the yard. Linda's mother lives with her, making the yard a four-generation favorite.
Linda has included the children not just in the design but in the implementation of the garden, as ell. Little Evelyn planted the petunias along the road.