Garden Design with Children in Mind

Perhaps one of the largest mistakes people make when creating their own gardens is to try and fit too much in. It is very easy to go to the nursery and end up driving home with a small forest squeezed into the car. A multitude of plant varieties, species in bloom, varieties for shade and sun, small timid shrubs that will soon become towering giants. They’re all there, packed and shoved in, in an attempt to make your garden look glorious.

It needs to be used to be enjoyed

Whilst this may be fun, it is one of the worst things you can do. To create a garden that looks designed and carefully contemplated, then less is definitely more. Children will love imperfections, a jumble of colors and leaf shapes. So don’t be afraid to discard the smooth guided lines of planting. Sporadic, but carefully thought out, injections of color or form add to the pleasure of the design.

Color is key

Choose one or two colors to aim for. Think carefully about how large plants will be when they mature, whether blooms occur on single towering stems, or a tight bouquet of flowers interspersed with leaves. The more you know about the plants involved, the better you’ll be able to see the final result without the need for moving plants around later.

Keep the greenery

Contrast the shades of green against flowers such as small dahlias or astrantia’s which will rise up beyond the wispy textures of the grass. Combine with shingle, wood and fleshy succulents to create a beach, coast theme, or clash the soft grassy stems against stainless steel, granite and other manmade textures to create a modern, chic look. Be sure to keep some grassy areas for playing games in the summer

Mix it up

Gardens dedicated to a collection of a species, are not really suited to children. Use the differences between plant varieties to your advantage. A mix of grasses, contrast colors, sizes and leaf texture, allowing each plant to stand out against its neighbor and create some fun and interest with your little ones. 

Design isn’t easy. It takes practice and experience before you can get it right, but designing a garden for children involves letting the rules go and adding some humor to the task. Even having your children or grandchildren help out and decide which colors or plants to use can make the experience a lovely moment for all the family.