Apparently, this lighter green-colored area used to be a garden spot, but at the time, it was overgrown with some nasty weeds--goat heads and burrs everywhere. It was the furthest thing from a fun place for kids to play.
To the left was a dilapidated play structure, standing in another weed patch. This used to be a play area, with wood chips as a ground cover. This area would also factor into the genesis of the hobbit-hole as I will explain later.