Designing a child-friendly garden

Gardens can be a joy for the whole family, but only if they are designed correctly. Those with children know that delicate flowers and energetic kids aren’t the best matches. Therefore, you must choose a garden design that works for family members of all ages. Our Chesterfield garden designers have created many garden plans and have experience creating a space that is not only visually pleasing but also child-friendly. We will tell you how you can design a child-friendly garden - don’t worry, it is much easier than you might expect!

Designing a child-friendly garden

Child-friendly doesn’t mean toy galore: dedicated zones to the rescue

Making your garden suitable for children doesn’t mean you have to wave goodbye to all adult elements and areas and replace them with an array of plastic playhouses and outdoor toys. Your garden can still be a beautiful design whilst remaining child-friendly. One way to achieve this is by working with dedicated garden zones with specific uses, such as one seating area for adult entertainment and a space for children to play and explore. Dedicated zones are visually pleasing and work very well for families with varied interests who use the garden space differently. Our landscape gardeners in Chesterfield advocate for creating specific regions to make the design come together and give the garden a sense of purpose.

When deciding where to place these areas keep safety in mind, as you need to be able to see the children even when you aren’t outside with them. The back corner of a garden that is not visible from the patio doors or windows may not be the best option and, instead, may be better suited for the adult seating area

Dedicated areas are a great way of giving adults and children their own space and independence; it is also essential not to split them too much. Enforcing rules like kids aren’t allowed in the adult seating area will only make them want to be there more and make their own space seem less attractive. Instead, all zones should be equally accessible, but you could set boundaries such as toys having to stay in the kid's play area - their 'home'. 

You might think your garden will be divided into square sections, and it will be evident that there are “outdoor rooms” in your garden. Don’t worry! Our garden designers in Chesterfield take great pride in their work and always make sure to create a design that is completely functional but also aesthetically pleasing. To have a seamless transition between the zones, stepping stones can be installed that aren’t just visually pleasing and fun for the children to hop around. There are plenty of options, and our Chesterfield garden designers constantly adjust the designs until everyone involved is happy with the final result.

Children + open water = big no no

Water Feature

Big seating area with an outdoor kitchen? Not a problem! Giant stone statue with a water feature? Also not a problem depending on the water feature. As with any water feature, you need to air on the side of caution when children are involved. Unfortunately, there have been many incidents, especially in back gardens involving pools, ponds and other bodies of water and young children. We all know it is impossible to keep an eye on children, especially very active ones, every second of every day. However, when water is involved, it takes a very short time for a tragic accident to happen. This is why many people with young children choose to avoid garden designs with any kind of water. However, once those children are older and can safely be around water, you have another garden project on your hands to install the water feature you originally wanted.

If it is a pool you have always dreamed of, then our Chesterfield garden designers can make this a reality without sacrificing the safety of your children. They can easily combine your dream of a pool and the need for a child-friendly garden by adding safety features such as a retractable pool cover or a fence to your design. This fence can be disassembled once the children reach an age where they do not need an adult supervisor around water rather than taking on a whole garden transformation project to include the water feature. Do it once and do it right rather than multiple times so you can spend your money on other nice things! We all know garden projects aren’t something you will take on every year, so our garden designers in Chesterfield will make sure to create a design that works for your family now but is also future-proof, so you don’t need to keep changing your space every time you change.

Be aware of plants and materials in your garden

Children are curious human beings who are discovering the world one day at a time. Therefore it is essential to be aware of the plants and materials used in your garden. If you have bushes with berries on, you may want to make sure these are safe for consumption. Many people will have taught their children not to eat anything they find outside, especially without checking with adults first. However, a curious little mind may not always remember what they were taught when looking at delicious-looking berries dangling in front of them. Another thing to consider is that although the berry may not be toxic, they could be a choking hazard.

There are many flowers and plants to choose from that don’t cause health risks when ingested. Our garden designers in Chesterfield will always make sure to discuss plants that may be best suited for you and your family and use safe ones.

You may also want to avoid plants with thorns, such as roses. Whilst they won’t cause too much harm if eagle-eyed children grab them, it is always best to avoid unnecessary medical mini-drama.

And whilst we’re on the topic of avoiding plants, delicate flowers such as peonies and children don’t usually mix very well. Peonies and roses are beautiful to look at; however, they cannot withhold the force of a football. The good thing is that you don’t need to avoid those flowers overall. Our Chesterfield garden designers can devise a solution to keep your precious flowers safe away from the hustle and bustle of pleasing children and use ball-proof shrubs in the danger zones instead. 

There are many options when it comes to creating a child-friendly garden that takes the wishes of all family members into account without turning it into an IKEA Småland in your back garden. Our Chesterfield garden designers can create a truly remarkable masterpiece that works for the entire family. If you want to learn more about our garden service and get started on your garden project, get in touch with one of our garden designers in Chesterfield today; they would be happy to help.

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