The family garden checklist

August 22, 2019

Here’s a scenario for you – You’ve recently moved into a new house with your family. Everyone has their designated indoor space; their own bedroom,there’s a study, a TV room…but have you thought about the garden and how your family will use it?

How do you get the garden right?

Well, first things first, you need a plan! “He who fails to plan…” Yes, I’m sure you know the rest!

There are several things you need to consider when planning your family garden, so here’s a checklist for you:

1. What are you going to use the garden for? Determine what goes in it and who uses it for what.

2. Do you have a BBQ? If so, don’t position under your favourite tree or shrub, you could end up with scorched leaves or worse a shrub on fire!!

3. Do you want to grow vegetables? If so, you need to make room for a veggie patch, but make sure you have time to keep a vegetable garden before you commit to the space for it.

4. Do you want nice borders? If so, the first question to ask is “Do your kids play football?” If the answer is ‘yes’ then it is probably best to give this one up!

5. The million dollar question…do your children have a trampoline??? If so, forget a tidy, green lawn.

6. Do you want a shed? If so, think carefully about what you will use it and if it’s essential for before committing and taking up the space in the garden.

7. Do you want a greenhouse? You may have to sacrifice the sunbathing area for this. So, the same advice as point number 3. If you end up not having time to tend to home grown vegetables, then the investment and space taken up in the garden by a greenhouse may not be worth it – not to mention the risk of it being hit with a football!

8. Do you have a dog? As much as we love a family pet, they can cause all sorts of havoc in a neatly planned garden. You can say goodbye to a well kept lawn and if yours is partial to some digging every now and then, you might want to consider keeping your borders simple with some hardy shrubs.

There’s so much to consider, where to start?

As always, start with an A4 piece of paper, sketch out the perimeter of your garden, then on a separate piece of paper make a list of all the things you need your garden to incorporate. Then consider:

- Rule number 1 is you have to be sensible with the space! You could end up creating a health and safety nightmare if you are too ambitious.

- Do make time to do some research for inspiration online,there are lots of tips on the design process.

- I think if your children are old enough then the play equipment is best placed at the end of the garden.

- If you have a shed, you can camouflage it with trellis and a climbing plant.

- Think about a sunny spot for the greenhouse.

- Consider the afternoon and evening sun for the patio.

- In all honesty if you have football goals – you need a reasonable space to safely incorporate these.

- If you are considering growing vegetables, be sensible, this takes time and veggie beds need weeding – a lot!! Maybe use a hanging basket or large tub to have a go first and see how you get on.

- Be considerate of your neighbours if you want to have a trampoline, do your neighbours want to see your children appearing over the fence?

This is genius! Expensive, I would imagine, but clever!

- Personally I'm a big fan of designs on an angle or using circles. This creates interest and gets away from the bog standard section by section garden.

Once you know what you want in your garden, if you are still struggling on where to start, then please give us a call on 02380 632600 and we can help you think through your options and see how we can support you in making your family garden how you want it.

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