I have a lovely guest post for you today full of tops tips for your family garden
Sun-screen at the ready, summer is here! Thousands of families will be enjoying the warm weather out in their garden as the holidays begin. And if you’re like me, with the kids off school for six, long weeks, it’s important to keep your kids busy, if for no other reason than to keep your wits about you!
But how to keep those imaginations occupied?
The garden is the extra room that is too often ignored during the cold months of winter and early spring. Especially if you have a young family where other needs are more important than green maintenance. But the garden can be a creative space. Kids can kick back and feel free to be themselves. Making the garden a special place can really make for a family-friendly summer, whether you’ve got tearaway toddlers or feisty teens just looking for a place to chill out and sun bathe. So I’ve come up with some ideas on how to make the most of your garden.
Now if you have young children, then you’re going to have toys thrown all over the lawns. Probably some of the neighbours’ kids’ toys too! So storage is vital in providing the maximum play space. A garden shed can be ideal for hiding away all of your children’s bits and pieces, whether they’re toys or even bikes. And let’s not forget that pesky paddling pool! Like your house, you don’t want to have to worry about any clutter. Plus, because you didn’t have enough to do, you can paint a shed! Pick any colour to match your personal style – why not rope in the family and make it an afternoon project? You may end up with a mural from a future Van Gogh! Or, more likely, a bit of a mess, but it’s all in good fun!
Practicality is also highly important for the family garden when you’ve got a lot on your mind. Fitted wooden seating can double as storage with lift-up lids to stash the children’s junk whilst also keeping them close at hand.
One of the best parts about summer is the chance to dine outdoors. You may, like me, not be the biggest fan of the bugs which, unfortunately, will make their presence known multiple times, but it’s definitely better than eating in a stuffy house. Make sure you have the perfect area, complete with all the trimmings. If you’re feeling really adventurous, use trellis screens to provide a stylish partition and some well-needed shade, or climbing plants like clematis and ivy to create a natural barrier. A second space within your outdoor space? I know, I know… Genius! However, do not, I repeat, do not forget the comfy cushions. As nice as wooden furniture looks with a backdrop of trees and other plant life, no one wants a numb bum from sitting on it for too long, not to mention the little ones knocking themselves into the hard edges. Keep them soft and colourful. And if you have plastic picnic furniture? Use them to keep the heat off the chairs for those little legs.
Lighting is also crucial. When the big lamp in the sky goes out in the evening, sitting in the dark is probably not the most ideal way to maintain your sociability. Best thing to do? Keep your garden green. More green. Eco-friendly green! Create an ambient atmosphere with some solar-panelled lamps to keep the conversation (and some wine?) flowing! And while it may swelter during the day, the evening can be nippy for the munchkins who are begging to stay up past bedtime. Heaters, should you need them, are a guaranteed way to the keep the BBQ party going after twilight!
While a well maintained lawn can cause eyes to do a double, nothing could be more boring for the kids, and you, this summer than just a patch of, albeit attractive, grass. Let loose your inner-Jamie Oliver and plant some herbs, along with the gorgeous scents of lavender and chamomile. These cheerful plants can lure anyone outside – even the most reclusive teen! Interesting aromas will make your relaxing afternoon nap in the sun a little bit more soothing.
Many people will want to try their hand at gardening and what better way than to get the kids involved. While flowers are pretty to look at, they’re oft forgotten, especially by the critters who, let’s be honest, are normally more interested in playing with the mound of firt they just dug (mud pie anyone?). So how about creating a vegetable patch? We all want out kids to eat more fruit and vegetables but we also know it can be difficult to convince them that a non-candied apple is just as good when it’s not Hallowe’en. Giving them the chance to grow their own goods, from scratch, will genuinely teach them the importance of looking after something else, but also where their food actually comes from. And it’s also really simple. All you need is a raised wooden gardening bed, possibly one of those plastic canopy greenhouses, and a whole heap of compost, and you’re set. And just as an extra, let them choose the ones to plant. They’re more likely to go with the most colourful options, especially if they don’t know many varieties, so it’s an added bonus in getting them to eat more greens! And yellows…and oranges…and reds…purples…pinks…
And lastly, no family space is complete without a place to make-believe. A play area provides the kids with hours of fun whilst you soak up the rays. The choices in designs and colours for playhouses, for example, are endless so you can find one that fits your child. Jungle Gym Climbing Frames are safe, high quality structures that you can even design yourself. Pick a main tower and then choose the add-ons you think your kids will love the most.
The garden is more than just a place to dump stuff you don’t want in your house anymore. Take some time, spruce it up, and use it as the playroom for the kids that you don’t have space for inside. And unlike one that’s designed for indoor use, this one is fit for your use too! Just don’t forget the sunscreen! I shall not be held responsible for any pink bits which develop!!
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