The Balanced Garden

Terrace Garden

This is a relaxing garden with strong design elements and colourful, sensory planting, which also includes some clever touches to provide space for children to play.
The key features include a vibrant tiled wall and a water feature alongside a generous floating timber bench and sandbox.
The garden’s ambition is to create an enjoyable place both for adults to relax and entertain, and children to play and explore, within the same small space. It looks to balance the needs of both, without the children and their toys taking over. A sandpit doubles up as both storage and seating; there is a blackboard for spontaneous artwork; and the path is made from Scottish pebbles, which look like marbles when wet. Everything is at child-height so they can easily see and be seen, and the water pool is very shallow, not only for safety but also making it practical for washing hands and toys.
This design demonstrates that small family gardens can meet the needs of both generations without being overly child-centric. This functional balance can be achieved whilst also being beautiful, wildlife-friendly and filled with lovely plants: an elegant solution to a relatable problem. Daisies are used throughout – it is reported that children are particularly drawn to the daisy form.

Key plants: Sesleria (autumn moor-grass), Rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan), Echinacea (coneflower)

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.