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How to plan a garden bed that survives kids playing football

We have a new house and small garden 300sq m or so. I've put in grass but I'm hesitant with planting because I have a son who is 10 and he is crazy about football and practices all the time booting the ball around. If there are plants there especially if the are not yet established I presume the will not survive. Any way of designing around this? RIs there a really tough plant border plan? Just shrubs and trees or something? Or do I just accept its just grass until he's 18 and moves out. :smile:


  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 5,052
    edited November 2022
    @Hmmmmmmm Do you have a photo ? Some shrubs are very tough but often have thorns too so not a good idea. I have enjoyed the garden all my life but I have always been of the opinion stay calm when things where damaged by footballs. A garden is to be shared with all the family. Problems arise when he holds a seven aside in the garden.
    Building a garden is very personal. It's not quite the same as installing a boiler.
    James Alexander Sinclair 
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 2,785
    edited November 2022
    Evergreen shrubs and ornamental grasses are pretty tough, just avoid any non woody plants like annuals and perennials that can be easily trampled.  You can make your planting interesting with different heights, leaf form and plant habit as well as different greens and variegated foliage. Raised beds will also offer some protection.
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.

  • Plants and shrubs that can survive being hit by a football include: Ornamental Grasses, Phormiums, Spirea, Osmanthus, Heucheras, Viburnum, Alchemilla Mollis, Cranesbill Geraniums, Hellebores, Low growing Herbs and Alpines (such as Creeping Thyme, which you can grow from seed) and Primroses. Hope this helps.
  • SuesynSuesyn Posts: 642
    Enjoy the fact that he's outside doing something energetic and not holed up in his bedroom playing Fifa or whatever. In a few years he will be looking for bigger fields to play in and then you can plant anything you want. 
  • Our back neighbours’ garden and our fence improved immensely as soon as their sons were given one of those garden goals with a net. 😊 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 9,614
    Our neighbours' kids have one of those nets. Sadly many of their shots aren't on target and the balls still come over the fence more than I'd like. But one might help if positioned in front of the least-sturdy planting to protect it from direct hits.
    By the way, don't expect your grass to be bowling-green standard while it's being used as a football pitch, particularly in winter when it won't be growing enough to recover and will probably get muddy and compacted.
    Maybe have some nice plants near the house, in containers if you have paving right up to the walls with no planting space left (I assume you discourage your boy from kicking the ball towards the house and windows).
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • The ball usually only came over the fence here when dad or uncle (or both) were joining in ... I usually chucked it straight back if I noticed it, but occasionally I left it a day or so ... just to 'concentrate the mind' a bit.  Only once did they ever come knocking for it, and they were very apologetic ... a nice family.  They're teenagers now and seem to spend most of their time in their rooms 😉

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,464
    What about the elasticated goal-plus-surround that's being advertised regularly on TV at present?  At least the children can use it constructively as a training aid.  Punch line "They think it's gone over.  It hasn't now!"
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,991
    Shrubs, mainly, is the way to go @Hmmmmmmm , and also accepting that you may need to replace some. My sister had the same problem with her two boys. It's how it is.
    As @JennyJ says - forget about having a green sward too - all kids who play on the grass turn it into a mess - compacted or boggy depending on your site. Some pots near the house too, as she says, if you want more colour, but don't spend a fortune on those either  ;)
    Good luck with him moving out at 18. The way things are going in this country with the price of housing, he'll still be with you at 38!  :D
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • The things that have survived well here ( with a ten year old and a football) are anything shrubby -ceanothus, buddleia..basically big and green ha

    The things to avoid are anything with a long stem, daffodils, alliums, anything tall and wavey basically they definitely do not survive a ball! 

    I also have an acer in a big pot on the patio which I just slide right to the side when he's out there to make space, you could even put something on wheels to make it easier for him to slide. 
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