Different View

Updated Feb 7, 2013

Sometimes the littlest voices give the best inspiration

Not so long ago during a vacation in Costa Rica, my husband Dave and I used our camera to film ourselves zipping over the canopy of the rain forest. It produced some cool, exhilarating footage.

Fast forward four years to our son Jack’s second birthday party last weekend. Camera in hand once again we filmed ourselves coasting down a steep, inflatable slide with Jack giggling on our laps. It wasn’t as exciting as the 600-foot high zip line, but it was just as fun. Having Jack has changed my perspective on just about everything.

“Having Jack has changed my perspective on just about everything.”

These days, I spend a lot of time at a local park with Jack. We pick flowers, toss rocks and hunt for bugs. “Butterfly” was one of his first words, and we practice his numbers by counting leaves. Yesterday, he pressed a smooth stone into my palm and said, “Oval.” Sure enough, it was shaped like an oval.

Jack is the inspiration for this month’s cover story, “Child Friendly Landscapes,” page 20. As a mother and managing editor of TLC, I wondered how landscapers can design spaces that are engaging yet safe for young explorers. Even better, could that space educate them? And can a landscaper actually make money doing so?

The answer is yes to all of the above.

In researching child-friendly landscapes, I spoke to noted landscape architects, a marketing consultant, a horticulture specialist and school officials. Through their stories I learned ways children can be inspired by their outdoor surroundings, and how landscapers can capitalize on projects created with them in mind.

Check out the story. I have to go now. Jack and I are going to chase butterflies.

The Attachments Idea Book
Landscapers use a variety of attachments for doing everything from snow removal to jobsite cleanup, and regardless of how often they are used, every landscaper has a favorite attachment.
Attachments Idea Book Cover