It's a good time to start planning your planting now, with perennials and grasses at a lower price and bulbs about to come out, it's a good time to start deciding which plants to use next year and how your family can benefit from them.
How to choose family friendly plants
Durability to Accidental Damage
Our family gardens can be places full of dangers for our beloved plants too, so choosing a plant that can withstand a football is a good idea to consider.
Sensory planting can take a garden from a level of just beauty for the eyes to a beauty for every sense which is important for a child's curiosity and growth.
It's important to let our little ones join in with gardening from the word go so that they can get in touch with the great outdoors and learn to love it too.
By choosing seeds which are big enough for little hands to hold, that can go in their own play areas, kitchen gardens and that they can nurture, pick and eat or preserve can be a great start. Try:
Think about play areas and how they can be imaginatively planted to work with the scheme of the garden. For example:
- Dinosaur garden – Ferns & Succulents
- Fairy gardens – Bluebells & Sedums
- Savannah – Ornamental Grasses
- Christmas Garden – mini conifers
- Dens and play tunnels – Sunflowers and Sweet Peas
- Wildflower meadows
Lastly, remember to avoid poisonous plants:
Always check with your nursery or garden centre to be sure that your plants won't hurt small children and canines alike.
Drawing up a Planting Plan
Height – consult the height that the plant will grow to so that it doesn't exclude smaller plants or become engulfed by larger ones.
Colour – try and keep to plants who's colours work well together. Contrasting colours on opposite sides to the colour wheel such as blues and oranges or keep it tonal. Try drawing them out first to see which work well together.
Texture – Add interest to your bedding by using contrasting textures and shapes such as a soft fluffy grass such as a Pink Muhly Grass next to Round Allium or sharply trimmed Topiary.
Repetition – If you only have a small garden then repetition is key in order to ensure a cohesive space. Many gardeners suggest choosing about 7 plants and repeating them, but we all know how we can get over excited by different plants so I tend to keep to similar shapes or colours so that it all works together.
Finally, have a think about how the plants will look all year round and what will be replacing those which are only annuals or need bringing in for winter so that you can enjoy your garden all year round. Many plants have beautiful seed heads which look wonderful iced with frost.
Looking at our garden now in its most dormant state can allow us to view its bare bones and look at what plants will give it structure now but bright beauty when the summer finally re-appears.