Nadine Hintz is a mum of four, animal lover and a keen gardener. When not changing nappies and pottering about in the garden, she likes to increase her knowledge of films and music.
The garden is a space to enjoy, but the trouble is, that everyone in the family will want that pleasure, which makes the task of creating a balanced space that suits everyone more difficult. The kids want to play while the grown-ups want to relax with a book, some sunbathing or a spot of gardening. The good news is that there are ways to balance out the garden so that it’s not just a children’s play park.
Think about planting some resistant shrubs and flowers. If there are likely to be children kicking footballs around and digging in the soil, they need to stand the test of time. Plant tough, leathery shrubbery like Lomandras or Dianellas. The latter in particular sprout little blue flowers in the spring that look beautiful peeking out from the leafy green plants. Involve the kids in the planting too: they might just be more careful around them if they have spent time watching them grow!
Buy a shed!
Investing in a small garden shed is a good idea, especially if you have young children who have toys for outdoors use like bikes, swings and slides. If you’re thinking of buying some of these items for your little ones, there are plenty on the market which are small enough to be tidied away into a shed when you’re not using them. This means the garden can be used for play, then can be transformed into a grown up space for drinks in the evening or BBQs in the summer.
Start a herb garden
Creating a small herb garden can teach children about different tastes and smells in and around the garden, and kitchen. It’s also a good way for them to learn about the responsibility of keeping a garden and having something to look after. You can either plant herbs directly into the soil, use old terracotta pots, or even old kitchen containers! Try a pizza herb garden — parsley, basil and oregano are all winners and are really easy to maintain. Then when it’s time to make a pizza, they’ll know they grew the herbs all by themselves. Your new herb garden will be a nice addition to your grown-up space, since it’s relatively mess free and can be kept to a really small area of the garden.
Once the kids have gone to bed, you can put the toys away and sit back and relax in your carefully created garden. It’s the ideal time to read a book, have a glass of wine, or have friends round for dinner- especially if the weather is good. You deserve it!
Image by various brennemans, used under Creative Commons license