Dream Garden Realities – How To Get And Keep The Garden You Love

“Contributed Post”

Most of us know we should be doing more to enjoy our outside spaces. And most of us know just how hard it is to maintain a good backyard that serves the entire family. The weather isn’t always helpful either. There are plenty of ways you can tackle even the toughest challenges of your garden. And yes, you can make your outdoor spaces family friendly most of the year round. So what are you waiting for?

Planning and Designing

Designing a dream garden that suits the entire family takes time and lots of consultations! The bigger the family, the more input you might receive. Get the kids to help you measure out the space. You might be surprised at how much room you have out there. All of that can easily be divided up into individual areas too. The area in front of the kitchen or dining room door is ideally situated for outdoor dining. And that secluded square at the bottom of the garden could become your own Mamma sanctuary.

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You might choose to use some free online apps to help you design the layout of your garden. Or you might prefer the traditional route of sketching it out on a piece of paper. Using graph paper can help you get a better idea of scale. Borrow the kids color pencils or crayons so you can design your flower beds as well. After all, color is a huge part of what is appealing about a garden.

Of course, the more elaborate the design, the more time you will need to plan a course of action to tackle it. If you have a big family, you might not have a big budget to spare. That might rule out hiring a landscaper to do all the work for you! Instead, you’ll have to recruit from within. And one of the first jobs is to clear everything out. Start again with a blank canvas. Use some garden spray paint or chalk to figure out the divides. Now it’s time to install the following sections.

The Lawn

Every good garden should have a good lawn. The kids can play soccer, and the dogs can have a good roll around. Of course, good lawns take a lot of hard work and maintenance to stay looking good. It’s essential that you use organic pest control services if you can. This reduces the risk of chemical ingestion. Safety is so important in the garden for your kids, pets, and other wildlife.

You can find professional lawn services that will take care of everything for you. This is especially helpful if you have a large plot and limited time. And it’s handy if you really hate mowing! Pick a spot for the lawn where you can see it from your proposed seating area. Lawns are often bordered by planting and flowers. More and that later!

The Kids

The lawn is never enough for the active and inquisitive child. And if you have lots of kids across a wide range of ages, you’re going to need even more. For the tiny tots, consider a little fenced off area. This might be a half-height white picket fence design. It keeps them safe, and all of their toys contained! The dog won’t be able to get in there, so you’ll know it’s safe and clean. Best of all, you can use a special play surface so they won’t get hurt while toddling.

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Preschool garden toys are plentiful. Little houses, sand and water toys, ride-on toys and slides are perfect for this space. A little table for coloring and even a play tent can be fun here. Use a parasol or gazebo over the area, so it is shaded from the sun and protected from any passing showers.

The bigger kids might enjoy bouncing on a trampoline, shooting some hoops or climbing on an activity center. All of these things can fit into their own play area. Mix up hardstanding with playmats for safety. Make sure there is the shade of a tree or covering in the area too. When it starts to get dark earlier, some solar powered lighting can offer another hour of play to tire them out before bed!

The Mom Sanctuary

It’s important you have a little area all to yourself too. You might install a deck down there so you can enjoy some Yoga, Tai Chi or meditation. Or maybe just a little sun trap and lounger! Surround yourself with hedges, shrubs, and your favorite flowers. Why not install a little pond with waterlilies or a water feature you can watch for hours?

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This area is out of the way, quiet, secluded, and relaxing. It’s a little hideaway, and also a little place where you can sit, read, ponder, or doze. Don’t be afraid to spend a little time and budget building this space up. You deserve it!

The Dogs

Dogs need plenty of time and space outdoors running around. But boisterous dogs can interfere with quiet kiddy play. Give them their own fenced off patch where they can dig, tear up the grass and do their business without getting in the way. It confines all the mess to one area away from where you want to eat, relax or have the kids play.

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Dogs also need a little shade from the sun during the summer. A tall fence or tree could be ideal here. Make sure their area is sturdy and secure. You might find this a better alternative to shutting them in the house when you’re out. Best of all, they’re getting activity and exercise instead of being bored and confined.

The Dinner Party aka The Family BBQ

An outdoor kitchen and dining area is a great idea if you love entertaining family and friends. It should be covered and walled at the sides to reduce the amount of wind blowing through. Of course, if you’re using a barbecue instead of a built-in gas grill, you need to make sure the smoke can vent effectively.

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A covered outdoor kitchen means you have fewer problems with insects and sun causing damage to your food. You might find this is more hygienic too. Best of all, you can use this area most of year-round, extending your home dining room quite substantially. You can light it, heat it, and even install a fan to keep things a little cooler if you need to.

You’ll need a really good dining set so everyone can congregate at the table together. Rattan is still popular because it is weatherproof. You might need to bring in the cushions overnight though! Some people have a second al fresco patio table and chairs further from the house. This is the one that offers the best view of your beautiful garden while you enjoy a coffee with the girls.

Grow Your Own Dinner

When you have some land at the back of your house, it can be very tempting to use it to grow your own fruits and vegetables. Almost anything will grow if you build up raised flower beds with fresh soil. You might even have space for a greenhouse to protect your crops in harsher weather. This could extend your growing period too.

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Just imagine being able to pick your dinner from the garden. All you need to do is wash, peel, chop, boil and serve. It doesn’t get fresher than that. And if you’re using organic methods to care for your garden, then your veggies will be even healthier.

Fruit trees take several years to mature enough to bear fruit. That doesn’t mean you won’t get any pleasure from them in the meantime. Every spring, many types of fruit tree offer beautiful displays of blossom. And in the summer, they’ll offer a little shade on a hot day. Eventually, they might provide the branches for a tree house, and endless climbing fun for the kids. Picking fruit from the trees is a wonderful childhood experience.

Beauty In Flowers

Flowers make every garden beautiful. The number of colors you can choose from is enormous. Choose flowers by height as well as color so you can build up some structure and depth to your garden. Flower beds do need regular weeding. And if you grow in pots to avoid this, you will need to clear them out annually and replace the soil. Still, flowers in pots can be moved around so you can make the most of the season and the best places to view them.

Some flowers offer amazing aromas too. Place these ones under your windows and close to your patio doors. They’ll welcome you with glorious scents as you step outside. For the most part, flowers take care of themselves. But if you want to keep everything looking fresh and immaculate, give yourself two minutes each day to remove deadheads, and pull out any emerging weeds. It doesn’t take much time at all so long as you make it routine.

What would go into your family’s dream garden? Are you willing to put in the time and energy to keep it looking amazing? Of course, you could always hire a gardener!

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