Creating a Child Safe Space
Children are the apple of our eyes, the future of our gardens, and the reason for that big hole in our pockets! Whether it’s your own children, your grandchildren or even the great-grandchildren, creating a safe space for them in the garden is a great idea, especially if it’s ready for summer.
The Big Worries
We all know children are inquisitive, this could be just having a peek over the side of the pond, or putting that big bright flower straight in their mouth, we need to make sure that the space is ready for whatever they throw at it!
We have all heard the story of the child who fell in the pond because they wanted to play with the “big fish” near the bottom, so we need to make sure it’s safe for them. If you’re looking to put a pond in from scratch, we definitely recommend having a raised pond. By building a wall around the pond and bringing your liner up the wall you can create a great-looking pond that is firstly that little bit safer (and less of a trip hazard) and secondly stops you needing to dig down into the ground.
If you want to keep your ground level pond, but make it a little more child-friendly, a tidy little fence is a great choice. Make sure the fence is sturdy enough to hold the weight of those little ones leaning over to see in. Add some great garden friends to make it a bit more fun for them, such as fishing gnomes, and tell them they can’t be disturbed or they won’t take home any tea tonight!
There are a number of plants that are considered potentially toxic in the garden, usually only if consumed in large quantities, but we wouldn’t want to risk it with our little ones.
We’ve compiled a small selection of plants that are great for family gardens, and that your little ones will love to watch grow!
- Sunflowers! – they have to be on every child-friendly list. Watch them grow and tower over the kids, then eventually you.
- Marigolds – we don’t mean the rubber gloves! These super bright flowers add a wonderful pop of colour and are fine around kids.
- Chives – we all know these are edible, but the purple pom-pom type flower makes them a great attraction too
- Snapdragons – these are a great attraction for kids to watch as they open and close. The foul taste means that if they do eat them, they won’t do it again in a hurry. Even if they do, they aren’t toxic anyway!
Local garden centres will have a wealth of knowledge as to what is safe for your little ones.
When it comes to weeding your child-friendly garden, first and foremost, we recommend the old-fashioned way, hard elbow grease. There are a number of methods for weeding that do not use chemicals. Boiling water is a great way to kill that patio moss. While agricultural vinegar is a great option in some gardens, it does attack all things green so take care when using. Using Mulch in your flower beds will also cut off any sunlight that those pesky weeds need to breakthrough.
There is an increasing range of child and pet-friendly pesticides available on the market. Make sure you do your research on these before using them in your space.
Green Green Grass
We know kids love grass to play on! But how much time do you want to spend on getting that grass just right? A child safe and easy to maintain option is to look at artificial grass! With so many different types out there, you can now choose how you want your grass to feel, how long you want it and how green you want it. We say green, but there are options to have pink or blue grass too if you’re looking to make your garden a super child-friendly zone. The benefit of this is no mowing and its cleanable for if you have pets and children sharing the space!