Designing a family-friendly garden

family in garden

Are you looking for a family-friendly garden design but don't know where to start? At Barnsley Landscapes, we believe your garden should be a haven for the whole family. There are so many reasons you should consider landscaping your garden, but the main one is that it can improve the quality of your life. Your garden is an extension of your home, so do not neglect it!

Our landscape gardeners in Barnsley know that every family is different. Everyone may wish to use their outdoor living space differently. However, our landscapers have compiled a list of suggestions for designing a family-friendly garden that you'll love.

Make sure your garden is safe for everyone

Before you decide on the key features of your family-friendly garden, you need to ensure it is a safe space for everyone. Ensuring your garden is safe depends on who will use it. If you have children, how old are they? Children mature at different ages, so what's safe for a ten-year-old might not be safe for a five-year-old.

Also, do you have any pets that you need to keep safe? For example, having a dog means you must consider your garden design carefully. Other pets, like guinea pigs, may need stricter boundaries in your garden. As landscaping can be time-consuming, you may wish to make your garden design future-proof for any additional pets or children you may have.

A garden safe for children

The first thing to remember about designing a family-friendly garden is to create a garden that your children can enjoy safely. No matter how old your children are, the first aspect of your garden design you need to consider is the boundary of your garden. You don't want your children crawling away when you turn your back - especially if you live close to a main road. At the same time, you also need to keep your garden enclosed for privacy reasons. Whether you build a wall or a fence, a solid boundary is essential for a family-friendly garden design. To learn all about the different types of fencing you can include in your garden design; click here.

Another thing to consider when creating a garden design safe for children is to ensure there aren't any hazards they can trip over. An example of a danger to young children is a considerable drop in the levels in your garden. To overcome this issue, you must consider how to avoid a potential accident. If your garden design requires a change in levels, install a small fence, or plant a hedge so that a young child does not walk over the edge.

What use does your garden have for your children? The best way to design a family-friendly garden is to consider what your children need in your garden early in the design process. The most common reason children go outside is to play. Whether they are playing hopscotch or tag, more often than not, they will be running around with siblings or friends. Consider including a section of your garden designed for your children to play. Or ensure enough soft turf for them to play, so they avoid tripping on the patio.

A garden safe for dogs

designing a family-friendly garden

When designing a family-friendly garden, what is safe for your children also ensures a safer environment for your dog. For example, a secure boundary around your perimeter ensures your children have privacy and keeps your dog from escaping. However, a few things in your garden design could be safe for your children but dangerous to your beloved pet.

Firstly, you need to remember that dogs can be naughty and they can chew things. Landscaping your garden can be expensive, so the last thing you want is for your dog to ruin your new outdoor living space. Remember this when it comes to purchasing ornaments and furniture. Only you know what your dog is like, so make sure you inform your garden designer of any behaviours they have.

Also, when choosing soft landscaping in your garden, you must know what is safe for your dog. There are many plants available that are toxic to dogs and that you don't want them to eat. For example, Spring bulbs (such as Daffodils, Tulips, Crocuses and Bluebells), Acorns, Holly, Ivy and many fungi are poisonous to dogs if ingested.

Please read our latest article for more information on how to design a dog-friendly garden!

Include a social area

Now that we've established all the safety considerations to be made when designing a family-friendly garden let's discuss how your garden can become an extension of your home. Our landscape gardeners in Barnsley believe your garden should be somewhere to relax all year round. A family-friendly garden should encompass a social area where the whole family can relax.

A social area should primarily consist of a seating area. A seating area can be as basic as a furniture set you pick up from B&Q, or you can hire a landscaper in Barnsley to design a custom-built seating area. Other components of a social area could include a fire pit or a bbq. Nothing screams family time more than relaxing under the summer sun and enjoying some bbq food.

Keeping your children occupied

designing a family-friendly garden

Landscaping your garden can significantly benefit the quality of your life with the right garden design. You need to consider that your garden has much more potential than a space to relax in the summer. Your garden can become a space for your child to explore and learn more skills. Studies have shown that teaching your child to grow vegetables can improve their understanding of a healthy lifestyle. They will get satisfaction from watching their vegetables grow and then see them get prepared for their dinner.

Depending on the age of your children, consider building them a mud kitchen. A mud kitchen is a make-believe outdoor kitchen where children can play with sand, mud and water and pretend to create meals. Playing with different textures is a brilliant sensory activity for children. Mud kitchens stimulate creativity and imagination and can improve numeracy by weighing their 'ingredients'.

Designing a family-friendly garden is personal as every family may require different features for their garden design. At Barnsley Landscapes, we recommend talking to one of our garden designers for inspiration and advice. Do not hesitate to call a member of our team for a quote. Alternatively, if you are looking for further garden inspiration, make sure you check out our blog!

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