The Children’s Room, Arlington
The Children’s Room contacted COGdesign in The Children’s Room is a non-profit that provides caring support to children after the death of someone close to them, typically a parent or a sibling. Children that come to The Children’s Room have endured trauma and stress, so their physical space needs to reflect our mission. The Children’s Room philosophy tries to show that death is part of nature, and emphasizes the organic nature of things.
The Children’s Room is a 100+ year old Victorian house located on a corner, triangular lot on a high-traffic, highly visible corner in Arlington. The lot is approximately 130 feet long (the sides), and is located on a steep hill with a large retaining wall.When The Children’s Room approached COGdesign in 2007, the group’s front yard did not reflect its mission. Neglected, boring, overgrown, with dull plantings, it was neither inviting nor comforting to grieving families, and presented a negative image to the community.
COGdesign volunteer David McCoy developed a plan to reflect the process of healing, emphasize the natural cycles of life, and bring beauty and animation to The Children’s Room’s landscape. A plant palette of floriferous, ornamental, and multi-featured selections brings butterflies, insects, and birds to the site and dazzles children with seasonal displays of flowers, fruit, form, and color.
COGdesign volunteer Eileen Michaels, owner of A Yard and A Half Land-scaping in Waltham, stepped forward to donate her company’s expertise to grade the site, prepare the soil, and build a needed retaining wall. Her crew installed a new paved walk that starts from the sidewalk and winds its way into the new front garden, installed sod and helped with planting.