Three things to consider before giving your garden a child-friendly makeover

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Content supplied by All Garden Fun

The snow has now melted and we’ve seen the sunshine two or three times this week already (albeit for thirty seconds at a time), so we’re hopeful that spring is just around the corner. This means we have less than two months to start planning and saving up for our garden makeovers!

For those of us who are green fingered and have children, here are three things you should consider before creating a fun and child-friendly garden space.

1) What to sew and what to grow

You should also forget about planting dainty flowers that’ll need a lot of care: it’s inevitable that your child will immediately trample over the flower beds as they explore the new area, so stick to sturdy, hardy and low maintenance plants only! Of course, it will help if the plant is strong enough to cope with the occasional attack from a rogue football too!

Plants to avoid: Cherry laurel, mistletoe, rhubarb leaves, laburnum, delphinium, lily of the valley and foxgloves. Overdosing on these plants can cause fatalities. This is not an extensive list, so it is best to double check before buying anything.

Plants to try: According to Dr. Jones, consultant physician and director of the National Poisons Information Service at Guy’s Hospital, London, plants such as fuchsias, clematis, begonias and busy lizzies are better for child-friendly gardens. If a toddler eats large quantities of these plants, it’s likely they’ll only get an upset stomach or vomit and will not come to any serious harm.

Remember: if your child has ingested any plant, it’s best to seek medical advice from a professional.

2) Safety first

Place child’s equipment in spacious areas, preferably near grass to cushion the inevitable falls!

It goes without saying that you should always supervise children (of any age) if you have a pond, or intend on getting one installed during your garden makeover. Even shallow ponds can pose a risk to curious toddlers and young children.

And finally, there’s another vital, but often-overlooked safety tip for parents planning a new garden: don’t forget that smell pebbles and gravel are a choke hazard, so it’s best to avoid the risk until your children are older!

 

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3) Fun fun fun

For everyone to enjoy:

Babies and toddlers:

Young children:

One unique and fun idea is to paint one side of the shed or fence with waterproof blackboard paint and let your children run wild with the crayons! In the summer let them practice their writing, story telling and drawing in the garden, associating learning with fun and frivolity instead of stuffy classrooms and boring homework books!