If you have children, then you’ll already be aware of how important it is for your garden to be as child-friendly as possible. This doesn’t mean that it needs to be filled with garish plastic toys and structures – instead, work on making your garden as relaxing and soothing as possible for the adults, yet still safe and fun enough for the kids. How? Here are five ideas:
Replace Toxic, Sharp, and Delicate Plants with Child-Friendly Alternatives
Whether due to their poisonous compounds, stems packed with thorns, or razor-sharp leaves, some trees and plants can be downright dangerous. Of course, children aren’t going to be able to avoid these forever – it’s important to teach them about the different plants out there, explaining which ones shouldn’t be touched or eaten.
That said, they need to be a fair age before they’ll really understand this. So, in the meantime, it would be worth replacing any dangerous plants with safer alternatives. This doesn’t mean that you have to give up your favourites – if you’re a yucca fan, look into the Yucca Rostrata, which has softer leaves than other yucca varieties. Alternatively, if your much-loved plants are full of thorns, check out thornless varieties of the same species.
Fencing and Hedging
It’s difficult to keep a constant eye on children while you’re also working in the garden, which is why good fencing can be a game-changer. It’ll keep any kids within set boundaries, giving the adults a bit more freedom.
If you don’t like the idea of fences, consider hedging plants instead. You could go for something multi-purpose, such as olive trees – not only do they make a great evergreen hedge, but they’ll provide you with fruit each autumn too!
Covered Areas for Rainy Days
Your family should be able to enjoy your garden year-round, no matter what the weather may be doing. However, this means that you’ll need at least one sheltered area for rainy days.
You have a few options when it comes to creating this. A simple wooden structure is easy enough, but if you’d like to keep things more natural, consider planting mature trees with large canopies. The umbrella-like canopy on a Dragon Tree is perfect for this. Alternatively, build a living shelter out of willow – your kids will enjoy helping out with this too!
Avoid Water Features
Water features may give your garden a serene and tranquil vibe, but, let’s face it, they can be quite hazardous when you have children running around.
So, for now at least, relegate your water features to an area of your garden that young kids can’t access.
Kids love to explore – it’s a natural part of childhood, and your garden could be the perfect way to encourage that innate curiosity.
Consider setting up some winding paths around your garden – these will be much more appealing to a child than a straight path. They’ll be able to use these paths to play chase, ride a bike, rollerblade, and so much more. Even better, a path that your kids enjoy using will help to keep them away from your plants!
Whether you’re designing a new garden from scratch or making a few changes to an existing garden, there are plenty of ways to make your outdoor area child-friendly. This may mean making some compromises on your part, but don’t let this disappoint you too much – those kids will grow up before you know it, after which you can then transform your garden once again!