When we were house hunting two years ago there were a couple of non negotiables on the list, one of which was the south or south-west facing garden. We had glorious images of the sun setting on our garden with the wine in hand. I am pleased to report that has come into fruition, we have a beautiful south-west facing garden, which we have spent many a sunny afternoon and evening supping the good stuff, while the kids run the length and breadth of the garden. It does however take some serious looking after, to get and keep it user-friendly.
You may have seen my recent Instagram post…
To keep a garden child friendly there are lots that need to be considered. Grass needs to be cut, shorter grass is softer for those little knees to fall on. Long grass can be itchy and uncomfortable on your legs (it always causes me to develop a rather fetching rash) and it generally looks neater. Hedges need to be trimmed, especially those with prickles or thorns on. Weeds pulled. Leaves picked up. Overhanging trees cut back. All of these things often require tools. Mr Tammy did purchase a sit on mower with hopes of making lawn mowing easier however it did not and he still finds himself walking up and down the garden every fortnight. Don’t forget the good old jet wash to blast your patio and clean of the slippery film that has gathered over the year. Good old Grandad Dave spent a whole afternoon on ours, to make it safer and more child friendly.
In addition to this we have strimmers, leaf blowers (or suckers I am not too sure), hedge trimmers oh and not to mention a good pair of thick gloves all at our disposal to try to maintain a child friendly garden. Seriously as someone who has picked up A LOT of leaves by hand, getting the right tools can make all the difference, for some inspiration on your garden equipment needs SGS offer a wide range of tools, from power washes to strimmers.
- Fill your green bins with all your gardening debris then invest in a small incinerator to burn what doesn’t fit. It will save you having piles of branches, weeds and shrubbery lying around until the next bin collection. Remember, conifer trees are like kindling and great for burning, holly trees not so much. We learnt this the hard way when our neighbour set fire to our conifer trees….
- DON’T climb ladders with those aforementioned sharp electric tools in your hands. If you have big trees in your garden, call a tree surgeon. They are fully qualified in the art, and safety, of felling trees so leave it to them eh. It is money well spent, trust me.
You may also want to consider an alternative flooring. Perhaps the low maintenance astro turf or soft safety conscious rubber flooring under a play area, if you have the space or budget. We have an area at the bottom of the garden we are considering fencing off and laying down a soft flooring and dedicating to the children. It currently remains a ‘consideration’.
Then there is the all important children’s entertainment. Again we are talking from a place of experience here, we have it all. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s because we spoil our kids with lavish gifts, it is Mr Tammy buying himself 5 minutes peace. We have a bouncy castle, remote control cars, a big wooden play house at the bottom of the garden, slides, paddling pools, and whatever other plastic crap they want to bring outside when the sun shines.
What we don’t have put are looking to get as they age are a swing set – when they are old enough to push themselves and the boy is no longer scared of the swing that is. Oh and the seemingly must have garden toy – the trampoline. In the interesting of making it really child friendly however I have designs on digging a hole big enough to put the trampoline into the ground so it is flush with the grass. Now I say I, clearly I mean Mr Tammy. However my point being, there is less of a height to fall from and hopefully less chance of broken bones. It will also stop the grass from dying underneath a static trampoline, and save us the hassle of having to move it to ensure the grass does not indeed die.
There is no end to permanent and non permanent fixtures to fill your garden with to entertain the kids, whether it is the sand pit or plastic slide – just don’t forget to move the non permanent fixtures off of the grass. Failing to do so will resort in manky soggy, dead grass underneath.
So there you have it, a few practical tips for creating a well-kept child friendly summer garden. Oh and let’s not forgot the BBQ eh, nothing beats a burger in the garden. What about you do you have any tips for a child friendly garden, that suits the whole family? I’d love to hear from you.