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How to Create a Magical Family Garden For All Ages Which is Both Inspirational and Practical

March 23rd, 2022

No garden can be a real success unless the overall design is right

This is particularly true of the family garden, which must cater for both children and adults, who might have radically different ideas of how the space should be used. The garden must both look good whilst requiring little maintenance other than that which you choose to do. Also a cohesive plan will allow you to either do the work all at once or in stages as you budget dictates.

Adults v Childrens’ Idea of a garden

Adults generally have a good idea about what they want from their garden, be it a tranquil oasis of calm or an eating and entertaining environment or a plants-man’s paradise, maybe a combination of all three. However it is important for adults to appreciate what children want in a garden too, so that a harmonious balance of family life can be achieved. A child’s desire to climb trees, make dens, ride bicycles and kick balls need not conflict with your own garden dreams. Bringing adventure, exhilaration and mystery into a garden for children without forfeiting its character and charm for adults and making the most of a garden should be your goal.

The garden is usually larger than any room in the house

Even in a small garden each family member should aim to have their own private space. There should also be areas which encourage the family to come together; a terrace, pool or seating area could provide just this opportunity.

Involve children in each stage of the garden’s development

Leaf through gardening books together, take them to other gardens, parks and wild areas to see which habitats go down well. Encourage them to draw sketches of tree houses, paddling pools and climbing trees, and make use of these whenever practical, so that they feel they have contributed to the garden plan and you feel that you are fulfilling some of their dreams.

Top 3 Tips

set out an overall plan before you start to make any alterations
tackle the improvements over a comparatively long period of time
retain an element of flexibility so that the garden grows with you

Some examples of the features that adults would like and what children would like:-

For Adults

sheltered eating and entertaining area
barbecue
tranquil place in which to relax
water feature
a screen from the neighbours
kitchen garden area for vegetables
garden room for office or studio
shed for storage
greenhouse
lawn
woodland area
orchard
herb garden
pergola
herbaceous border
area for pets/chickens
private place to sunbathe

For Children

playhouse or den
space to pitch a tent
climbing frame
tree house
sandpit
paddling pool
wildlife pool
long grass
place to ride bikes
woodland area for games
stream
flowering border to attract bees and butterflies
pet area
vegetable or flower plot
area for ball games
swimming pool
swing
trees for climbing

Overall Master Plan

With an overall master plan you can ensure that all the elements of your garden will co-exist happily and complement one another. As you can see from the above list there are similarities that can be incorporated into the plan to please both children and adults alike.