Family Garden ideas

Are you completely happy with your garden? With a family it’s often hard to find the time to think about what you want to do with it and I imagine most people stick with what they’ve got and just ‘make-do.’

Despite doing a lot to our garden since we moved in and my husband being a keen gardener, there are still areas that we could improve. As we approach autumn, we’re starting to wonder which bits of our garden are looking scruffy and the areas that we haven’t used over summer.

We turned to garden designers and landscapers Keltie and Clark for some ideas and advice. They offer everything from consultations to design, build, plant and aftercare options. Partner, Curstain Keltie came over to give us an expert consultation and it’s sharpened our view of what we want to do and inspired us to actually do it! A consultation doesn’t have to cost that much – you’re paying for ideas and expertise and then you can embark on things yourself. Or you may want to follow this up with the design/build/planting with the experts.

Curstain said, ‘Some clients have clear ideas about what they want whilst others know what influences them but do not really know where to start. Either way, we recommend you consult us from the very beginning, even if you are months away from wanting to start.’

For us it was great having validation for things we’ve already done but also a fresh, honest and expert view on things we had never thought of. Curstain told us that the view looking out into the garden is just as important as the one looking in. In our garden, this means looking out onto quite an ugly garden shed and scruffy old lean-to where we have a fire-pit. Curstain gave us loads of ideas about what to do, including moving the garden shed and getting a new outdoor building such as a pergola or even something more secure and insulated that would cost more but increase the value of the house.

We also got advice for planting and ideas for a blank wall we have in an area of shade. Curstain knew about lighting, electrics and what types of plants would look/grow best. She suggested some architectural plants with uplighters. She then gave me some advice about how to prune our fig tree!

blank wall
The blank wall

The whole experience was very inspirational and ‘holistic.’ Curstain said, ‘We want to understand our clients and how they want to build in that space. We aim to offer creative solutions. Our knowledge and experience may confirm your existing ideas, give you new ones and provide a tangible appreciation of the concepts, budgets and practicalities of you garden dream.’

Curstain has loads of ideas for tasteful family gardens – from how to make trampoline areas look better to water features, tree swings and playhouses. She said, ‘They don’t have to be eyesores in the garden. Good design can create great places for children to play and be fun and funky within the garden.’ Curstain’s ideas for families also include using fake lawn.


For families who like gardening along with using the garden for relaxation, Curstain suggests creating vegetable beds, ‘It’s another way of engaging children about the food they eat and to get outside.’ Another great thing that Keltie and Clark promote with a designed garden is having a planting plan and list so you can get to know the plants and how to look after them. This plant list can be dropped into a website called shoot gardening They give you a maintenance plan based on this plant list, they even email you the jobs when they need doing!

For those with new builds she suggests getting it designed, ‘They are lucky as they get a completely blank canvas to start with. Often the soil has been badly prepared. Often they can agree with the builders to leave the garden as mud and we can come in and transform the garden.’

Keltie and Clark’s ethos is to adapt to the needs of their clients, ‘Every garden has a story; the landscaping its narrative, the plants its characters. A beautiful garden will be more; engaging, imaginative and developing over time. Each garden is different. Some need building from scratch; some short-term solutions; others long term design and ongoing maintenance.’

This is an unsponsored post but we were given a free consultation in exchange for this blog.

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