How to Plan Your Leisure Time in the Garden

Onto the interesting part – planning your leisure time in the garden. Start by listing the fun things you plan to do, or dream of doing, in the garden.

Eating outside

Everyone enjoys eating outside, so building or adapting a terrace should be top of the leisure list. At the same time you could consider a built-in barbecue. A permanent barbecue can also double as an outdoor fireplace which will prolong your time spent outdoors.

Playing

For children playing takes precedence over everything else, so most children’s wish lists will include every play structure, piece of equipment or toy imaginable. Decide what is most suitable for your children, as well as what will fit in the garden, bearing in mind that, as they grow, you may want to adapt or modify their play space.

garden leisure How to Plan Your Leisure Time in the Garden

Lounging

For pure relaxation all that is needed is a comfortable chair, or hammock, and some peace and quiet. If you have space, incorporate features, a summerhouse or an arbour.

Water features

Water safety is the main concern when planning a water feature. If you have young children, a pond may be out of the question, but there are several safe options to consider.

Attracting wildlife

If your garden is full of insect, animal and bird life it will not only be a more interesting place for your family, but a healthier, more balanced environment in which pests are gobbled up rather than killed by chemicals, and where plants thrive helped along by pollinating insects. So leave some wild comers and plant plenty of insect-attracting and berry-bearing shrubs that are attractive to insects and birds alike.

Decorative features

These can elevate a garden out of the ordinary. Pergolas and arbours wreathed in plants convey a soft romantic touch, while an urn, statue or other ornamental feature can add a wonderful element of surprise.

Child’s garden

You could plan to put aside a piece of the garden for your children to call their own or you could plant trees to commemorate special events, such as births and anniversaries. Children will quickly come to love their tree, and you can keep a record of the tree and your child’s progress with yearly photographs and a height chart for both tree and child.

Be extravagant!

Family gardens are the ideal place for you to indulge your imagination with light-hearted, playful features that reflect the personality of your family. Include a few oddities such as a sundial clock, or sink bricks with the hours painted on them into the ground in a circle and position them so that when the child stands in the centre of the circle their shadow falls across the correct hour.

You could include something to appeal to adults and older children, such as a giant chess and draughts board made with dark and light coloured pavers. Hopscotch and noughts and crosses also lend themselves to this idea. Most gardens are too small for a full-size croquet lawn, but a modified version is possible. You could also construct a sanded rectangle for boules or petanque.


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