Playset integrated into backyard landscape

likewhatyoudoJune 4, 2012

Does anyone have pictures of a wood playset that looks integrated into the backyard landscape that looks nice?

We have a large playset to build but I want it to look nice not just a rectangle area in the corner.

If anyone has pictures I would love to see them!

Thanks

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aloha2009

Hope this helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Integrated Playsets

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 7:40PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Having once had such a playset, I'd actually advise against integrating it, except in a very particular way. That way would be so that when the playset is gone, it is slated to be replaced with something that will integrate just as well or better (say, a pergola or garden shed), leave an intentional open, empty area of lawn or paving (negative space, in design-speak), or be replaced with another temporary amenity aimed at teenagers (say, an above-ground pool, or basketball hoop).

In other words, design beyond the playset. Design your yard without it for use by adults or teenagers. Now put the playset in as a temporary feature.

Trust me, the playset years pass fast. We didn't even totally finish ours before the kids were done with it. Not to be discouraging or anything :-) (we're just not good at finishing things).

Karin L

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 9:28PM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

one reason why playstructures are challenging to integrate into the garden is because they require a substantial amount of clear 'fall room' around the structure for safety's sake.

Some folks plant a hedge around the play area to create a separate 'room' in the garden. This works well especially when the hedge reaches a helght to screen out the view of scattered toys or provides privacy when the kids get a little older yet still want a 'hang out' place.

Attached is a sheet showing several different playstructure integrations. From May 30, 2012

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 9:29PM
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likewhatyoudo

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I run daycare out of my home, so a playset will be in my yard for at least another 10 - 15 years! I have the set and the rubber mulch ready for us to install. We hope to get started on the install in the next few weekends.

deviant-deziner - our playset is like the one you posted in the bottom right photo. Its a monster and I guess there is no way to hide it! I like the idea of planting a low hedge to hide some of the toys from the street and house view. This will also help us keep the rubber mulch in the playset area. We might even try to add a bike path for riding toys.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 9:03AM
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likewhatyoudo

Update: This is what we did for the playset and landscaping for the back yard

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 1:45PM
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likewhatyoudo

before landscaping around the playset:

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 1:50PM
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likewhatyoudo

removed photo

This post was edited by rtwilliams on Tue, Aug 19, 14 at 14:04

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 1:58PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

It looks really nice! Do the kids kick the mulch onto the lawn? Just curious.

You did a great job!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 2:01PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

That looks great. One question--since you are running a business--are the concrete blocks(?) you have for edging going to be a safety hazard? Concrete less forgiving than grass or soil when a kid falls. Just wondering.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 2:03PM
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likewhatyoudo

The stones for the retaining wall have not been a problem. KDHE Licensed Child Care department (Kansas Department of Health and Environment) inspects my property annually and has said nothing about using the stone around the play set. The stones are 10 inches wide and the kids love walking around the play set balancing. They are set out away from the play set. It looks like they are closer than they actually are.

The rubber mulch has been amazing. It stays put, does not stick to the kids clothes and does not get kicked out at least not enough to concern me. I love the rubber mulch and also used it in some spots up by my porch patio because the wood mulch was constantly blowing onto the patio with the slightest of wind so I replaced it with the rubber mulch in those areas it stays put no matter what kind of Kansas winds we get.
Another bonus of the rubber mulch is that it retains the dark brown color that I like. We have had this mulch down for 2 years and it is still a nice dark brown. We placed the mulch over a heavy duty landscape fabric and under the fabric we put newspaper right over the top of the grass. ( I had read about putting newspaper down under landscaping fabric and mulch to kill the grass and be weed free. It works! I really think it is the newspaper layer under the fabric that kills the grass.

Our neighbors thought we where crazy not to kill the grass first before putting the mulch down! I wasn't sure it was a great idea either but it definitely worked.

This post was edited by rtwilliams on Tue, Aug 19, 14 at 14:33

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 2:12PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I bet the kids love running on all that lawn too! Your yard looks like a beautiful park!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 5:02PM
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