Wednesday 31 August 2016

Creating a safe and kid friendly garden

We love being outdoors. As we love spending time outdoors when we are not out and about having grand adventures in the great outdoors we naturally spend as much time as possible in the garden.

I have always loved spending time in the garden and spent many hours tending to and relaxing in the garden with a good book before I had my little family. Whilst the days of relaxing in the sun in peace and quiet with a good book are now very rare thanks to my boisterous boys, long days in the garden are even more frequent than pre-kids.

Even though the general up-keep of the garden is the same now as it was before kids such as mowing the lawn, keeping garden furniture clean, treated and in good condition, and planting flowers; now that I have kids the safety of the garden is now more important than ever.

So that we can spend hours at a time in the garden, having lots of fun exploring our little outdoor haven and enjoy playing with outdoor toys I make sure that the garden is kid friendly. Here are a few of our top tips for a kid friendly and safe garden -

Friendly plants
Whilst we are huge fans of encouraging the children to garden and grow their own plants - they have a special corner of the garden where their plants are growing - it is a good idea to have kid friendly plants in the garden.

When selecting plants for the garden try to avoid fragile blooms that won’t withstand interested little fingers or a stray toy or two hitting it, instead opt for robust plants. Great plants perfect for a kid friendly garden include Lavender, Rosa ‘Zephirine Drouhin’ (thornless and beautiful rose), Lamb’s Ears, and Mexican Orange Blossom.

Limiting the amount of plants with thorns is also good to save little fingers getting hurt. Also it is important to remember that foxgloves, deadly nightshade, daffodil leaves and bulbs, and uncooked rhubarb leaves are poisonous.

No smash greenhouse and shed windows
As the kids play in the garden and enjoy ball games such as football and tennis it can be common for the excitement of the game to get them. Whilst enjoying ball games there is a risk of the ball straying from its target and being kicked enthusiastically into the garden shed window or greenhouse.

A swift kick or throw of a ball towards a garden shed window or greenhouse can result in a smashed window which is a safety hazard and a costly break. As an alternative to glass windows in sheds or glass panes in greenhouses consider installing clear cast acrylic sheets from Simply Plastics that are hard wearing, weather resistant and strong. Thanks to acrylic being many times stronger than standard panes of glass the risk of balls causing breakages will be greatly reduced. Let the ball games continue safely!

Keep chemicals and tools secured
Whilst perhaps a very obvious tip it is important to remember to keep garden tools out of reach of children and locked away securely as little ones seem to be attracted to such things and don’t see the danger.

Likewise it is very important to keep garden chemicals securely locked away. When using chemicals in the garden also ensure to follow safety instructions, be cautious of exposing children to any chemicals used afterwards whilst still a risk to them and avoid using chemicals in the garden such as slug pellets.

Have a secure boundary
Make sure that the garden has a secure boundary with fences or panels keeping little ones contained safely within the garden. Ensure that fence panels are maintained to a good standard of upkeep and that any broken panels or gaps in the fence are fixed.

As well as having a secure boundary consider having locks on any gates to keep children safely contained in the garden and limit who can enter the garden too.

Whilst not the garden’s boundary it is also extremely worthwhile to secure the boundary of any ponds and water you have in your garden to prevent any accidents - but remember children like to climb and learn quickly how to!

Do you have any tips on how to create a safe and friendly garden for the kids? 

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