One thing that we've always considered important for a family home is a garden. Since being with The Husband, over the past 13+ years we've lived in four houses the first had a small yard, the second had nothing, the third had larger yard and finally, we got a garden in our fourth and current house. It's reassuring to know The Spawn have outside space to run rampant about yet it's contained and most importantly...secure. As a low income family and none drivers it's essential for us to have free outdoor space. Children are natural little outdoors cretins who thrive in fresh air and nature, as they experiment and relish natures bounty whilst exercising and doing what all children should, playing. Real playing. No batteries or controllers included. Nourishing their imagination and invigorating their minds and body.
Unfortunately our garden is, well to be blunt, rather dire. With no spare funds to transform it it remains a small expanse of patchy muddy grass, with a broken swing which in turn broke The Spawns hearts.
We want an area that the whole family can enjoy throughout the year, that The Spawn can play in, grow in and learn from.
I asked Thing Two to draw me a picture of her dream garden and this is what she produced:
Complete with play castle, water statue, cameras, fans (for hot days), a bird tree and a spiffy roller coaster.
I asked Thing One and he then commenced a lengthy descriptive lecture which included go karts, a go-kart track and football nets..
The Toddler? He rather fancies his own firestation out there
So as you do, I got to thinking what would I redesign the garden to look like should we have the funds and I came up with a rather less spectacular plan:
The top would have three distinct areas. The first would be covered in play bark and house the dynamic and terrifically exciting TP Toys Castlewood Tower with Den Pack, Double Swing Set and Crazy Wavy Slide from Activity Toys Direct. This would make the most of the limited space combining several elements of play in one item that would have immense appeal for all three of The Spawn regardless of their difference in age. Fireman Toddler would but ridiculously impressed with the firemans pole. I'd also purchase the addition accessories pack:
It's often the little extras and details like this that turn something from terrific into something incredible. Although I do fear that The Spawn would want to camp out on the play centre....permanently. I'm failing to see how this would be a bad thing. I could turn their bedrooms into a Gin distillery. Win win situation, no?
Oh dear, i'm all of a fluster on their behalf just thinking about it.
Next to this, ideally, we'd have some chickens with a run and home and then next to this some fruit trees (apples and pears) and the start of a flower bed that would run along the fence that separates us from nextdoor with something bright and colourful such as tulips and daffodils.
The Middle sections would remain grassy for general play and football with the addition of stepping stones so that in the grimmer weather The Spawn could traverse the grass to the play area without being swallowed by boggy mud. Not to mention that stepping stones are simply delightful and aid imaginative play.
Although doubtful a budget would stretch, I would adore a shallow, narrow stream feature traversing the garden.
On the left would be either another flower or a herbal garden bed and the brown rectangle signifies a childrens garden area where they can dig to their hearts content, they like digging, they're either undercover moles or else attempting to relocate to Australia.
Finally the bottom area is split into two by an existing path from the back door. I'd love to have the left side either paved or decked so that a family size picnic table could be situated for eating al fresco and outdoor crafts. On the right would be a large raised bed to grow our own fruit and vegetables.
*** This blog post is an entry into the Tots100/Activity Toys Direct garden makeover competition.