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Small shaded area for kids

Can anyone offer ideas for this small area please? It's around 2m2 on a raised bed. It's in the kids area of the garden and is shaded by a conservatory directly to the south. It'll get a little direct summer sun, and is generally bright, but not a lot of direct sun. 

My thoughts were wild flowers, or a full bed of scented bedding plants, but these leave it bare in winter. What else would be interesting for kids, attract wildlife or have some physical interest for them to play with? I've got the log round table, a bird feeder on the old washing pole and that's it so far



  • AuntyRachAuntyRach Posts: 5,167

    Wildflowers and annual seeds are good because you can't beat the thrill of seeds turning into plants but obviously there is the 'waiting' factor. Some little alpines may do well there - and some give colour and cover over Autumn/Winter. Small logs, upturned pots etc. can create wildlife 'hotels' for mini-beasts. You could also decorate with shells amd pebbles - and they could be painted or have names on them for a bit of personalisation. Sounds like a fun project.

    My garden and I live in South Wales. 
  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,583

    To be honest, children aren't usually that interested in the upkeep of a patch of garden though they may enjoy helping from time to time. Its like keeping pets......seems like a fun idea but the adults end up doing all the work. If the children are young they may like a small sand pit (with lid to keep cats out) and you can plant some ground cover around the perimeter. In a shady area I would plonk down a few low-growing evergreen plants so that you have year round interest.

  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,563

    Depends on the child, Ceres. I had my own patch, and my sister copied me. But it was something we both asked for after getting the idea from a book, which I thinks makes a difference. I attempted to make a 'pond', and dug up celandines from the woods to plant. Neither of which went very well, and neither of which were exactly encouraged by my parents. Anyway, perhaps just let them decide what they want to do with it. Get some bricks, bits of wood, rocks etc and see what they come up with, if anything.

  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,583

    If they see you gardening they might want to help out. I have always loved gardening and used to wreck my Grandfather's geraniums by taking cuttings and pinching his compost. None of my children caught the gardening bug when young but one of them is now a passionate gardener thanks to the gift of a spathiphyllum which she failed to kill.

    If you think your children will look after their part of the garden then seeds that grow easily are a good bet, such as nasturtiums. Those also have the advantage of attracting black fly and butterflies so you will be able to teach your children about insects and how they interact with plants. Of course that doesn't help your problem of its being bare in winter.

    Last edited: 30 April 2017 17:05:18

  • glasgowdanglasgowdan Posts: 632

    I guess the bare in winter thing isn't really such a big deal as they won't be out playing much anyway, but the raised bed IS right by the conservatory which we use as our main dining room almost all the time so it'd be good to have something nice to look out onto. 

    I'll probably go for a mix of alpines, flowers from seed, play items such as a tub of bark or stone chips/sand etc. I'll see how things go. 

  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,563

    Stachys lanata is a children's favourite ("Lamb's Ears"). Scented things like herbs and Curry Plant would be nice too. 

  • WateryWatery Posts: 388

    Nasturtiums and borage both grow best in poor soil, can tolerate shade and have EDIBLE flowers.   That's got to be kind of fun.  (I think it's fun and  I'm 48.)

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