How important is a garden?

(36 Posts)
Blueberry75 Wed 23-Apr-14 06:48:28

DS is 9mo and we currently live in a 3 storey town house which is a right royal pain in the arse. We are renting and looking to move.

Just viewed a ground floor flat but it has no garden - should this be a deal breaker? Positives are: open plan (great to keep eye on DS at all times which would be fantastic) no stairs, very close to amenities, big family bathroom, parking, to name a few.

Would we regret no garden though? DS not crawling/walking yet and there's no way I'd leave him out in a garden yet anyway.

mandy214 Wed 23-Apr-14 08:46:56

For me it would be. I think particularly with boys (sweeping generalisation) they need outdoor space (all kids do!). Even if you're near to a park, as they grow older, it will be a pain to have to accompany them every time. Its fab having them play out (in an enclosed space) whilst you can still see them, whilst you make dinner / wash up / do laundry etc. DS would spend all day every day in the garden if we let him (has a football net etc) and the girls (9 and 4) would happily spend hours on the trampoline and picking flowers etc.

I would sacrifice other things on your list (wouldn't mind stairs, wouldn't mind a smaller bathroom, wouldn't mind it not being open plan - you can make it open plan yourselves at a later date) in order to get a garden.

BackforGood Wed 23-Apr-14 09:05:54

I agree with Mandy

TunipTheUnconquerable Wed 23-Apr-14 09:10:06

As they get older, gardens become more important and stairs become more of a pro than a con (because you can get away from each other more easily).

I would say a garden is essential - ds went in ours (tiny at the time) from when he was cruising. he is 3 now and we have a much bigger garden abtd he likes to be out there rain or shine grin (to the point where we are planning to build him a shelter!)

cakeymccakington Wed 23-Apr-14 09:12:18

Personally I couldn't live without the garden.
Have 3 boys and want more garden now!
Don't underestimate the brilliance of having them somewhere safe and outside while you're doing other things in the house. Living near a park just isn't the same

SacreBlue Wed 23-Apr-14 09:23:30

I have always rented and, bar one flat in Spain, every other place has had a garden. Our current place <12yrs here> has a garden shared between four flats and even though we are literally 2mins from a brilliant park having our own garden has been brilliant. My DS is now 15 and only ventures into the garden to hang out clothes <under duress> or for bbqs but if I moved I wouldn't even consider a place without a garden.

pinkdelight Wed 23-Apr-14 09:30:24

Another vote for needing a garden if at all poss. Our two DSs practically live out there when the weather's good and it's so different to a park as you can keep an eye on them but don't have to always go out there. By next summer I think you'll be really regretting not having a garden for him to toddle around in. What's so hellish about the townhouse that you'd exchange it for a gardenless flat?

PastaandCheese Wed 23-Apr-14 09:44:18

I have a 2.5 year old DD and the bliss that is being able to turf her out in the safe, secure garden.

We play out there a lot but I guess a park would suffice for that but for me I'd miss the 'go and drive your car / play in your house for 10 minutes whilst I make your lunch' moments a garden affords and I wouldn't like not being able to use a paddling pool over the summer.

hyperspacebug Wed 23-Apr-14 09:47:06

I thought garden was super important for kids, having never lived with garden. Then we moved into a house with 50ft garden last year. Every time my boys 2yo and 5yo used it, they'd get so dirty and bring dirt into kitchen floor. It'd drive me mad. Feels like it's more effort to keep an eye in the garden than in the house, as they dig into soil and throw soil at each other. The garden wasn't used at all from October to April due to weather, when there is a nice park nearby. That said, it's relaxing to look at your 'land' in mornings, with peonies flowering and with robins and all...

That's how my first year with garden was. Might change if we get trampoline or stuff for garden...

reading along here

hyperspacebug Wed 23-Apr-14 09:49:54

*oh, the garden was accessed during Oct-April, but only to tidy up all the leaves...as there are trees and shrubberies

domesticslattern Wed 23-Apr-14 09:53:29

Mmm, I would try for a place with a garden if I could possibly. If only for drying laundry. When your child is walking you will really appreciate somewhere for him to toddle in and out safely, plus sand pit, paddling pool, ant hunts, grow your own sunflower, prod things with sticks etc. And when you are potty training it is great to have somewhere outside for them to play! <bitter experience>

Bonsoir Wed 23-Apr-14 09:53:38

I think it depends on your family and your own priorities. I absolutely loathe being car dependent and I hate stairs - so living in an apartment in a very central location is super important to me. Hence I am willing to forfeit a garden in daily working/school life (though not during the holidays).

Gemma77 Wed 23-Apr-14 10:01:05

Personally no garden would be a dealbreaker for me, especially as you have children. I have two young boys and they spend half their non-school hours in our garden playing. (Their footballs have destroyed most of my plants wink )

Even when they were babies and toddlers, we would spend time in the garden together playing in sandpits and splash pools.

It is also lovely to be able to sit in the garden and have a BBQ with friends when the weather is nice. I really couldnt be without the garden.

MrsJohnDeere Wed 23-Apr-14 10:38:30

Depends on what you like doing, and what your Dcs like doing (although your DS is too young for you to know that yet, obviously grin).

For us the garden was as important as the house, if not more so. Dh and I are very keen gardeners and the Dcs love to play football and tennis all day long. In summer we spend far more time outside than in. But I have friends who just use their gardens to hang out washing and have the occasional BBQ.

Vinomum Wed 23-Apr-14 10:48:10

It sounds like you're looking at this flat from the perspective of what suits you and your DS now - when my DCs were 9 months old I longed to live in an open plan space so that I could keep an eye on them at all times but now that they're 7 and 5 both our needs have changed and it works much better for us all to have separate rooms (playroom for them, tidy toy-free living room for us, their toys and their noise can all be contained in one room). As for the garden, although it might not be such an issue now, as your DS gets older I think you would really regret not having outside space for him to play in. A garden is a must-have for me.

TheWordFactory Wed 23-Apr-14 10:51:25

We split our week and soend some of it in central London in a flat with no garden.

It is the single worse thing about it.

At least the DC are now teens. I could not have done this when they were little. No way.

foxdongle Wed 23-Apr-14 11:28:19

hi we had a massive garden when dcs were little. but after the age of 8 they used the park more and more and garden less and less.
it became a pita to maintain. now we have moved and have a much smaller garden, but have 3 parks within few minutes walk where dcs spend most of their time (12 and 14 years). Our garden is so easy to look after and looks nice all the time and wouldn't be without it. It's lovely and relaxing to sit out in and will be great having bbqs, meals, drinks in the garden in the summer. so I would say very important for us.

unlucky83 Wed 23-Apr-14 11:43:24

I think a garden a must - even if just big enough for a paddling pool or a sand/mud pit
And I am really not keen on open plan - don't think it is younger child friendly either...
For me a stair gate on the kitchen door was a must -fitted when DD1 thought is was funny to try and touch the (old fashioned red hot) oven door when I was trying to cook (she did eventually -just the once!) and also when DD2 would sneak up and stand right behind me ...had to get into the habit of checking behind me before stepping back but even so forgot sometimes -kitchen gate meant it never happened when I was holding a pan of boiling water ..
Do think a kitchen door to a living room you can see into from the oven/sink is a good idea though - wouldn't like to have a kitchen door into a hall etc...

oscarwilde Wed 23-Apr-14 11:52:52

I think you'll move to a place with a garden after 12 months.

Dukketeater Wed 23-Apr-14 11:59:44

We have no garden, we play on the balcony, grow plants on it etc and then go out to the park everyday even when it rains!

everlong Wed 23-Apr-14 12:08:21

Essential to me..I have boys and dogs so enough said!
I'm sat out now even though it's not that warm but I'm have a cup of tea and enjoying the peace.

Blueberry75 Wed 23-Apr-14 12:28:47

I'm finding the townhouse difficult because of all the stairs which DS has to be carried up/down, pinkdelight. Maybe i have just developed an irrational stair opposition. Open plan, in my head, seems like a dream; the ability to actually cook a meal while keeping an eye on DS for example.

I think if DS was older and toddling then we wouldn't consider a gardenless flat. So, I suppose yes, I'm only thinking short term Vinomum and yes, I'm sure we'd want to move in a year, oscarwilde. Bugger.

So looking longer term, a garden is a must.

BUT sainsburys would be just up the road! Maybe it would be worth it for a year? (Thinking aloud now).

BackforGood Wed 23-Apr-14 12:41:59

I wouldn't want to keep moving house each year though - even without a family, but especially with a family. I think that's why everyone is letting you know what it will be like in a year or two's time.
Not sure why you have to keep carrying him up and down though - surely bring him to your living area in the morning them up for bed and bath at night. Can see it will be more if your kitchen is on a different floor from your living room, but even so. Before you can turn round he'll be moving by himself and then you will appreciate being able to put a gate to stop him getting near the cooker.

MillyMollyMama Wed 23-Apr-14 12:48:26

All children need time outside even when they are young. I think open plan would be a real pain when the crawling starts. Also unsteady feet mean children wobble a lot when pulling themselves up and beginning to walk. In an open plan space, this could be some distance away from you. Why are you up and down stairs all the time? I have stairs but it never occurred to me it was a major issue. I just think it is lovely to be outside and learning about the environment. Boys don't all throw mud all over each other by the way! This is fairly extreme behaviour.

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