Playhouse wonders

I honestly think that gardens are enjoyed most by children.

Of the few memories I have of my childhood, some of the clearest are playing in my grandparents' gardens.

The garden was enchanting and mysterious and a place of ceaseless adventure.

In today's world where everything is electronic I think it is really important to give children a good dose of the real world.

The world of yesteryear where communication was through the operator and gardens were an important part of family entertainment. Admittedly we can't go back in time but we can recreate a sense of wonder for our kids and grandchildren.

Why not build them a great playhouse, tree house or fort.

Little and not so little boys and girls love them.

They can be a beautiful addition to any garden.

But just remember you need to design it to suit your property.

It needs to be structurally sound and if under 10sqm it will not require a building permit unless it is on the boundary. Aesthetically I feel each playhouse should be a realistic replica of the main house.

This way you can add value to your property while investing wisely for the future generation.

If making a scale replica is too costly or difficult then use the same architectural style and finish with the same colour scheme. It is important to create a miniature garden around the playhouse where the children can take responsibility for caring and nurturing their garden.

This will in turn teach them some very valuable life lessons that are much harder to teach in other ways.

It would be good to get them to help build the playhouse so that they can take pride in their work, too.

The location of any playhouse is vital to its success.

The kids need to feel independent and as they grow they will want more freedom, so locate the playhouse where they can either be out of sight but within audible range or vice versa.

Some partial screening would be a bonus for them and for you.

Done right the playhouse would be a great addition to any family home. Playhouses are not cheap but there might be a handy grandparent wanting to help out - making it a tri-generation project - what better way to improve family dynamics. Whatever your project of choice you can have as much fun building it as the children will have playing in it.

And remember that when your kids are playing on their own, happily and safely, you can sit back and relax - making the playhouse an even better investment.

For designs search the web or get in touch with me to sketch up something for you that includes a great children-friendly garden.

All in all everyone wins when there is a playhouse at home.

The Marlborough Express