10 Easy Tips for Designing the Perfect Family Garden

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Whether your family is one, two, or a dozen members, your garden can be tailor-made to fit your needs and even wishes. So, how do you give the grandparents a quiet place to sit, a play space for the younger children, and an area just for teens? Don’t stop there. You might also need a site for cooking out, room for family games, and a lovely vegetable garden. Yes, we ask a lot of our gardens.

1.     Style Is Everything

Well, it’s almost everything. You might have the kind of house that demands a Gothic garden design, but most likely, a clean, modern look will work better. The features will take less space and be less likely to interfere with lines of sight.

2.     Leave Lots of Space

If the garden space ends up looking like a jumble sale, no one will want to spend any time there. Allow for winding trails of grass, rocks, and gravel. These natural features don’t waste space; they become valuable play areas. Non-directed play is an excellent way for kids to develop imaginations.

3.     Plan for Housing

Whether it’s a treehouse, a fort, or a playhouse, these structures are usually top of children’s most-wanted lists. If they are sited correctly, these buildings can take up less room by stacking. Two buildings can be situated at the back of the yard in a corner. An area of 10 meters square will be plenty large enough for years of play.

4.     The Outdoor Dining Room

The family will likely agree that space for picnics, dining areas, or a kitchen is absolutely necessary. It might only be a space to accommodate a blanket to sit on together for lunch. Still, any eating and gathering place in the backyard will be a hit. Don’t forget those extra touches that are well worth the room they take. An outdoor kitchen, fire pit, or picnic table can really help family and friends enjoy your backyard. Just don’t forget the sunscreen on those summer days.

5.     Birds, and Bugs, and Snails, Oh My!

Don’t forget your most welcome visitors to the garden. Birds are always appreciated for their song, colorful plumage, and aerial acrobatics. Planting longer grasses and flowering wildflowers will attract insects to the back garden. They, in turn, will attract the birds. Don’t forget that all the critters need water even more than food. A birdbath or small pond is an excellent way to beautify your yard while taking care of nature’s friends; just beware if you have tiny children.

6.     Living Comfortably Outdoors

Try not to buy a dozen identical stackable plastic chairs for your yard. Think of your space as a grid. Lining up a bunch of chairs will not add to the décor or the usefulness of the area. Try a comfy chair padded with a moisture-proof cushion. Put the seating in a corner under a tree to read the latest novel or write a letter. Also, consider how the indoors transitions to the outdoors. For example, carefully constructed decks can invite the garden into the home and the home into the garden.

7.     Don’t Forget the Flowers

A garden isn’t worth the name without some lovely plantings of flowering plants. Stick to what varieties will grow in your town. They’ll grow better and take far less care. Stick to small groupings rather than too many of one variety.

8.     Everyone Can Play

A few play items can be fun for all. A glider is a relaxing way to enjoy a sunny afternoon. Backyard toys like swing sets, slides or sandboxes are great for children to keep busy.

9.     How Does Your Garden Grow?

Even toddlers love to garden. If you have little ones, give them a small plot of their own. Show them how to choose the right plants. Then, help them plant and care for their first charges.

10.  Look for Added Value Items

If there’s room, think about what would be the best use of space. A ground-level trampoline? A paved area for hopscotch? If you are having a hard time thinking of something, your kids will unquestionably have a few ideas.


No matter how you design your backyard, making the design and construction of a family project is a beautiful way to spend that “quality time” together.

About The Author: James May is a father of two and an obsessed DIY fanatic. He goes wild building extravagant playhouses and garden wonderlands for his kids. When he’s not sawing timber or erecting swings in trees, he blogs about parenting, play, and DIY.
Photo by Yan from Pexels

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