Family garden design ideas can help you create a beautiful and functional outdoor area that has a special corner for everyone. Many people have difficulties in dividing their plot so that there is a place for playground for the kids and a relaxing area for the parents. How to design a garden that meets the needs of both children and adults? Is that possible? What is a family garden and what are the main elements that you need to plan?
As the name suggests, a family garden is an outdoor area that balances the needs of the whole family. With proper planning, you can create a safe playground so that the children can have fun time without constant supervision. At the same time, you can have a place to entertain or relax or simply hang out with friends.
How to Create a Family Garden?
It sounds like a real challenge to balance the needs and wishes of everyone and combine a play zone, entertainment area and a peaceful corner for relaxing outdoors because it seems that these are in conflict. Here are some simple steps to follow:
Make a plan
Take your time and draw up a plan for the outdoor space. A sketch will help you visualize the wishes of everyone and even if you haven’t got the budget for everything, a plan will allow you to define the different zones, the equipment and the overall layout of the garden. Think about how much space you need around area so that movement is easy and comfortable, for example around a table and chairs, fireplace, playground, etc.
Involve the family members
It is best if you asked everyone for their wishes. On the first place, this will make everyone feel as a part of the project and, in addition, you will have a fairly good idea for the future task. Last but not least, when everyone gets all (or most) of their wishes, they will really enjoy using the finished place.
Make the most of the existing landscape
Take into account the existing garden design. It is very likely that your backyard has some features that you may want to keep – for example, a firepit, plants, trees, retaining walls, flower beds, water feature, etc. All these landscape elements create the character and visual appeal of any outdoor space so you may think how to keep or incorporate them into the plan for your family garden design.
Keep in mind the movement of the sun across your garden as this will help you decide where to position your flower beds and plants, play area or dining area.
Choose a style
The plan will allow you to decide how the different zones will be connected so that the garden has a harmonious look. In addition, you can select materials that work with the style of your exterior design.
What are the Most Important Elements in a Family Garden?
Our family garden ideas will show you original and creative exterior designs that allow you to spend time outdoors with the people you love. What do you need to have in a family garden?
Outdoor dining or lounge furniture that accommodates all the family members.
Plants that add color and freshness to the garden. Make sure that they are safe for kids and resistant to children activity.
Colorful materials – this could be fabric, pillows, flower pots that add bright accents and add visual appeal to your outdoor space.
Obviously, a playground is a must in a family garden and there are many options to choose from, depending on the age of your children – a sand pit, trampoline, climbing frames, nets or wall, playhouse, slides, etc. Play equipment doesn’t have to be expensive. It is true that the market offers a huge selection of options. On the first place, you need to consider the available space, how active your children are and do not forget that kids will outgrow this equipment quite quickly so think about cost-effective options.
Sandpits are a huge fun for toddlers. It is important to remember that playing in the sandpit develops the creative abilities of children, fine motor skills of the hands, patience, etc. In addition, as per psychologists, sand has a positive effect on the human psyche, absorbing negative energy and calming the nervous system. The market offers a great variety of options – plastic and wooden sandpits of various sizes and shapes. This is an easy DIY project as well and you can have a custom build sandpit that fits your space.
DIY Outdoor chalkboard is a great inexpensive project for a family garden. Children enjoy drawing and you will not have to clean up the chalk mess indoors. In addition, you can use it to write the menu for your bbq party, pool party or family dinner.
Tree houses and play houses
Tree houses and play houses are probably the best entertainment for a child and on top of kids’ wish list! It will be very interesting for any kid to spend time in his personal space, and parents will have a great opportunity to relax a little. Manufacturers offer a lot of interesting play houses, which can be purchased at any large shopping center. If you are a DIY lover, you can easily build a compact play house for your kids.
A trampoline in the backyard is another great fun for kids. They come in two main varieties – freestanding and in ground trampolines. You can find this equipment in various shapes and sizes. The advantage of in ground trampolines compared to the freestanding alternatives is that they are easier to get on and off and safer for kids. Last but not least, they are not visible and become a part of the landscape. However, in ground trampolines require a good planning and some prep work for the installation. Whichever option you consider, remember that safety is a priority! Safety nets are highly recommended especially for toddlers and small kids.
A swimming pool is another family favorite. When you plan your family garden, you can see if there is enough place to install an in ground/above ground pool or choose another option. Swimming pools are expensive to install but you can bet on more affordable options – inflatable pools, plastic pool, etc. The size of your swimming pool will depend on the size of your plot, but if we have to be honest, even a small pool will be a great addition to your backyard.
A special garden place for kids
All children love growing plants and it will be a great idea if you give them a small corner where they can learn how to take care of plants, herbs and flowers. Optionally, you can build raised beds with suitable height.
As we mentioned, comfortable outdoor dining or lounge furniture is a must for every family garden. You can dine alfresco or simply have a drink but make sure that there are enough comfy seats for everyone. Adding lanterns, string lights and other accessories will make the space even more inviting.
Family Garden Ideas and Tips for Child Safety
There is no doubt that you need to childproof your garden. How to do that?
On the first place – use child-friendly surfaces like grass, artificial grass, bark chippings, mulch, gravel, etc. These are soft and the child will not get hurt in case of falling. Avoid hard surfaces like stone, brick, concrete, especially in the play area.
Make sure that your plants are not dangerous. As you know some plants like foxgloves, for example, can cause harm when eaten, or from skin contact.
Make sure that you do not leave small children in the swimming pool unattended. Slippery patio or deck surfaces should be avoided as well.
Do not leave the fireplace or firepit, barbecues or pizza ovens without supervision. This rule should be applied to any open flames.