Bushens, Better-Known as The Magic Garden

When I was kid, I didn’t have quite the vocabulary that I have now. My ‘penis’ was my ‘thing’ and as Suzie recently brought to light, I had no word for ‘vagina’ (nor an occasion to use it.) So when I tried to convey to my parents, before I knew any words, that I wanted to watch ‘The Magic Garden’ all I could do was scream out ‘Bushens!’ Eventually, they landed on the channel where the “bushens” were, only it was more accurately known as ‘The Magic Garden.’

‘The Magic Garden’ combined my love for flowers with my love for music, and Carole and Paula would become prototypes for all the good girls I’d befriend over my life. A holiday episode of ‘The Magic Garden’ was recently unearthed, and it turns out these lovely ladies are still performing (and still alive) as seen in this promo for the show.


As a kid, I loved the show so much that one of the first records I got was the soundtrack to ‘The Magic Garden’ – on vinyl no less – and I wore it out singing and dancing in my childhood bedroom. Not unlike what goes in my adult bedroom. The lessons were ones for the ages – “You can even get mad at me, but don’t you push me down” – and the setting was the stuff of surreal fantasy. It paved the way for ‘Reading Rainbow‘ and all the other PBS shows I’d come to love.

This is such a strong memory, I can remember sitting in the family room surrounded by the wooden paneling and the plaid sofa. Dad would have been at work, or just coming home from work. Mom would have been in the kitchen or doing something with my brother. I watched Paula and Carole in their garden, singing and harmonizing, walking through the chuckle patch and listening to the flowers laugh. In the middle of a bleak winter, it was a comfort – and it was proof that I was a child once, that I had a childhood, and that it was, for the most part, pretty good.

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