Creating a garden that can cater to the whole family is often an enigma for homeowners. The kids want the built-in sandpit, the playground equipment and the soft landing of a rubber tarmac with a bed of vegetables that they planted themselves. The adults want an escape: a beautiful set of benches and tables to relax on under a large umbrella for shade. They want the firepit and the barbecue and the ability to relax in the evening with solar fairy lights twinkling. These sound like two very different gardens, right? Well, you can have both.
There is no reason that a play area should dominate your garden. Let’s say you have a sizeable garden space to work with – there is every reason you could work with your space to give the children the space that they want and keep the space that you want, too. You first have to secure the boundaries in your garden, such as aiming to create a privacy screen with some attractive fencing to separate the adult area from the children’s area. You can also make sure that you secure tools and materials away and ensure that all chemicals and pesticides are away. The children’s area of the garden should have the thorny or poisonous plants taken away so that no accidents happen.
The kids will need freedom to run around, so the back half of the garden could be lain with a hard-wearing lawn mix or artificial grass. You could have little walkways and fake roads imprinted or painted on the grass for use with bicycles and scooters and provide areas of overgrown ivy for dens and covers from the sunshine. Lifting all the plants around the garden with raised beds can ensure that playtime can happen without damaging your daffodils. If you plan to grow vegetables, those raised beds can ensure that they are not damaged or trampled while the kids play. Before you install the play areas of the garden, consider the age of the children that you are catering for. A sandpit that they love when they’re young could be emptied and used as a pond when they grow up, for example.
The adults will need somewhere to relax and usually this is some low-level seating around a firepit for warmth. Adults tend to be less high maintenance than kids; a place to sit and relax, some shade and some warmth are usually all that is required for a great evening in the garden. You should consider what you enjoy about being in a garden and implement as much of that as you can. If you love being out for a barbecue, then invest in a really professional outdoor kitchen if you have the space to do it. You could also consider an area for privacy, like a small gazebo or something similar.
A garden is a place to relax for the whole family; don’t be fooled by anyone telling you that you can’t have both!