The design, building and creation of a new family garden is not only an exciting task but also a challenging prospect which must take into account the various requirements and balance between play and ornamental spaces.
The emphasis in a family friendly design is on family enjoyment; a space where the children can enjoy play safely without fear of hazards, potential danger to themselves and to a lesser extent the planted areas. However, it’s also important that the space is used practically so that adults can enjoy the ‘outdoor life’.
Use of Space
In any garden it is essential to make use of the space / maximizing the space given allow for a much wider use and variety of games to be enjoyed by the children. A common element, as in the project (pictures) shown is to create a garden on a number of levels. This is best illustrated by the large lawn areas which were split over two levels and a third level was developed as a more secluded ‘family patio space’ for enjoyment during the balmy summer evenings. Important also that the various levels were coherent and although an open aspect was maintained, it did so without compromise to the use and overall appeal of the garden.
As is typical of many larger urban family gardens, it is possible to provide seating and patio areas in more than one area of the garden. In this project, seamless access to main patio spaces was provided right beside the house with a larger family patio space created between the house and garden shed. These areas are also ideally located to enjoy the best of and make the most out of the sunshine throughout the day.
Child Friendly Gardening
Increasingly owners are also more interested to incorporate other areas including space to experiment with herbs or grow vegetables. Parents of young children have many demands on their time and energies, and although planting and aesthetics are important considerations, most would welcome a nice garden, which does not require constant or large amount of maintenance.
In the project shown, a raised vegetable garden comprising of two large south facing planter boxes are neatly positioned yet easily accessible.
The Planting Scheme
The planting scheme features many immature plants that were carefully selected to provide a predominantly evergreen, lush and child friendly plant border. The family patio areas were also planted with a good mix of evergreen shrubs and herbaceous perennials, which would bring additional colour and flowering interest to the garden during the summer months. Trellis panels were used on much of the boundary walls, which varied in height and quality of finish, to provide a more uniform and pleasing backdrop.