family eating in the gardenYou might not think of ‘family gardens’ as a particular garden style, but there are some common ingredients needed for a successful space for everyone from the toddler through to parents (and possibly grandparents) as well as the family pet(s) of course! My latest ‘snippet on style’ focuses on what you might need in your family space.

Having said that there are some common ingredients in family gardens, in terms of its overall look these spaces can adopt almost any of the more common design styles such as formal, country, cottage etc., though the functional needs of the family garden do impose some limitations. The minimum requirements are usually to provide a flexible space for games (and scope for these games to change as children grow), room for entertainment and play, and an area for outside dining (maybe including an area for cooking the food too, such as a barbeque). The smallest gardens can accommodate a sandpit or swing, while larger plots have space for separate adult- and child-friendly zones. The key features often include:

  • Play equipment

  • Colourful materials

  • Dens and tents

  • Tough plants

  • Wildlife features

  • Easy care seating

For tips on including play opportunities in gardens see my earlier article ”Free range’ children? – seven tips for successful garden play’ and others on play.

Other articles in the ‘Style Counsel’ series:

Productive Gardens

Japanese Gardens

Country Gardens

Modernist Gardens

Formal Gardens

Mediterranean Gardens

Cottage gardens

Old School Gardener

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