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Do we need grass for a child-friendly garden?

(11 Posts)
redpickle Thu 23-May-13 20:54:10

We have a small garden with a patio area, piddly bit of grass with a path down the middle to the gate. We also have half the patio taken up by drains that have been walled (2 bricks high) and filled with stones so we want to deck over these to give us a larger area and hide them but this will mean a step down to the path/grass. At the moment, the children ride up and down the path on scooters etc turn around on patio, never go on the grass. I would like to deck what is now the patio and have slabs over the rest of it, giving us our dining area and the kids some hard standing to play on, with some raise beds around the sides to soften. DH thinks its all too hard and wants grass. Is he right?

wonderingagain Thu 23-May-13 20:56:31

What are the measurements? Grass is wasted if the area is too small as it takes too much wear.

redpickle Thu 23-May-13 21:02:21

The bigger bit of grass is about 2metres by 2 metres and the smaller strip the other side of the path is about two feet wide and 2.5m long.

wonderingagain Thu 23-May-13 22:58:45

Sorry I meant how big is the whole garden?

hifi Thu 23-May-13 23:54:18

How about fake grass? We have it,it's like carpet and dries in 20 mins after rain.

wonderingagain Fri 24-May-13 08:29:27

I agree with you, that raised beds are the way to go. Don't put them ontop of slabs though. Make them at least 1m deep out of rendered brick or blocks. You could design them as curves if you like so no nasty corners. Don't get cheap paving if the area is small. Make sure it's laid professionally, in a small garden finish is everything. Fake grass doesn't look good for long.

LadyMud Fri 24-May-13 13:12:15

I reckon it's all about contrasts. If you're installing decking, then slabs will be a contrast to the patio. Similarly, if the raised beds are constructed from something a different colour to the slabs, that's another contrast. Focus on filling the beds with lots of lovely evergreen shrubs, and climbers to give some height. It'll look wonderful!

Check out these courtyard gardens - I don't think they look hard!

wonderingagain Fri 24-May-13 13:40:13

Also a couple of 'monster' plants like Angelica, sunflowers or banana that grow really fast and get very tall. In a raised bed they are like trees but fresh with no autumn leaf-sweeping to do. Plant climbers in soil around fences though. I agree about good evergreen presence so that it's not too harsh looking in winter.

Startail Fri 24-May-13 13:49:32

We have a third of an acre of grass, but no hard standing at all.

Grass is great if you have enough of it for trampolines and swings, but seeing DDs trying to tricycle and tractor pedal on grass I'd go for slabs in a limited space.

You can ride trikes, bounce balls, skip, play hopscotch, put tables out to paint on and eat at and they don't wobble. When you are bigger you can roller skate.

As a little girl I played on the path round my house far far more than the grass.

wonderingagain Fri 24-May-13 14:44:02

We have a small garden and I always said trikes and wheels were for the park or the pavement.

DP won't let me get rid of our tiny patch of lawn but it's really just a pain as it gets worn very quickly. I'd rather have some deep beds with magnificent plants. The park has plenty of grass!

Startail Fri 24-May-13 23:01:33

We don't have pavements, nearest park is 3 miles away and has no hard paths. We have no where off road for bikes, trikes or scooters.

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