Child Proof Landscaping?

by Ben Bowen

The fountain of youth. The meaning of life. The perfect cupcake. These are things mankind has spent lifetimes searching for. I would like to add another thing to that list- a kid proof landscape.

Notice I said "kid proof" not "kid friendly". Kid friendly landscaping is easy, just give them places to run, play, hide, and imagine. Kid proof? A landscape that kids (any kids, but especially mine) can't destroy? That's what I am searching for.

Kids dig holes. They kick and throw balls into bushes. They fall into the garden. They collect rocks from the beds and pile them in the lawn... What kind of destruction do your kids inflict on your landscape?

In my search for child proof landscaping I have come across some great ideas. Here are just a few that you can try:

Yeah, they are cute, but mom is pretty protective.

Yeah, they are cute, but mom is pretty protective.

  • To stop digging in the lawn try chicken wire. A layer or two of chicken wire under your lawn will keep the kids from digging deep holes. Just don't let grandma buy them wire cutters.
  • Bushes with thorns. Fill your planting areas with roses and barberry. I am guessing your kids will figure out how not to fall in them over and over.
  • Start raising wolverines in the backyard. Self explanatory, but a bad idea if your neighbors have chickens.
  • Video games. Classic misdirection. Keep their eyes glued to the screen and they won't even notice that the garden is ready to be ransacked.

Or, like me, you can just give up. Plant your beds and garden and then seed the lawn. Get it as strong as you can now, while it's rainy and the kids are in school. Maybe, just maybe, some of it will survive a summer full of digging, soccer balls, fort making, and hide-and-seek.