Ten Ideas for Family-Friendly Gardens

With spring upon us, now is the time to turn your attention to the great outdoors. If have children, and/or pets, it goes without saying that you will want to make your garden as child-friendly as possible. Here, Nelson Potter looks at ten ideas on how to create a family-friendly garden.

Nelson Potter Timber Merchants Suffolk sell a variety of timber garden products including garden chairs, wooden fencing, gates, summer houses, sheds, sleepers, decking materials, arches and arbours, and patio seating. Just click on the link above to see our complete range.

Wooden Fencing

High quality timber fencing not only looks attractive and defines borders, it is also a necessity to keep the youngest members of the family safely within the confines of your garden. From heavy duty to decorative fencing and eco-friendly, woven willow or hazel panels, Nelson Potter has a complete range that is both practical and decorative. And, the majority of fence panels sold from our Suffolk premises have gates to match.

Summer Houses

A summer house can be used as a children and toddler’s den, which will keep them amused for hours in the spring, summer, and over the colder months. It gives children their own space, and creates a ‘secret hideout’ where they can play with their toys and entertain their friends. Summer houses are a great purchase for adults too as they can be used to sit in and enjoy some peace and quiet in the daytime or evening. We sell garden buildings in all shapes and sizes, including summer houses with or without a veranda.

Timber Sheds

A child-friendly garden is not just about creating play areas for children. Just as important is keeping the garden safe so tools and machinery are out of reach of small hands. Here at Nelson Potter we sell a wide range of sheds in all sizes, including lean-tos and sheds with workshops, as well as timber buildings with various optional extras including shed locks, security bars, window top hinges and window grills.


Young children love playing in sandpits; building castles, walls and moats and making shapes are all great ways to stretch your child’s imagination and improve their social skills. You can make your own sandpit using softwood sleepers. We sell softwood and oak sleepers, which have a variety of uses including creating flower beds or sandpits. If you are building a sandpit, make sure it has adequate cover for the day or evening to keep cats at bay.

Garden Furniture

An al fresco dining area creates a fun, sociable space for the whole family to use, morning, noon or evening. It opens up a range of possibilities including hosting a barbecue, or an outdoor children’s party. Dining outside also eliminates any cooking smells and is easy to clean up, as diners can eat on paper plates that go straight in the bin, and any mess from spilled food or drinks can be easily be swept away or hosed down afterwards. We have a range of wooden picnic tables and dining sets that would look fantastic on a patio or decked area. They also have a space for an umbrella in the middle of the table, to protect against bright sunlight.


Timber decking is multi-purpose and can be used to create an outdoor dining space, party zone, relaxation spot, or a children’s play area complete with wooden climbing frames and activity equipment. If you have steps up to a decked area and have young children, it’s always a good idea to have banisters and barriers for safety reasons; we sell all you need for timber decking construction including hand rails and decorative or vertical spindle panels.


Creating arches and hideaways adds extra magic to a family-friendly garden, as children love playing hide and seek or exploring hidden areas. We sell a range of arches and arbours, which can be used for this purpose, and to grow climbing plants. Buy them to separate your garden into different zones, or to create hideaway corners so your children can dream up an enchanted garden.


Seating is a must-have in either a front, rear or courtyard garden and creates an area of rest and relaxation. Benches or double seating are also a great buy if you intend to do lots of entertaining, as extra garden seats are always welcome. As well as arbours, we also have a variety of alcove seats, benches and tree seats, which you can also use to watch your children as they play.


Pathways to fruit and vegetable patches, play areas, summer houses or secluded parts of the garden are always fun to have in a family-friendly outdoor space, and you can define pathways with wooden sleepers. Choose from a variety of materials to create walkways including mulch, concrete, gravel, coloured stones or turf.

Fruit and Vegetable Patches

Young children are often fascinated in growing their own plants from seeds, such as flowers, fruit and vegetables. They love planting and nurturing things, and get an added satisfaction of being able to pick their own fruit and vegetables to eat. You can section off areas of the garden with sleepers, or if you have a small garden, a window box or planters can be ideal for creating a growing area.

Nelson Potter is a one-stop-shop for wooden garden products and accessories. Browse our website today for more ideas on creating a family-friendly garden.

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