Child Friendly Garden Design Ideas

Up and down my street my neighbours are getting underway with prepping their gardens for Summer.  There are new walls going up, fencing being smartened, front lawns being ripped up and removed, and shrubbery being planted.

It seems to me that now is the time to act if you want to enjoy the outdoors when the heat wave finally touches down this year (I’m telling you it will happen)!

When I look out at our lawn it’s pretty horrific, so I know that we need to be next in line for sprucing up our outdoor space.  But before I can get the contractors in to dig up the grotesque concrete and remove the uneven line of trees that really don’t help my OCD ways, I need to plan what changes I’d like to make.

Our outdoor space is actually not a bad size given that we’re in a flat.  But it does need to be practical for a number of different uses.

I want a private contained space that we can enjoy in the Summer with an outdoor seating area, but I want to still have space to park the cars off street and obviously I need an area for Little London to play and enjoy.  Which means the materials I need to choose have to separate the garden area into its rightful uses.

With these ideas in mind I’ve been looking at a variety of different products that I think would look good and work well.  Practical and child friendly is what seems to be key for me!

1. Artificial Grass

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(Photo credit: Perfect Grass LTD)

Normal grass is great, except it always ends up patchy under my care.  And as soon as it’s wet it becomes near impossible to play on without mud getting everywhere, which is why I’m liking the idea of artificial grass.

Unlike astroturf of yesteryear, artificial grass has come on leaps and bounds.  There are many realistic ones on the market now, and using artificial grass means no need for mowing the lawn or having to maintain the garden space.  Which for me is so important as I’m not green fingered.

No weed killer or chemical fertilisers will be needed so ultimately the lawn would be a safer space for my child.

A neat, tidy green space…? yes please! Do I feel guilty for potentially getting rid of a natural habitat? A little, so I’ll stick some plant pots around to make sure I’m not getting rid of all nature! Bees will still be welcome (at a distance)!

2. Composite Decking

No garden is complete without a little space to put some outdoor furniture.

Legacy-Ashwood

(Photo credit: TimberTech)

Decking provides that break up in lines and provides a great platform for having that space to sit and watch as your child plays without being in firing line.

We’ve had decking in a previous house, and found it needed quite a bit of care to maintain- staining and treating yearly for starts.  But there’s a company called TimberTech who specialise in composite decking, which is a game changer in the decking world.

Their decking is made up of environmentally-friendly reclaimed wood and polymer resins meaning you get the combination of great looking decking, but low maintenance care.

Which as we all know is something I’m fond of 😉

Because of the combination of materials the wood doesn’t need to be treated, meaning no chemicals need be used to keep the decking looking its best.  Making it more family and pet friendly.

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(Photo credit: TimberTech)

The decking is also resistant to splintering (ouch), cracking, it’s non-slip and the boards are often fitted closer together so little fingers won’t get trapped.

TimberTech also have a variety of capped composite decking that offers a protective seal against any spills, making it wipe clean.

There’s a reason we have laminate flooring indoors and wipe clean kitchen units, so being able to extend that ability outdoors would certainly make my life easier and cause less anxiety! After all, who wants to panic every time a glass of red wine is drunk on the decking or spaghetti bolognese is on the summer menu!

3. Resin Bound Flooring

This flooring would be great to cover the space needed to park the cars, but it would still look neat and tidy.

Plus if the weather is nice, we could park the cars on the street opening up our outdoor space allowing Little London to have more room to roam and play.

The soft resin would be safe and protective to play on, especially as its non-slip.  Plus it’s wash clean and low maintenance.  There are some resin contractors that can make driveways look like they are gravelled but without the hassle of having the gravel spread everywhere!

I’ve seen my son tumble enough times down steps at the park and fall onto this material to know it does its job of protecting him if he slips.

thelondonmum

75 Comments

  1. I love these ideas — and I can totally see how practical they are — but covering the grass in fake grass and decking is just not good for all the creatures and little pollinating insects. It’s a real conundrum isn’t it? There’s little to no green spaces in the city’s as it is, it seems such a shame to cover up the few there are. My BF has fake grass and her garden is devoid of bees and butterflies as a result. It’s so sad!! xx
    Caro | The Twinkle Diaries recently posted…The perfect family holiday | #MarkWarnerMumMy Profile

    • No I totally get that, but I think you can have lots of plants and bushes in pots around to make sure you aren’t removing natural habitats completely like I said. I prefer the idea of potted plants so I can control them a bit better and grow things away from stamping little feet. Plus you could even have an insect hotel, which could also be educational and used as a habitat too. London is lucky to have a lot of green spaces that are well kept and looked after. But it’s just not for me when it comes to maintenance with the space we have.

    • I do too! I really need to get it ready for the summer now. Funds permitting of course! I would hate to have another year with just concrete outside *sigh* x

    • I know we’re quite lucky really because it’s a maisonette so the front and back garden got allocated out!

    • Very important especially when the nights become longer, it means we can be out in the garden until late while the little one sleeps 😉

  2. I love your decking! Two of my fences were damaged in the latest storm, one definitely needs replacing, a job that will have to wait a few weeks and then it’s time to get ready for spring planting 🙂
    Claire recently posted…Home Bake Box subscriptionMy Profile

    • I always take him to National Trust houses or local parks so he gets lots of grass time (as my washing pile lets on lol). I just hate the mess when it comes to our place lol. x

    • I don’t know if it’s themed in our area but it’s just awful. The grass doesn’t really grow and the mud is really thick and water logged all the time. Drives me mad!

    • I’m sure yours is probably better than ours lol. I think we bring our streets home value down quite significantly hahah x

  3. I so wish I could have greenery in my outdoor area but we aren’t allowed any which is such a shame, these are some great tips though!

  4. Another creative post!! Artificial grass – GREAT!! Cutting our grass is a bain-n-pain! No sooner cut & it can be ‘heard’ growing again. Have you got an artificial lawnmower ha? Don’t forget to leave holes for the rugby posts hahaha. Must go, – gig. Onwards LondonMum …( EAGLE HAS JUST LANDED.)

    • I wouldn’t mind if ours grew.. but it’s like a mudpie with a few green sprouts! Guess what happens when Little London goes outdoors *shakes head*

    • Our space is a good size but not huge so a small area to grass over would definitely look great especially with the decking 😉

    • I wish ours was nice when we moved in, but the whole place needed doing, so we’re finally getting to the point of finishing the flat and then the garden! Can’t wait!

  5. I would always be wary of decking with little ones – It gets very slippy, quickly. I was tempted by the fake grass – My friend has it and swears by it for her football loving sons but having read Caro’s comment above, I’m not sure now. Its definitely a conundrum x

    • I think it depends how you use your garden and the frequency. There’s not a large grass patch where we are, most of the area is concrete, so when it does get wet it’s impossible to play on. In fact this entire winter we’ve not been able to use the garden because the ground just remains sodden. I think for us it’s more of something essential so he can enjoy outdoor play at home. Decking can get slippy when wet definitely, but I find that with a lot of materials- but it would mainly be for me and not him 😉 haha x

    • I wish I was good at it. I’d love to get some raised beds at some point to grow some veg in. x

  6. This is making me so excited for summer and playing in our garden! I love the idea of artificial grass (despite my husband being a landscape gardener) I just feel its so much more practical for them to play on and also for me to maintain! Good luck with your transformation 🙂 xx

    • I just hope we don’t leave it too late that we miss all the good weather lol. x

  7. I most like the idea of composite decking. Never fully successful to grow a plant, to be honest but i still try every year. 😀

    • Me too. It’s so depressing not being green fingered at all! Everything I try and grow dies on me! x

  8. Great ideas! I love the decking idea – we are looking into creating an outdoor space this year. We’ve been working a lot in the garden for the past two summers so really hoping to get a decked area and just chill and enjoy some sun this year.
    Working mum Blog recently posted…How to calculate your daily rate when freelancingMy Profile

  9. I really like the decking in the outdoor garden Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post

  10. Interesting piece. It’s surprising what you’ve got to think about both inside and out when you have children. I find it difficult to include something suitable for pets and wildlife as well as the children’s safety so some of these suggestions are useful.

    • IT’s a headache, but amazing when you finally get it pieced together and sorted!

  11. Hey, great share…….
    I really liked the child friendly garden ideas that you mentioned. I am also planning to add a composite deck to my house. Adding a deck definitely adds a high amount of design to any home, making it more visually appealing and enhancing the home’s overall quality.

    Thanks for sharing these tips.
    Cheers!!
    Eamon Hurley recently posted…Hello world!My Profile

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