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Making a garden child friendly

(8 Posts)
MatLeaveForever Mon 11-Jul-11 14:38:45

I'm considering buying a house which doesn't have a child friendly garden - with the intention to change it if we decide to buy it. It's full of shrubs, plants, flowers and pebble paths and is very pretty but not the lawn that I wanted for my baby to grow up and play in. It also has a small pond that would need to be filled in. It's a medium sized garden at the back of a 3 bed detached, sorry don't have dimensions!

I was just wondering if anyone has completely transformed their garden before and how long it took and most importantly how much it cost, as I have no idea! I'm in Greater Manchester. Thanks!

Pootles2010 Mon 11-Jul-11 14:41:47

Has it got no lawn at all? I would think you'd want to keep some of the shrubs etc?

Shouldn't think it'd cost too much, just the price of some turf surely? And possibly some top soil to fill in the pond.

MatLeaveForever Mon 11-Jul-11 14:44:24

Thanks for your quick response Pootles. No it doesn't have any lawn and I'd keep some of the shrubs but would like it to be mostly lawn. I'm not green fingered at all so would need to get the professionals in as it appears that it would be a lot of work to clear what's there and landscape it properly.

Pootles2010 Mon 11-Jul-11 14:45:44

Quite hard to imagine without seeing it - wouldn't it be a case of just dig up a central area for your lawn, then get someone in to turf it? Or is it all on different levels?

MatLeaveForever Mon 11-Jul-11 18:26:51

There are some pics on here, sorry should have posted this earlier! All on one level at least.

tortilla Mon 11-Jul-11 18:39:48

We completely transformed ours, but it required a lot more work than the one in your pictures - we had to level off quite a bit of land as we're on a big slope, remove loads of rubbish, remove lots of big plants with deep roots. So there's no point me giving you our budget. But all that work was done in 3 weeks by two gardeners, so if you employed gardeners yours could be done in a week or two I reckon.

However, in terms of advice for a child-friendly garden here are some ideas from us: clearly defined paths are good as my DS likes walking his doll up and down the path in its buggy, and in winter it means that the grass won't get quite so wrecked as they learn to walk on the path. A big lawn area is a must for football, running around etc. Make sure all the shrubs are child-friendly - I removed anything with berries, or with thorns (we had lots of overgrown roses at child's eye height) or that are poisonous (e.g. euphorbia). We removed old fencing that had rusty bits, and we ensured we had clear sight lines (previously had lots of fences and shrubs separating the garden and we wanted to be able to see them from wherever we were i the garden or if we were in the kitchen). We created a veg patch and DS loves pottering there, growing things, watering them and picking carrots for tea.

Don't make it too sterile - fun corners where they can do some digging, or hide in some shrubs are good. In a dark damp corner, we made some stepping stones from the trunk of a dangerous old tree we had cut down and made it into a corner for them to play in.

Lunabelly Mon 18-Jul-11 07:27:26

I just have to say, that garden is beautiful...tell you what, we'll swap gardens. Mine's mainly lawn, safe plants and a veg patch...yours is the most beautiful garden I've ever seen.

All that aside...when we got this house last year, the garden was bare. Anyone who asked what we would like as a housewarming gift, we asked for plants.

Then I hammered my Argos card in Homebase, did several hundred in the garden section. Too easily done!

What about maybe empty just one flowerbed and turf that? Then go on a poisonous plant mission. Fill in pond, turf that as well. Most kids would love the secret gardeniness of that house!

VirgoGrr Wed 27-Jul-11 21:24:41

That is a lovely garden. Someone has put a lot of time and effort into that. Although, if its not your taste, its not your taste. Are you talking about having the paths removed too?

Is that a big round flowerbed at the front of the photo? Could you not just have that turfed to make your lawn? I think you're talking about spending a fair bit of money to essentially take all the interest out of your garden.

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