Family_gardeningThe garden is a space that can be used by the whole family, whether it’s for relaxing after a hard day at work or school, or to grow flowers, vegetables or herbs. It is also a great place to teach your kids about nature and the cycles of life.

Where to begin

One of the first steps to take when you’re thinking of setting up a garden is planning. If you draw out a basic plan of your space then you can decide what part of it is going to be a play area for the children and where you are going to plant your flowers or vegetables, the like of which you can buy from the Bakker. You don’t have to go into lots of detail, as your ideas will gradually change when you start to see your plants grow. Don’t worry if something doesn’t look right immediately you can always change it later.

Get your children to grow some seeds

Gardening can be a lot more fun than it looks and once you and the children start to see some results you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it before. You can start off by sowing some seeds in small plastic yoghurt pots so that once they have grown they can be transferred to a flower bed or vegetable patch. It’s also a good idea to get everyone involved in planting and planning; the Express online has a great article on how to make gardening a family activity.

Setting up a play area

The children will love having their own section of garden to play in but this doesn’t have to be just for the summer. One simple way to save money and allow the kids to play outside all year round is to lay artificial grass; it’s easy to keep clean and doesn’t need any maintenance. The BBC gardening website has a section dedicated to children and gardening, giving them plenty of projects to get them involved in.

Planting flowers and shrubs

Once you’ve prepared the ground and have added some compost you can start planting your seedlings or bulbs. Sometimes it can be cheaper to buy plants that are ready to go straight into the earth and you will also see instant results. Planting can be done in pots or raised beds and this method can make gardening easier as it keeps slugs and snails away from plants. There are, sadly, no guarantees though that you can eradicate these pesky creatures. If you have set aside a section of the garden for vegetables and herbs you must remember that you’ll need sticks to hold up runner beans and netting to stop birds eating the new shoots.

A relaxing area for adults

After a hard day there’s nothing better than chilling in the garden so creating a space just for the adults is just as important as maintaining the plants and keeping the kids happy. Once the garden is established, set out a monthly plan of tasks that need to be carried out. This will prevent the jobs building up leaving you with the backbreaking task of clearing several month’s worth of weeds in one session.