Plants We Used in Our Gardens

Through out Magic Gardens we have used various plants in various gardens. We have listed those plants here. It is important to note that there are MANY plants that could be used in a Magic Garden. Take into consideration the following:

  • Do you have sun or shade?
  • Are there shrubs under which the kids could build a Magic Garden?
  • Is this plant fragile or is it a pretty tough customer?
  • Am I OK with using some artificial plants poked into the ground?

Many of the gardens are built in areas where plants already existed and for the most part the plants are tough customers and OK with little hands (and feet) coming into contact with them.  We have always been under the same guideline that Kerby Pucket’s dad was. When confronted by neighbors about the condition of his yard Mr. Pucket responded, “I’m raising kids, not grass.” Nature is meant to be interacted with….respectfully! Most of the plants in our gardens flower, however, they were selected for: durability, size, and sun conditions for each garden location.

Green Loose Parts

We call these “loose parts” because they are usually in a basket of things like bark, sticks, acorns, hunks of wood and stone. It is nice to have things available for kids to arrange in ways that fit their idea of how their Magic Garden should look. You can find most of these things on a walk about the neighborhood….Don’t forget that hunks of asphalt and chipped patio blocks can be perfect landscaping materials as well.


  • Boxwood – A favorite of English gardens for hundreds of years, the boxwood had found a place in the US gardens to zone 4. It come in standard and dwarf varieties. While this shrub does not have a noticeable flower, it shiny green foliage stays green all winter.
  • Lilac – The American beauty has long been favored fir it amazing spring scents. It comes in standard and dwarf varieties. The dwarf variety ‘Miss Kim’ is a dwarf Korean lilac. The colors of lilacs range from white to deep purple to almost red.
  • Spirea – This shrub comes in many sizes….all are pretty considered small shrubs. One of our favorites is the cultivar ‘Lemon Princess’. It has a wonderful lime-green foilage. The cultivar ‘Neon Flash’ is both small, and has a remarkably neon pink flower.

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