shrubs for childrens garden

Hello,

I am after creating a part of the garden for the kids to play in, with shrubs and trees with bark chippings underneath so they can move between the plants (play hide and seek, build dens and so on). Please can anyone suggest plants that will be robust, quick growing, and which will survive underneath the outer canopy of a mature sycamore tree? The ground is free draining, tending to dry and west facing, but only gets direct sun in the evening. It is currently a raspberry patch (lots of stems, very few raspberries), a lawn and a border, and holly and choysia are both currently doing well in the border.

Thank you
«1

Posts

  • Privet? Not very fashionable but grows super fast and good for hiding in!  I think buddleia grow pretty much anywhere and their flowers attract butterflies which the children might like?
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,324
    Maybe hazel. Out from the sycamore canopy, though. They can be trained over structures, arches etc, you can cut canes to build things with, they have nuts to eat (obvs). Fast growing in the right situ. Plant more than one. More here.
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,500
    Bamboo. Get a clumper not a spreader. They make lovely dens
    It's hard to love, there's so much to hate
    Hanging on to hope when there is no hope to speak of
  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 ManchesterPosts: 5,090
    Oooh bamboo RG. I was thinking that a living willow teepee or arch would be nice but the dry soil put me off mentioning it.  Wondering if something similar could be done with bamboo now?
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,500
    Kitty 2 said:
    Oooh bamboo RG. I was thinking that a living willow teepee or arch would be nice but the dry soil put me off mentioning it.  Wondering if something similar could be done with bamboo now?
    There are quite a few clumps at Westonbirt, clearly used for exactly that purpose, whether that was the original intention. They are growing in a circular clump with the centre canes missing (probably naturally died from the centre as most clumps do but you could 'make' that arrangement) and very narrow 'entrances'. There are always children playing in amongst them - tying the canes together overhead to may 'wicky-ups' and the like  :)
    It's hard to love, there's so much to hate
    Hanging on to hope when there is no hope to speak of
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,324
    It's a good idea.
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 1,783
    Lilac's make great hiding places too.. and are pretty robust for kids to run among.  I'm growing an area of them for my boys to play in, as I had at my house as a child.  They sucker like crazy, so quickly can be pruned into a reasonable fort.  They grow fine in part shade, but may not flower as prolifically.  
    Utah, USA.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,324
    "They sucker like crazy, so quickly can be pruned into a reasonable fort."

    That wins "my favourite sentence of the week" prize. B)
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 1,783
    Ha.. I hope that's a compliment.  You should see the havoc two small boys with poundland secateurs can manage.. best to turn them loose on a shrub than can handle it.   :p
    Utah, USA.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,324
    Absolutely a compliment. I like someone who can appreciate "a reasonable fort".
Sign In or Register to comment.