13 Aug Garden fun without the mess
Now that we’re well into the holiday season I thought I’d explore some more ways of adding interest to your gardens for the kids, and at the same time hopefully enhance the garden as a whole… a treat for them… and you!
Of course, you’ll always have to accommodate a certain amount of toys or garden games strewn across the lawn – nothing wrong with that – but with a little thought you’ll find you can mostly eschew the plastic fantastic effect for something fun that pleases mum and dad’s eyes too.
And I’m not suggesting you go the whole hog with garden contouring to create a teletubby style hill, just get creative with the things you have to hand. Here are some user-friendly ideas to try…
Make things go with a swing – a rope ladder or simple homemade swing made from a log slice and length of rope and hung from a tree branch ticks both boxes for fun and rustic charm. And don’t forget how much fun a hammock can be – you don’t even need trees, just the side of the house and a fence post.
Kids love their own private space, hiding away from the boring grown ups, so weave a den from colourful ribbons threaded through long bamboo canes. Or how about combining fun-time with tea-time and let them hide inside the runner bean tepee?
An overgrown part of the garden can be a haven for wildlife – the kids! Clear a little path through the weeds and partially sink hula hoops into the earth to make a tunnel. Why not plan ahead in the autumn and stick hardwood cuttings of willow or dogwood into the ground at intervals, to form a fantastic living tunnel or den the following summer – or any structure you care to fashion.
Section off a small garden area with rocks or logs and fill it with gravel and pebbles or sand for a mini quarry or prehistoric land for the diggers and dinos to play in.
Stack ‘em high
You can always find a use for pallets… from making a treehouse or raised platform to a little bridge. Just a single pallet laid down will define a child’s play space, especially if edged with some natural ‘toys’ like shells, flower pots etc.
Stepping stones, picnic seats, balancing beams, climbing up, jumping off, you name it you can do it with logs. Vary heights and sizes for more possibilities, the sky’s the limit!