Everyone in the family enjoys the long, warm days of Naperville summers. Adults savor the peaceful time spent dining and visiting with friends outdoors, gardening and maybe playing games on the lawn. Of course the children join in, but wouldn’t it be nice to dedicate a space in your yard just for them to enjoy? We’re not talking only about the big outdoor playsets; we’re thinking about creating a customized place where children can explore, be creative and take in the wonders of nature. An outdoor garden is an ideal way to learn about, enjoy and care for real things; organic materials from the earth, and take a break from video devices!
Children are naturally inquisitive and adding natural elements to your yard can provide a springboard for their curiosity. Some elements you may want to include in your children’s garden plans are:
Water Feature – Water can be fun to stomp in, wade in or run through. It can be a simple fountain, a small pond or a flowing stream. Expect lots of laughter and fun on a hot summer day when the children can enjoy a backyard water feature.
Something to Climb On – This could be a stack of stones, a bridge over your water feature or a tree low enough for climbing.
Interesting Pathways – Here is a great place to use your design creativity. You can lay out a pathway with lots of curves that leads from one end of the children’s garden to the other. Pathway materials can be brick pavers, stones, wood chips, gravel, ground cover or a creative combination of these. The goal is to make it interesting, whimsical and maybe even challenging for the young users of the garden.
Shade – Young or old, we all enjoy the coolness of a shade tree on a hot day. Be sure to incorporate some shade in the children’s garden. It can be a canopied tree or large shrub, or maybe a pergola or gazebo with a covered roof.
Some type of seating and table for eating and projects – The children can have their own private dining area to enjoy that’s just far enough away from the adults to make it special. And, a table will be very useful for art projects, reading, and games played in their special place.
Somewhere to dig – and maybe plant? – If possible, reserve a spot for springtime planting in the garden. Children will love to learn about how things grow when they are in charge of planting and watering.
Inspiration for planning a children’s garden is easy to find. Take a visit to The Morton Arboretum in Lisle and spend an afternoon in their beautiful children’s garden. See what intrigues your children, and get inspired to adapt some of their designs into your own space. For the best inspiration, consult your own experts – your children! They will have some ideas for the perfect garden spot.
O’Donovan Landscaping has over 45 years of experience in the Naperville area, designing and installing beautiful landscapes and hardscapes for residential and commercial customers. We have a large selection of mature trees, flowering shrubs, landscape shrubs and specimen plants. We will work with you to design your hardscapes and can build a beautiful children’s garden the whole family will enjoy for years. Call us at 630-355-3370 or visit us to get started.