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Kids garden ideas please?

Posted by tucktonia (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 16, 09 at 8:18

Hello everyone - I'm new here. I am the proud dad of 2 little boys, but they're growing up fast and I want to make my garden more 'kickabout friendly!' as they're showing a growing interest in football/soccer. It's quite a long narrow garden, and currently it is divided up. We haven't done anything to it since we moved in, and the decking in the centre is rotten and slippery, and a concrete path runs through the centre. I'd like to get rid of this and put in more turf, so the main bulk of the garden is grass, but will probably need a path running down the side to access the larger shed (I am demolishing the smaller one - so there's potential down there for a feature, sun trap, bonfire veggie area etc. Any budding garden designers, landscapers, or just clever people out there who can help me out with ideas? or draw over the attached pic etc?

Thankyou so much! - all much appreciated, as I am totally new to this and wouldn't mind impressing the in-laws! Please see attached picture for a plan of how it stands at the moment.

Tony.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Kids garden ideas please?

A picture looking down the garden at present... Image and video hosting by TinyPic


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RE: Kids garden ideas please?

Funny - you want to de-landscape, not landscape, and I think in your situation it's exactly the right thing to do.

There is a danger to designing the yard to a temporary need (though we're all temporary, really...) which is what we did... we built a playhouse that the kids outgrew before we finished it (we work slowly) and then it took us five years to get rid of that and redesign. But an open space is so generally useful for kids that there is probably no danger of obsolescence for a long time (unless you live near a park or schoolyard which can sort of extend your yardspace, especially when they get some distance on those kicks).

As for what to do, I think all you need on that drawing are some red Xs. Safety first, so I'd not want fast play around those sharp and hard brick things, the seats and the planter, so for me they'd go along with the deck. And safety again, I think instead of a hard path to the shed I'd go with a mulch one - or do you even need one; can you walk across grass?

I don't know if you'll want to do outdoor living space as far out as the existing pathway extends, and if not you could take some of it out too. If you keep it, I'd have something marking it (a shrub or three) so it isn't positioned like a snake in the grass (my kids could always find the one rock in a field and fall on it). Maybe don't take it out if you think you may want such a thing again after the kids are done playing ball.

KarinL


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RE: Kids garden ideas please?

I agree with Karin. Get all that out of the middle of your yard. You've got to have enough turf to kick and throw that ball around. But don't forget to incorporate a firepit in a corner somewhere. For roasting marshmallows, hot dogs, or just sitting around talking man to man. Remember, their future girlfriends will need a place to sit when they come over to cheer your boys on! (in that vein, be sure you put adequate lighting there! lol) Put a small vegetable garden in the other corner, so you can teach them to grow things and they can feel accomplished when you eat it. Good luck! My children are grown - and you don't realize it, but time really does go by fast. Try to make a yard that they will love to hang out in. :)


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RE: Kids garden ideas please?

I just noticed in the drawing that the concrete path actually continues past the deck. What I hate about poured concrete is that you have to wreck it to take it out; for that I prefer paving stones as they can come out without heavy labour or creating garbage. But still, unless you make the soccer pitch just one half of the yard, the path almost has to go.

The other thing about thinking long term is that having a basketball hoop seems to be a good thing for boys, again if there isn't a public one nearby. Maybe you have a place at the front for one if your boys develop in that direction, otherwise maybe space things in the back so that you could put one in in later years. Who knows, they might stick to soccer.

Oh, and about the in-laws: impress them with your great kids :-)

KarinL


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RE: Kids garden ideas please?

As far as the basketball hoop is concerned, I can almost guarantee it will get more use if it is on a hard surface like a driveway than on grass. It's pretty hard to dribble on grass...


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RE: Kids garden ideas please?

That's what I meant :-)... if you put in a patio at either end of the yard, have multiple future uses in mind such as basketball, eg put a firepit and seating ON the patio rather than building it in.

KarinL


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RE: Kids garden ideas please?

Thanks for the advice. I cleared out the central decking and flowerbeds, and am going to break up and remove the path in a couple of weeks. I thought after I'd posted, that it sounds like I'm some kind of soccer crazed dad whose boys must play for their country! Well, they can use it for ballet practice if they so desire! I just want a nice open space for them to run around and be safe and happy in. The patio nearest the house I am intending to keep, and is quite a wide area should they want a hoop put up in the future, although very few people play basketball over here (in England), though my brother was into it growing up. I think I'll end up putting a path down the right of the garden to reach the quiet area and shed down the bottom. With a bed alongside the fences. Any ideas what sort of path would be good in a garden like this? Thanks again for all the help and ideas.

Tony.


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RE: Kids garden ideas please?

I didn't think you sounded crazed at all - just trying to help your kids play as they wanted! I hadn't realized you were in England - I suppose kids play different sports there than here, but a grassy area will get used anywhere.


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