If you’re planning a kids’ garden it can be quite a challenge to get it right, especially if you don’t have a huge space to work with – so it pays to ask yourself how they’re likely to want to use it and what kind of features are going to be really important to them.
A lot obviously depends on the age of your youngsters – and, of course, needs change as they grow up – but you can make life a lot easier on yourself if you’ve got a pretty good grasp of the type of garden they’ll really love before you start.
Try our fun quiz – you probably won’t find out anything you didn’t already know about your kids, but it might just help you realise what they think their garden really ought to be like.
If your kids had to say which of the following they would be most excited about
…what order would they put them in – starting with the most interesting first?
(a) Plant or seed catalogue, nesting box, sports equipment
(b) Sports equipment, nesting box, plant or seed catalogue
(c) Nesting box, sports equipment, plant or seed catalogue
Which of the following best describes your lawn?
(a) Closely cut, fine grass with neat and tidy edges
(b) A bit worn, with a few bare patches, especially after Wimbledon or the Cup Final!
(c) Tidy, but nothing special – pretty much like everyone else’s in the street.
If your kids were going to draw up a list of features for the garden
…which of the following would definitely be on it?
(a) A mini-greenhouse, pond or bee log
(b) Goal posts, tennis net or other sporting equipment
(c) All of the above, and loads more besides!
You’re thinking about building a pond
… what do you think your kids are most likely to want to use it for?
(a) Growing water lilies
(b) Sailing model boats
(c) Pond dipping
Your kids have hijacked your new slim-line water butt
…what are they doing with it?
(a) Deciding the best place to put it to make watering easier.
(b) It’s currently featuring as the wicket in a re-run of the Ashes.
(c) It’s starring as a Dalek in a rather noisy episode of Dr Who.
You were planning a day in the garden
…but it’s pouring with rain; what do your kids do?
(a) Happily busy themselves planting seeds.
(b) Paint pictures of the most amazing design for a retractable roof to keep the grass dry.
(c) Park themselves in front of the TV/ games console /computer – after all, it’ll probably be dry tomorrow.
Finally, if you had to pick a plant to match your youngster’s personality
… what would it be?
(a) A Runner Bean
(b) A Sunflower
(c) A Busy Lizzie
It sounds like your youngsters are tomorrow’s serious horticulturalists in the making – so all those TV gardening show hosts had better watch out! As far as they’re concerned, a garden’s for gardening in, whether that means growing their own food, bringing on bulbs or happily making compost. You really can’t lose – you’ll have lots of fun working on projects together and there’ll always be some willing hands to help with the weeding.
With your sport-mad youngsters, the sort of garden they need is probably best described as a mini version of Wimbledon, Wembley and the Millennium Stadium all rolled into one – with you as Head Ground-keeper! Pick a hard wearing grass that will stand up to all that practice and who knows, you might find yourself raising the next Venus Williams or David Beckham.
Your children seem to have a very balanced view of what a garden needs to be – everything! A sports field, adventure playground, educational experience and a wildlife haven, not forgetting a place to grow plants too. Designing it could be a bit of a challenge, especially if you don’t have a particularly large plot, but you’re all bound to have lots of fun doing it.