Creating A Family Garden
When you think about the garden that is sitting untouched at the back of your home, what do you imagine? Do you think about covering it in pebbles and concrete to make a low maintenance space, or do you see more of a relaxing area smothered in greenery? How about when you think about what your children would use the garden for? The good news is that you could have a garden that you love that your children also love, and you don’t have to break the bank to do it. Creating an outdoor space that is suitable for families also doesn’t have to be difficult.
A low maintenance garden doesn’t have to be a concrete playground, and a family garden doesn’t have to be overly busy with a myriad of plants to take care of. When you want to create a garden that your children will love, you will be searching for advice. Well, look no further, as we have some amazing tips for creating the perfect family environment.
Relax! Let The Children Play!
The best thing that you can do for your family garden is to relax your expectations. You may have visions of beautiful rose bushes, a lush lawn year-round that is preened to perfection (click here to see how!) and stonework around a Koi pond. In reality, your garden is going to bear the brunt of childhood games, sports and wrestling. Save your blood pressure and wait until the children have grown out of rough and tumble on the grass before you plant rose bushes to rival the neighbours. Children will make mud pies and will splash in the grass when it rains, and you need a safe space for them to explore and do that in nature. This doesn’t mean you can’t have your beautiful vision; you just may have to wait if you don’t want the peonies trod on!
Personal Safety Matters.
Some parents aren’t able to stand in the garden and supervise for every hour of the day, so when you are creating your garden, make sure that you create one that is safe for you and your family. Make fences higher, attach padlocks to garden gates and maybe refrain from adding a pond if you want to allow the children to roam free while you stay inside the house. The expectations for what makes a garden safe will vary from family to family, but if you do decide to have a pond, check out these ways to make it safe so that both the fish and the kids stay safe and well during outdoor play. Some of the things that you should consider are:
- No water. At all. Not even a trough to feed the birds. Toddlers only need two inches of water to drown and if you choose to have a paddling pool, a pond or the aforementioned water trough, then you need to be prepared to supervise at all times.
- Containment. We mentioned padlocks on outside gates, but make sure that you’ve considered each of the ways that the children could get out of the garden and seal those areas so that they cannot be accessed.
- Soft landings are essential for a family garden, so there’s no use in concreting the whole thing or adding a ton of shingle. If you install a slide and a swing, make sure a lawn is a soft enough landing for the kids.
- Avoid the chemicals when it comes to looking after your plants, and make sure that no pesticides or poisons are accessible in the garden. It should be a place to play and relax, not a place to panic about being poisoned.
Zone It Out.
You want to cater for everyone in the garden. Dad may want a shed at the back to tinker in and keep his tools. You may want somewhere to sit in the sun and read a book and the kids need an area for play equipment. When it comes to planning out your garden, create zones so that everyone gets a space that works for them. The children’s area should be close to the house and you should be able to see the children wherever you are. Then the areas that you want to keep more preserved should be toward the back and fenced off, so flying footballs and other equipment cannot overtake it.
Buy Equipment…But Be Smart.
Your garden may need more than just a new lawn and some flower borders, especially when making it family friendly. Installing decking with an outside eating area as well as buying a climbing frame for the children to play can get pricey, but you can check out this website for the best deals on children’s play equipment. Your decking could be installed by you if you are excellent at DIY, but if not, don’t be afraid to call in a landscaper to get it installed for you. Try not to spend thousands on children’s play equipment. It’s a garden, not a park, and your children will grow out of play equipment very quickly. It could be better to invest your cash in outdoor games like bowling and cricket, instead of huge pieces of equipment with an attached slide.
You can’t make your garden bigger than it is, so instead of worrying about having more space for a lawn why not create a space that’s fun for children using nature? Shrubbery, planted trees and flower beds are great fun as obstacles to hide behind for hide and seek. Nearby parks can take care of the actual playtime your kids want, and the garden itself can be somewhere for them to sit and relax quietly.
Your garden is a space to relax, eat, have fun and generally admire. Have as much fun as possible in your outdoor space and allow the kids the chance to dig for worms and make mud pies. They’re only small once, so getting the fun out of the garden is going to make the most memories.