Garden design for a grandchild-friendly garden: 5 ways to create a garden your grandchildren will love
I have many happy memories of my childhood garden, but I also have lots of fond recollections of my granny’s garden in Stratford Upon Avon. It was a tiny space and it hadn’t been created with grandchildren in mind, but that didn’t stop my brothers and I having lots of fun.
Now I find myself being regularly asked to design gardens to be enjoyed by multiple generations, but which don’t feel as if they are only catering for the needs of young children. The garden needs to be safe and stimulating, but a grandchild-friendly garden doesn’t have to be overrun with plastic play equipment or an ugly trampoline.
Here are 5 ways to make a garden more exciting for your grandchildren…without turning into a playground:
1. Get in the zone
It can be a good idea to think of the garden as a series of zones, with the area closest to the house usually being the most important. It also, happily, tends to be easy to get to and easy to see from the house so it is the ideal space to share with very young grandchildren. Let’s ensure that this first zone provides a safe and enjoyable place for us to sit and relax, with enough space for some comfortable seating and a few small toys.
2. Think about the level changes
If the garden needs steps, we will need to design them carefully. Deep treads and shallow risers will be safer for small children (and us) to use, but it is more important that they are all consistently proportioned. A hand rail or something else to hold on to can also be useful.
All kids seem to be drawn to water, but ponds and very young children are not a good combination. This doesn’t mean that we can’t have water in our garden. A simple water feature with a small hidden reservoir can make an attractive and effective focal point. A shallow water rill running through a paved area can also be wonderful, and little hands and feet will love the sensation of the cool moving water on a warm day.
4. Get them growing
Let’s encourage our grandchildren to love plants and gardening by providing a small space for them to try growing a few strawberries, some tomatoes or some flowers. A simple raised bed or a small patch of soil they can call their own will be perfect, and is a wonderful way to introduce them to gardening.
5. Encourage an interest in wildlife
Identifying key plants and pollinators is part of the national curriculum at schools, so let’s take the opportunity to help our grandchildren experience nature first-hand. We could install a bee hotel or a bird feeder, or we could allow a corner of our garden to be a little wild or unkempt. A small pile of logs will become home for a variety of different species, and a shallow tray of water will attract all manner of creatures.
Follow these 5 simple ideas and see how easy it can be to create a more grandchild-friendly garden. Being outside is so important for a child’s development, and what could be better than introducing them to the delights of spending time in a wonderful garden?
Tythorne Garden Design provides professional fixed-fee garden design solutions for customers in Grantham, Stamford, Newark and surrounding areas. Let's see how we can help you to enjoy your garden more. Call us on 07900 224 239 or 01529 455 355.