Creating a child and animal friendly garden is a great idea, not only if you have animals or children yourself, but also for your visitors as it provides everyone peace of mind in the safe area. Whether your gardening ideas are for children, or you want to express your inner child in the garden, a safe garden design is always of great importance.
There are many ways to achieve this, using child and animal friendly design principles and materials, as well as researching which plants are safe to use in your design are two great ways to start. Some species of plant are very toxic for certain animals, as well as humans.
Aloe Vera is a great relief if you’re sunburned, and a must have addition to many succulent gardens. Amaryllis is a beautiful flower used commonly for garden beds and flower arrangements, but along with Aloe Vera it is quite toxic to both cats and dogs. Both plants can cause some nasty symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, tremors and more.
There are many plants used commonly in gardens that are toxic to animals and humans, they are also easily mistaken for non-toxic species, so it is always best to consult a professional about which plants are safe and most suitable for your garden design.
A good practice when creating a child or animal friendly garden is to consider the appropriate fencing and gates required for your design. You should also consider the gardens’ paths and outdoor flooring, ensuring decked, paved and stoned areas are flat and even – this will prevent many trips and tumbles.
Hiring a professional landscaper to design your outdoor flooring areas will assure you the materials used are quality, safe, and best suited for your design. You can also rest easy knowing the work has been done to the utmost standard, will look great, and last for many years to come!
If you have a water feature in your garden or you’re considering installing one, you should always have them designed and installed professionally using high quality materials. Ill-fitted or ill-fitting designs are hazardous, and sometimes downright dangerous when it comes to children and animals.
All areas with exposed bodies of water should always be fenced and secured appropriately, and along with water features and fountains will require constant supervision when children and animals are present. Taking into account the design of your water feature or fountain before building your garden is always smart, and may be crucial for your gardens safe design.
Creating a special or hidden area in your garden will not only appeal to children but adds a sense of whimsy to any garden. Miniature tree stump cities for elves or dinosaurs, fairy gardens, and hidden paths are popular options for children, and give them a place to create their own spaces. Scented flowers and herbs are a great idea for planting around stepping or hopscotch stones, and high traffic areas.
If themed gardens aren’t for you, then raised garden beds are a wonderful alternative option, and allow children the freedom to design and decorate their garden how they please without infringing on your garden’s overall design.
Mazes, enclosed walkways, and even rooms can be created using plants. Build a secret spot in your garden by planting tall plants like ferns in a circle, the foliage will create shade and provide privacy. Placing stepping-stones strategically among the foliage in your garden can create hidden paths for little feet to explore!
When it comes to the plants used in your design, using native options can bring more wildlife into your garden. Flowering trees and plants attract many species of birds who collect the pollen and nectar. Not only will the birds be a welcome addition to your garden, they can also help to pollinate the flowering plants in your garden along with the bees. Some plant species rely solely on birds to pollinate their flowers, including most blue colored flowers, as bees are unable to see the color blue.
You can attract more bees into your garden by planting pollen and nectar-rich plants like Salvia and lavender. Installing a bird bath and feeder into your garden is always a good idea too, as it provides a clean food and water source for birds to eat, drink and bathe, helping them to thrive.
Incorporating logs into your garden can attract lizards, frogs and many insects, as they are the ideal habitat for small mammals, insects and amphibians. Larger gardens that can accommodate them will benefit greatly from planting trees. They not only offer great shade, but house a variety of wildlife to discover, big and small.
Play areas and equipment for children or animals need to be designed safely and built properly, ensuring they are structurally sound and that all floor surfaces are even. There are many options for children’s play equipment, you can find something to suit every type of outdoor space that will fit easily and seamlessly into your garden design.
When designed and built properly the space can become a great asset to your backyard – some people might even say the best asset! Sandpits are amazing fun for youngsters and a great educational tool for them as well, teaching them physics, stimulating their senses and providing a place for them to build.
You are advised to consult a professional if you’re installing a sand pit or any play equipment. They will inform you of the best possible materials to use for the job, and provide vital insights on how to complete the build, even providing you planning, safety and design advice if you need it.
Remember – whether you’re designing a garden with children, animals, wildlife, or family in mind you can always add something fun. A little mystery or whimsy, something unique or pleasing to the senses. Create something special and exciting and invite your garden’s visitors to leave with a lingering sense of magic and wonder!