How to Create a Peaceful Child-Friendly Garden
Children are rarely associated with peaceful environments, and when it comes to garden design, it can often feel like you cannot have both fun and relaxation in the same design. What was once an outdoor sanctuary also needs to become a hive of activity and exploration, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t retain natural beauty with some sense of harmony and peace at the same time. The key is to design a garden with several areas that each perform a function for the family. Here are some ideas to help you create a peaceful and child-friendly garden that people of any age will enjoy.
Use natural materials
Any parent knows that no matter what you buy children, more often than not, they will end up playing with the cardboard box it came in. So, rather than spending a fortune on plastic play equipment, consider using natural materials like tree stumps, stepping stones and logs to create obstacle courses. You can leave the pieces plain or decorate them, and when you have a pile of leaves or flowers after gardening, encourage the children to play with them or create something using their imagination.
Designate areas for play
To try and localise playtime in certain areas, be sure to create spaces the children can enjoy. For example, a flat area of grass is great for ball games and running around, whereas a sandpit and trampoline are both low maintenance activities that provide hours of fun. Be sure to consider the plants and shrubs you plant in these areas as they need to be able to survive the occasional trample or ball. If you have a spare wall, consider painting it in blackboard paint or hanging a blackboard so the children can be artistic.
Incorporate some paved paths
To give the children somewhere to ride their bike, rollerblades, and skateboards, try to incorporate a paved patio and winding paths – the quirkier the better. A wiggling path is also a great way to separate areas of the garden for play and relaxation.
Create a sensory garden
The garden should be a place for exploration and discovery, so be sure to include as many sights, smells and sensations as you can. This includes bright flowers that will attract bees and butterflies, rustling grasses and leaves, a range of scents and even tastes if you choose to grow your own herbs, fruit or vegetables. A water feature by Water Garden is another popular way to both entertain the children and provide a relaxing and refreshing feature for the adults.
The UK weather is anything but predictable, but a bit of rain or intense summer heat should not stop your family from enjoying the garden. Try to create a sheltered area either by planting trees or by erecting a canopy or umbrella. It will give you all somewhere to retreat when the weather turns so you can still benefit from the fresh air.
Build a hideout
Whether it’s a fort, a Wendy house, a wooden shed, a tepee, tent or a treehouse, a hideout provides children with somewhere to let their imagination run riot or to spend some quiet time if they feel like relaxing. Giving them this sanctuary also has the added benefit of giving the adults a bit of a rest from time to time.
Include plenty of storage
A clear and clean environment makes for an uncluttered mind, so be sure to include storage options for gardening tools and toys in order to keep them safe and tidy when not in use.