Kids love gardens! They’re a great place to play in and explore, at least as long as they’re kept safe. It can be a bit tricky to pull together a garden for the whole family, but it’s definitely possible, and with a bit of advice from Olive Grove I’ve been able to narrow down 7 ways to get the perfect family summer garden.
Get the kids involved!
A garden for the family should be planned by the family, not just by the adults. Let your kids get stuck in and give them time to find “their” area (the bit they like to play in the most) so you know not to cover it up or pave over it. If they’re less of the playing type, why not let them help plant seeds or ask them what kind of thing they’d like to play with in the ‘new’ garden?
Be careful with water
Accessible ponds and natural pools can be a lovely decoration, but they’re a big danger to children and family pets. A few inches is more than enough for a child to drown in, and even if they’re just sitting in the water, it could end up being really really cold!
That’s not to say you should get rid of all the water, but you should definitely make it inaccessible to younger members of the family. Bordering off a pond or capping a water barrel can go a long way to keeping your garden safe.
Always have a shared space
It can be tempting to split your garden into the ‘play area’ and the ‘adult’s area’, but it’ll do your family no harm to mix them together a little bit! Putting most of the seating in the middle of the garden might help here, since it’ll draw the whole family towards the same area.
Guests should also be considered – they might not be comfortable staying in a defined area, so it’s important to accommodate everybody in each area of the garden – even something as simple as some children’s chairs near the adult’s tables or a bench near the children’s area could work just fine!
Get involved in DIY
DIY projects can be a great way to make your garden a more accessible space – building a treehouse might be a bit out of your league, but you could always make a wooden shelter for your children to play in and around. For the adults, you could try making a canvas shelter sail to give you more protection from the rain, or some entirely DIY furniture that everybody could help build!
Use suitable surfaces
Gardens are never just grass – you’ll have patios, stone paths and dirt areas, all of which are a lot less soft. Kids might like playing on something that’s a bit more solid, but falling over could seriously hurt them!
If they’re adamant about fooling around on your patio or porch, give them a thick blanket to try and break their fall. Even if they still hurt themselves, at least they won’t get splinters or cuts: just a little bump.
Don’t overextend your ideas
If your garden is too small to use as a full-sized playground for your kids, try giving them something a bit more improvised. If you’re adding a lot of hedges, you can turn it into a hide-and-seek area (or bring out the water pistols when summer rolls around)!
That’s not to say you should try something more exotic – plant some palm trees or add some foreign decorations and give your garden a unique twist!
Spend time out there
The most important secret to a good family garden is to keep using it – family members, both children and adults alike, definitely benefit from the time they spend together, so using the space as often as possible makes a huge difference.
Plus, it gives you an excuse to change things around now and then. Let your children grow up alongside your garden, and eventually it might become more important to the household then the living room!
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Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.