One of the things that sold the house to us was the blank canvas of a garden. It was, apart from the dividing conifer, just lawn. Before we even got the house we were planning what we could do with the garden and what we could create on this blank canvas!
Both hubby and myself love being out in the garden and immediately had high hopes to create our perfect family garden. A garden that we can all enjoy spending time in together as a family and create magical memories!
Our garden is extremely long and has a conifer hedge three quarters of the way up which separates the main garden from the vegetable garden. In the vegetable area we have not only vegetables and soft fruits but also have our chickens. I believe that outdoor play and understanding of the outdoors is a great way for children to develop their knowledge of the world around us. I want our children growing up to enjoying the outdoors as much as the hubby and myself do. I love to take the children down to the vegetables and chickens. I love that they have the understanding of where their food comes from.
We decided that we would like to divide the main section garden into two parts.
One part will be the “family section” where we will have our flower beds and eating area. In this area we plan to enjoy having BBQ's in the summer and relaxing whilst we watch the children playing as they get older.
The middle section is to be the “play area” or the “childrens area”.
Both the vegetable area and the family area are work in progress.
However the children's area is still the “dream”.
How would our perfect children's area be?
Well let me take you on a journey through our hopes, dreams and ideas which one day, we will hopefully make into a reality!
If we had £750 to spend creating this play oasis for our children, this is what we would do!
Having children with such a huge age gap it is important that both the twins and Joseph have their own areas.
At the entrance to the children's area there would be an section surrounded by a rainbow coloured picket fence.
This would be the twins area.
I would paint the picket fence the colours of the rainbow to assist with their learning of colours but also for the visual effect.
Once inside the twins area you would find a lovely, bright, colourful play house the Step 2 Neat & Tidy Bright Cottage from Activity Toys Direct http://www.activitytoysdirect.com/step2/-neat-and-tidy-cottage-active-bright/p319 would be perfect for them.
On one side we would plant a herb bed. This would provide sensory experiences for the twins with the different scents, shades of colour and taste.
The herbs that we would include are:
Along the opposite side we would plant a range of bedding plants that would give a range of colour. This would also attract wildlife to the area. The flowers that we would include are:
Trailing Lobelia and Fuchsia to trail over the edge
Within the area around their house there would be room for them to play and keep their rocking horses, which they love!
Along the outside of the picket fence we would plant lavender plants that not only smell great and provide a beautiful colour but are also fantastic plants to attract wild life and to help the dwindling numbers of bees.
On the opposite side to the twins playhouse area we would create a relaxed, creative play area. This would include a chalk board on the fence for them to draw on, a water and sand play table and a picnic bench the Plum Children's Garden Picnic Table & Parasol from Activity Toys Direct http://www.activitytoysdirect.com/plum-products/childrens-garden-picnic-table-and-parasol/p1016 would be an ideal choice. This could be used for the children's snack or meal time or to simply sit and do creative play like painting, drawing or play dough fun! We would also add a fun sand and water play table that would provide the twins with hours of sensory fun.
Next to the twins creative play area we would plant 2 apple trees for the children to watch grow. In time it would be lovely for them to be able to pick an apple whilst having fun in the garden. Between the apple trees we would place a water feature for more sensory experiences with both the sound and feel of the water. This is an area which could be used for when the children just want a bit of time out and to stop and chill with the relaxing sound of the trickling water and, in time, the shade from the trees.
Now for Joseph's dream area!
Along the same side that we would have the twins fenced off area, at the end, we would place a play centre. The Plum Products Chacma Wooden Garden Swing Set http://www.activitytoysdirect.com/plum-products/chacma-wooden-garden-swing-set-free-tp-trapeze-bar-and-rings/p995 would be an amazing addition to the garden. This would provide hours of fun for Joseph and any friends that he may have round. Plus it would be a toy that the twins would be able grow into and love as they get bigger.
At present Joseph has a trampoline which really has taken a battering from the forces of nature! The bad snow that we had a couple of years ago weathered the cushioning and covers. This has just about completely deteriorated and is practically non existent. Also during some gales that we had earlier in the year our neighbours trampoline literally flew over the fence. Unfortunately Joseph's trampoline took the force of it and the safety enclosure net was ripped and a bar was bent to a right angle. Thankfully our neighbour was able to get the bar straighter but it is not in a great condition. So in our dream garden we would remove the old trampoline. This would give Joseph space for ball games. We would get him a goal net and place it against the dividing conifer. He also has a basket ball net which would also feature in this area. We would move Joseph swing down the garden to allow more space for the ball games.
There would be plenty of room and individual areas so that all of the children can play out together and enjoy the dream garden. We would not need to worry about the twins getting caught up in Joseph's and his friends games as they would have their fenced off area.
To create a garden in which we can all enjoy the outdoors. Having the play area for the children would give them their own personal play ground which is every child's dream.
One day we hope that we can make this a reality for them!
Step 2 Neat & Tidy Bright Cottage - £169.99
Mint – We already have a mint plant which we could propagate
Chives - £2.99
Red Basil - £2.99
Oregano - £2.99
Sage - £2.99
Rosemary - £2.99
Thyme – We have some thyme seeds
Marigolds - £2.99
Pansies - £2.99
Violet – We have some violet seeds
Aliums (we already have Allium bulbs)
Trailing Lobelia and Fuscia to trail over the edge - £10.00
Decking boards for raised beds x 4 - £17.92
Picket fence x 3 - £65.97
Lavender plants x 8 - £10.00
Plum Products Children's Garden Picnic Table & Parasol - £54.99Apple trees x 2 - £39.98
Water feature – £59.99
Plum Products Chacma Wooden Garden Swing Set ADD LINK £299.99
TOTAL = £749.76These costings do not take into account additional items that we would buy. These are the items that we would make our priority.
This blog post is an entry into the Tots100/Activity Toys Direct garden makeover competition