playset landscaping

igloochicMarch 30, 2010

Ok well I did try the search function, but the search feature is umm well kinda running as good as many of the forums :)

We added a playset to our yard recently. As with most playsets, it's big, and when the surround is built...heck it will be massive...some 20x25' square if I get that boring.

So here's the thing....I have looked and looked at pictures of surrounds with peagravel etc, and frankly, they're ugly (at least what I've found). I would like to do something more fitting to our garden, which is...ok until the playset went up...was, extensive.

We would also like to add a pergola possibly raised up in the back yard where some of the larger flower beds are...blah blah...

I'm just looking for possible ideas to present to someone (landscape designer/architecht? suggestions also welcome) that we might like. I want safety for the kids, but I don't want a horrific box in the middle of our garden...danged near bigger it feels like!

The shadow in this pic shows where it's basically sitting. This is a winter shot so it's not very pretty:

I want the set to sort of (ya I know it won't) with the house and not scream...I RUN A PRESCHOOL (which I don't because I'm sane):

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I'm not sure what you mean by a surround? Is that the passive fall protection layer beneath and within the fall/jumping radius of the playset?

I had the same dilema with my playset (about 28'X 35'). Some options are that you can put the surround only in those regions were it maybe reasonable expected a fall will occur (i.e near the swings and slides). I figure that the fall protection layer saved the kids a few times, so it's well worth it! The surround doesn't have to be purely rectangular, it can be formed to so that it's a negative space with a pleasing shape.

The most difficult aspect of the playset to deal with is going from a garden to the dealing with the playset structure, as it's not garden related structure, and I had the same culture shock. I don't know how to landscape to mitigate that shock, except to just get used to your garden saying.... this place is meant for adults and kids to view,play in, and enjoy life.

One other word of wisdom... make sure to get a playset that is rated to handle your weight, because they are fun at any age (especially the swing)!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 10:13PM
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LOL Isabella :) I love the last line of advice :) We did. We actually just had 40 or so kids crawling all over it, from age 15 to 2 at a preschool fund raiser. We won't do those daily...but I want it to be safe for lots of people so we got a nice one that handles weight well and added extra staking for protection since we get amazing winds.

DH and I discussed it today....we will be doing the minimum 6' round all of the structure fall radius and yes, since our garden is soft areas (no hard square edges) we'll soften that area. I think we're going to do green rubber mulch so it will blend well and dig it down. All of the ones I've seen are walls of wood a foot tall around it...totally wonderful for kids, but YUCK YUCK YUCK

We're all about it being a kid space and have figured out how to work the adult space in as well (it will be across the path and up a level or two, but I'd love to see if anyone has done anything like this verses just doing a huge square box around them (which is about all I see on the net).

Our garden is a bit of a funny...we bought this house, intending to buy another with a very small yard and a bit of a bedding garden, lovely, but managable. Instead we ended up with this one...they had four full time staff dedicated to the yard! I have a full time staff of ummm Me :oP So we're paring down in a major way. But will still have huge cutting beds etc....just not beds as big as we have now. But that's a whole nother post :oP

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 1:55AM
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A brightly coloured plastic playground set will stand out whatever the setting also whatever material you use for underneath will need to be contained to prevent it from spreading all over the garden. If the play set is on grass this will be as good as any for kids to land on at the bottom of a slide, the problem is grass cutting and that one area wearing out but you will avoid the box look. Does this help at all iggy, remember when the boy grows up he will be going out with some people or polar bears or staying home or.....

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 11:14AM
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I'm doing a little mojo dance and incantation to see if our resident design gurus will come out and play with you.

My abilities are limited at best. I stick to threads where I actually think I can help. If I can't sort of see it in my head or have personal experience to share, then I just read. But there are some really amazing pros and competent non-pros worth your time here. And some of them say the darndest thangs!

Back to my mojo! Hoping someone else pops in for you ...

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 9:51AM
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So I think what Ink was saying on the other unmentionable post - is that you have to take a long term look at your landscape. Before you know it - your kids will outgrow this playset - it happens SO fast. So put the playset in, let them enjoy it but when you put it in plant a small tree. When the tree is not EVEN a medium tree - the kids will not be playing with that playset and you will be trying to sell it.

Make it safe now, and then make it beautiful when the kids grow up.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 5:18PM
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Anecdote alert: When I was kid a tree and a haystack were our poor substitute for a play set and being aware of change but also the aesthetics of a back garden my kids play set was made from oak. My four year old was sitting on top of it one day making brrrrm brrrrm noises, his mother called him down for tea and an anxiety break. After tea I told him that he could now get back up on his motorbike. "That's not a motorbike Daddy," he told me, "it's a climbing frame." I had expected to be outsmarted by my offspring to be honest but not at four.

Thanks drtgyrl.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 6:40PM
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