When you have small children, the backyard and garden are essential space for them to be free to run around and play.
The lawn can get torn up from all those soccer games and ride-on toys. The plants have been squashed and all things thorny (beautiful as they can be) removed for safety. All those summers with the trampoline or pool out there resulted in having no space to enjoy the things you enjoy doing in the garden.
But the kids have moved on, and you can finally see the amount of space you have out there. Now’s your time to convert your kid-friendly garden to an adult-oriented retreat.
So what are you going to do with it?
With no children needing basketball courts, skate parks or football pitches, the space is yours to shape as you like.
Instead of a square lawn, why not bring the edges in with curve flower gardens or borders? Border planting can look so elegant. Structure the planting according to height and shape without being restricted anymore – and you can enjoy the beauty of a thorny rose garden at last too!
No more excuses!
As we get older, we’re always looking for excuses to be more active.
When we had the children around, they kept us on our toes almost twenty-four hours a day!
Life is quieter now, so we have time to spend on things that we enjoy. Gardening can be hugely satisfying and it can be quite active too!
Of course, you may need some tools to begin shaping your garden they way you want it.
Tools of the trade.
If you would like to have a good lawn, consider stripping your current turf and replacing it with fresh grass from the local garden center.
This can be quite labor intensive, but your garden center may be able to lend a hand. A good lawn mower will keep the grass looking good once it has settled in. Depending on your physical capability, requirements and desired activity level, you can choose from fuel, electric, battery powered, self-propelled, or riding mowers. There are even little robot ones that will do all the hard work for you!
Most mowers are quite big and bulky. They’re not so great in the corners or around the edges. You may want a good electric trimmer to tackle those little awkward patches. Easy online research can help you learn more about the different kinds of tools available for these sort of jobs.
Planning and landscaping.
Hedges, shrubs and bushes are great for privacy fencing and dividing your garden into different areas. They do, however, need a little taming once or twice in the summer.
As for ideas for those different spaces – if your garden is a good size, you can have a dining and grill area. The options here are numerous, but the most common are decking, a gazebo, or patio paving. A great dining set should be weather-proof all year round, with cushions that can be removed and stored away during the bad weather months. A good idea is to add extra storage for the seat cushions, tools, etc. If you don’t choose a gazebo, why not invest in a wood pergola root or retractable awning?
A pergola is wonderful since it can be incorporated into the flowering part of your garden by adding climbing vines to grow up, around and through it. Choices here could include grapes, clematis, nasturtium and wisteria?
Another fast-growing and beautiful option is morning glory, but keep in mind that they can take over the entire garden if not maintained and kept under control. Don’t like spending a lot of time in the garden? Don’t plant morning glories.
The decking or paving can be extended to lead from the patio to a lounging area. This may be a more open space where you can sit in the sun and enjoy the good weather. The spot to choose is the one that offers the best views of your planting and other garden features.
Perhaps from here, you could have stepping stones across to a little pond or other water feature? Water in the garden can be very relaxing and provides a wonderful environment to keep fish, or just enjoy the beauty of water lilies opening up in the sunshine.
Specialty gardens take a lot of work, but can be wonderful for those with the time, talent – and inclination!
Of these, Zen gardens are the most well known. They are usually small and simple areas of your backyard that can help you focus your mind and achieve tranquility.
You may have a small arbor area or deck where you could practice Yoga or Tai Chi.
These relaxing activities are ideally suited to a warm garden in the morning. You can listen to the water trickling from your water feature while adoring the view of the gorgeous greenery and beautiful blooms.
Garden ornaments can also help make your garden very stylish.
You might choose something like a sundial to place in the center, or maybe you prefer contemporary sculptures such as orbs or cubes.
These focal points in your garden add to the feast for the eyes, and help provide more interest than planting alone.
Want more visual interest?
Perhaps you could install some mosaic art on the walls or fencing areas!
Our gardens are the perfect place to retreat to after a busy day, and they’re a wonderful place to enjoy a warm, breezy, sunny weekend too.
Now the kids have moved on, your garden can be quiet and tranquil – the perfect space to enjoy a coffee or cocktail with friends.