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Tips for making your garden a safe and fun environment for kids

We have been renovating our house over the last number of years and while the inside is nearing completion, an equally challenging task is next on the agenda……the outside spaces.  I decided to reach out to my fellow bloggers to get some tips from them on making the garden a safe and fun place for kids.

Garden Safety 

Garden Safety - locking shed

Garden Safety

First up some great tips around keeping the area itself safe and enclosed.  Elizabeth from The Homemakers Journal had some great suggestions in terms of basic safety, keeping the tools and equipment in separate storage areas.  Also crucially and a very important consideration, keep all sprays and fertilisers out of reach of little hands (and animals).  Jo from Cup of Toast also highlighted the importance of keeping hazards out the way, I love her suggestion of giving the kids their own shed that way they are contained and away from potential hazards or even escaping!

Pete who writes at Household Money Saving highlighted the importance of making sure the toys themselves are in good working condition.  This is a brilliant suggestion and probably one im guilty of not doing enough off particularly for the likes of trampolines and swings which could pose a risk if not installed or used correctly.

I love Natalie from Mummy and Moose suggestion of training the dog to do its business in one area and training the kids to avoid! Genius!! While we don’t have any pets one suggestion that ill definitely be implementing is from Sarah of A Few Favourite Things of keeping the wheelie bins separate. Safety aside we have 3 and they are so unsightly looking!

I also love Carolin of Mummy Alarm suggestion of  soft surfaces for playing on.  I have two boys and they just love playing rough, climbing and skipping around the place.  Hopefully a soft surface would lessen the cuts and scraps. Something like rubber mulch flooring would be ideal.

Garden Fun

Garden Fun in the sun

Garden Fun

The bit the boys will love!! Both Stacey of One Small Human and Anoushka of Spitting Yarn mentioned mud kitchens!! I have never heard of this before but I suspect the boys would love it, quite literally, a sectioned off area with some kitchen utensils and some muck/mud. You can’t beat the messy play to keep them entertained for hours.  Emma from Our Fairytale Adventure suggested a sensory garden including a fruit and veg patch. I love the idea of growing some of our own vegetable so this is something im definitely looking into. Check out Emma’s gorgeous garden at the above lunch, that pergola is some serious garden goals!

The boys really want a tree house and the Dada Fairy has promised them he would make one for them!   Some fantastic tips and inspiration above.  Ill look forward to revealing the finished product over the next few months.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post 

 

Mummascribbles
Features

Top 5 Gardening Projects in 2017

Every gardener knows that for a flourishing summertime garden, you need to start planning and preparing the year before. That’s why gardening projects in 2017 will come into full bloom next summer.

But what garden projects could you undertake? And why is the tail end of summer the best time to do it? We found out with thanks to Rattan Direct.

#1 Update the Garden Furniture

Why now? Late summer deals mean you can pick up great quality items for use next summer but at a great price.

Budget: mid-range.

Enjoying an afternoon in the garden, either reading the latest novel or admiring your gardening prowess is the ideal way to relax. However, gone are the days when the only option was a striped deck chair or dining table set.

From day bed to sun loungers, the range of rattan garden furniture has increased considerably, giving you ample choice when it comes to creating a superb relaxation spot or an al fresco dining area.

#2 Create an Outdoor Kitchen

Why now? The building work involved means it needs to happen during good weather. It will overwinter well allowing you the look forward to spring and summer in the garden the following year.

Budget: mid-range +

This is one step up from BBQing in the garden – the garden kitchen is a ‘fitted’ kitchen, just like you would expect to have in a home.

Lower end budgets will still get a lot for their money with built-in cupboards and worktops, along with a fixed BBQ. Why not add a pizza oven to enjoy in the summer?

For shade, add a pergola with pretty, scented climbing plants to spread their aroma whilst you cook and eat outdoors.  

We’ve seen some exciting examples, of outdoor kitchens also been plumbed in too, with a sink and drainage making it a fully working kitchen for the outdoors. In the UK, we have always shied away from creating outside rooms, so look to Mediterranean countries for inspiration as cooking is usually done outside for the majority of the year.

#3 Add a Pond

Why now? Adding a pond to your garden now means it has a chance to get established before the main insect breeding season in spring. It also means that when you add fish, the environment is not hostile to their survival.

Budget: dependent on the size of the project

Gardeners the world over will tell you that nature is both your enemy and your friend. To get the most help from other nature, you need to create the best environment that you can in your garden.

That means offering an attractive place for good bugs and insects, along with garden birds to enjoy – and keep bad bugs away! A pond is a great idea because where there is water, there is bound to be slug and insect eating frogs. Damsel flies and dragon flies are also welcome garden visitors.

You can create your own unique pond with plenty of digging, pond liner and stones or you can choose a rigid pond liner for extra stability. Add a water fall to oxygenate the water for the fish as well as adding a relaxing sound to the garden.

#4 Create a Meadow

Why now? Spreading wild seeds in a part of your garden now will mean an attractive meadow for the buzzing bees in spring and summer.

Budget: minimal

We tend to think of gardens as being manicured and ordered but our favouring of some plants over others have meant the bees, an important crop pollinator, are struggling to find the sweet pollen they need.

Creating a meadow is simple and easy. Choose a spot in the garden. Dig over the soil, adding plenty of organic matter. Either roll out seeded mats or liberally scatter seed across the surface, covering with a thin layer of compost. Protect over winter with a layer of mulch and enjoy the dancing meadow of native wild plants from spring to late summer. Allow plants to go to see and scatter their seeds for the following year.

#5 Create an Outdoor Chandelier

Why now? As the summer drawers to a close, introducing solar lights means you can enjoy the evening for longer, huddle around the fire pit. But this idea takes solar lights to a new level. Just one of many craft ideas for the garden.

Budget: the cost of solar light, around £5 or less

If you have trees you need to prune, then this homemade chandelier will reuse the smaller, more malleable offcuts.

Create a circle, square or any shape you like by intertwining the small branches of the tree or shrub together. You may want to use small cable ties or twine to hold it in place. Once you have your band of twigs, wrap solar fairy lights around the shape. Use twine to create a hanging strap and fix to your pergola, allowing the homemade solar light chandelier to adorn the seating area in your garden.

Pack away when winter comes but enjoy the sparkling lights in spring once again.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post with Rattan Direct who stock a wide range of rattan garden furniture and other accessories, all ideal for any garden, no matter the shape or size.