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Play along and win a pair of Bub Tubs! - CLOSED

(15 Posts)
LocalEditorRedbridge Fri 25-Jul-14 08:52:12

Hopefully, you've read about London-based garden designer Georgia Lindsday's charming, Grand Design award-winning family garden by now. If not, pop over to our blog at and read up first!

Her garden is chock full of playfulness . . . and Mumsnet Local and Wanstead's neighbourhood pub, The Duke, would love for you to play along, so here's your big chance.

We'd love to hear your suggestions for simple, affordable child-friendly home gardens. The winner will receive a pair of Georgia's signature Bub Tugs, valued at £45 each and are 'limited edition', handmade by the designer herself.

If you'd like to get up close and personal with the Bub Tugs, they'll be at The Duke in Wanstead from Friday, July 25th until the competition closes.

Entries will be accepted here from Friday, July 25th until Midnight on Tuesday August 12th. The winner will be chosen by Georgia Lindsay herself.

If you're having trouble thinking of ideas, our friend at Mumsnet Suffolk and Norfolk has some great ones on her blog to inspire you.

Good luck and have a wonderful, playful summer!

Whatsisname Wed 30-Jul-14 20:00:16

We live in a first floor flat and, although we do have a piece of garden within the communal garden, it really needs a huge overhaul we don't have the money for-it's one big tangle of brambles and deep-rooted weeds and the soil needs levelling and then re-turfing (phew!!). Not safe to use at the moment.

Until then, my DS has a small trough of his own to pant things in. To make it cheaper but just as much fun, he likes to plant the seeds from the fruit and veg we use. He has planted lemon, orange, pepper, apple and avocado. He loves to water them using his water pistols and is looking forward to seeing them grow.

Wibblytummy Mon 11-Aug-14 10:40:42

When we moved in, whilst beautiful our garden was not intended for little people, with sharp rock beds and lots of patio stairs.

A few things we've done to make the garden more child friendly are:

Painted an old large sheet of mdf (from an old built in wardrobe we removed) with chalkboard paint and nailed it to the fence for a big blackboard to draw on and keep scores and times on for our football/rugby/obstacle courses!

Instead of digging a blog flowerbed out, we actually nestled the playhouse in amongst some of the plants trees to make a little den. A big hit and I love that it looks like a secret cottage surrounded by lilacs and lavender.

bouncychair Mon 11-Aug-14 11:21:42

We have set aside a flowerbed just for the children to play in. They can use it for whatever they want - some days they do digging with their plastic spades and other days they use use it to create their own play areas for cars etc. Today it is being used for the plastic animals and dinosaurs! For something that has cost us nothing it has been fantastic and has been used everyday that it hasn't rained.

MadamTwoSwords Mon 11-Aug-14 11:36:14

We are currently putting down fake grass as the outlay and upkeep is cheaper.
We have the obligatory 3 ring paddling pool with bath toys which was £3.
She has a few tubs of her own to dig in and make mud pies etc!
An old washing up bowl is always a winner, especially with paint brushes for her to "paint" the patios and Windows with!

BerkshireLocalEditor Mon 11-Aug-14 12:02:07

Oh I have a few ideas. I have the hose out set on a dprinkle mode and the kids can walk underneath it! Popping a slide in the paddling pool, we also have a small flower bed for strawberries, sunflowers etc
Ww have some small children's tools out so they can dig in the soil. Create a play house/den with airers, blankets and cushions too. Chalk is great fpr drawing on the floor and also paint brushes with water. Don't have too many flower beds so there is more space to run around

CaptainNjork Mon 11-Aug-14 16:03:37

The thing that keeps our kids busiest is just a bundle of big sticks. We collected them from visits to various parks and woods which was fun for the kids in itself. They love making wigwam type structures out of them and an old sheet. Gives them the chance to be creative and cost absolutely nothing.

OnTheHuh Mon 11-Aug-14 18:05:37

Learn simple propagation techniques from planting seeds (both bought and gathered) to growing plants from cuttings. This teaches economy and biology to children and is such a great activity too. They can decorate their own plant labels by drawing on lolly sticks and keep weeds at bay.

Choose a good plot for seed sowing- so many parents (especially gardening mad ones) give kids the most rubbish spot when in fact this can make it too hard and discourage them.

Make bug hotels by tying lengths of bamboo canes together then stuffing them with dried grass and leaves.

Plant bulbs (mini Daffodils and Scillas look lovely) to come up in words- you can plant them in the shape of each child's initial or an animal face.

Use stones, shells or decorative pebbles to make out a shape on a bed then plant them up with herbs and mini salad vegetables.

Plant up pots (large terracotta ones) as mini 'worlds'. Use alpine plants that stay small, have rocks as mountains and reflective surfaces for lakes and ponds. Get them to add plastic figures, to use natural materials to decorate their little worlds.

Make their own sheltered hideaway- Get four large long bamboo canes and stick them in the ground securely, high enough to walk or sit under. Tie a length of light gauzy material to each pole forming a sail shape and then add a rug to sit on, their toys and a little cool box filled with drinks, fruit and sandwiches (for the over 5's).

Make a mini woodland by training the whippy branches of two tall shrubs or small trees to form an arbor, tying them together as they meet. This can be done in the smallest of gardens to create a little hideaway. Plant scented plants around the entrance such as Chamomile, Petrovskia, Thyme, Chocolate Cosmos, mini pinks...As the kids crawl in and out they will brush against the plants and set free their scent.

VerityLocalEdKent Mon 11-Aug-14 20:32:15

Well my first two ideas involve guttering!

1. A home-made water wall using guttering attached at angles with a trough at the bottom to collect all the water! Have also seen this work well with ping pong balls! (This is on DH's summer to do list!)

2. Using lengths of guttering across fence panels as flower boxes. Plant wild flower seeds in and you'll create a pretty wall of flowers that will attract butterflies to your garden!

3. Keep an explorers bag by the back door with magnifying glasses and a camera to spot and record the wildlife on the garden.

4. Long garden canes, string and bed sheets make great (and really cheap!) teepees.

readering Mon 11-Aug-14 21:38:22

Here are a few things we have done which haven't been costly but have provided a lot of entertainment and enjoyment.

We have a veg patch and plant seeds which allows DD to see things growing and the whole process. We have some fruit plants and she loves picking raspberries, strawberries and blackcurrants none of which were especially costly and the raspberries were free gifts of unwanted runners. We also allow a few blackberries to grow.

I piled up some old sticks and separately some bricks leaving spaces for animals to live in.

We have a water butt and a favorite activity is watering the plants.

We have kept her part of the veg patch to dig as much as she likes.

Some flowering plants lavender for example attract bees, butterflies and insects all of which are interesting.

We have spent many happy hours looking for worms in the soil.

Mostly she enjoys helping so having her own spade and fork & trowel have given her a great deal of enjoyment.

Planting something that grows well and can form a competition can be fun ... sunflowers are working quite well for example and only needed a couple of seeds.

JonquilleTW Mon 11-Aug-14 23:55:15

Our garden is pretty simple. We kept it that way in purpose. It was laid with lawn. The grass is good for the kids to play on. They like putting up their tent. Putting a picnic blanket and toys around and let their imagination take them to places. We also hang an old curtain on the fig tree at the end of the garden, place some cushions underneath and it becomes a cute reading nook.

We have a sand and water table with some toys to play which provides hours of fun. Along the sides of our garden we have planted some bushes, vegetables, flowers together with children. They enjoy watching those tiny tomatoes to grow and getting the crop. It is a good opportunity to teach love the veggies and keep them of the technology!

A plastic table and couple of chairs on the garden is where they make their arts and crafts. It is easy to clear up afterwards and less mess.
Most birthdays in our family are in Summer. So we take advantage of this quite a lot with garden parties and lots of games for kids to play: mostly done by ourselves with kids in lead to preparation to the parties.

We also like to put some bird feeders with seeds and watch the birds or the squirrels feeding from there. Every year a couple of robins put a nest in our garden shed. We let them have the shed, not using it until the chicks leave the nest. It provides hours of fun to watch young robins learning to fly.

We make sun-catchers ourselves and decorate our garden with it too. We have a rain bucket at the end of the garden. Where we collect rain water and use it to water the flowers and few veggies we are growing. This teaches them to save the scarce sources of our planet.

There are lots more things to do, we just need to seat and decide with kids what we would like to do nextsmile.

Localeditorshropshire Tue 12-Aug-14 00:02:24

We love the veg patch in our garden. My youngest daughter takes an active role in planting seeds, ( so what if the rows aren't straight?). From that point on she is interested in their progress and helps to water them and weed between them too. There are also plenty of ant's nests about so we study those and watch the behaviour of the tiny creatures.

I leave quite a few unkempt patches around the garden to encourage wildlife. We often find a toad lurking, plenty of worms, centipedes and other creepy crawlies too. I grow lots of flowers that attract bees and butterflies. We have Verbena, Perovskia and Fennel which are covered in insects. We wander around the garden with a bee guide to see how many different types frequent our garden

Water is always great fun; we run it down the slide and use the hose as a sprayer. The kids also play with water pistols and any thing else they can find. A sand table is great for amusing kids too.

For younger children a corner of the plot filled with loose cobbles, pine cones, gravel, sand and other found objects provides a great sensory area.

Personally I think that getting children outside is one of the great pleasures of parenting. Kids love connecting with nature and there are a wealth of things to see and do in the great outdoors.

LocalEditorWalthamForest Wed 13-Aug-14 12:29:56

Thanks for all of the wonderful submissions. This competition is now closed and the entries are being sent for judging. Will be back in a flash with the winner's name!

LocalEditorRedbridge Thu 14-Aug-14 09:57:53

Dear OntheHuh-- You are the winner of the Bub Tubs. Congratulations and happy sitting and playing for your little ones!

Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful entries. Some great ideas for family gardens shared here. Have an amazing summer!

OnTheHuh Thu 14-Aug-14 10:58:35

Thank you SO much, LERedbridge and Georgia. I am absolutely delighted and have two very special little girls in mind (who have had a very tough year) for this prize. They and their parents will be so very happy and I promise the Bub Tubs will get very good use.

smile smile smile

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