Flying footballs!

Is there a child friendly garden design ?


Children playing in gardens is without doubt an activity that should be encouraged all the time, but it is not without it’s perils and the greatest one is that your prized blooms (or far worse your wine) is trollied by a flying football or some super soaker squirty gun!


So what you need to do is not to coral the children into some part of the garden, but more you need to coral yourselves a safe zone into which a nice table and chairs can go, enabling you to ‘enjoy watching your children happily playing in the sunshine!’


This design uses plants from the ‘Nearly Indestructible Garden for Kids’ design.

There are two problems if you have kids who love to play football. Firstly the damage from flying footballs and energetic mini-Messi’s and secondly the wear to the grass in front of a goal.

Gardening with kids is all about creating zones in the garden. Zones they can play in without destroying everything, zones for the flowers and zones for you and your coffee cup to enjoy without being hit!

So there are a few tips that will help you design all these factors in.

  • Buy the tallest & largest goal you can fit in the garden.
  • Plant really sturdy shrubs next to the goals.
  • Plant all the prettier delicate flowers near the house or patio.
  • Consider artificial turf around the goal.
  • Use lots bulbs that flower early or late in the year.
  • Your seating area should be as far away from the goal as possible!

The Goal:

It may sound counter intuitive to put a large goal in a small garden, however, goals are extremely good at catching footballs. The larger the goal, the more footballs they catch. Consequently this means fewer football hit the fence, fly into next door’s garden or decapitate your tulips!


Similarly, large sturdy evergreen shrubs will also help keep the ball ‘in play’. These plants can be underplanted with scrambling climbers like clematis. The shrubs help protect the plants and you just see the flowers.

Use plenty of bulbs, if the flowers get damaged, they will still regrow next year. Using early and late flowering bulbs means you see some flowers when it’s less likely the little treasures will be outside playing.

As the borders approach the patio or back door, you can indulge in a few more pretty but rather more delicate plants.

Even if the garden is small, zones can be created to allow the garden to function for everyone – and hopefully you can sit and enjoy a coffee in the sunshine without having to duck!



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