Monday, July 10, 2017

Magnolia Tree We Planted for Rylie's 12th Birthday

When we  moved out from our first home, it was  bittersweet.  because  we made a lot of great memories from that home.  EJ is still having a hard time accepting the fact that we sold our first home.  He was  very attached to the  house where he  grew up and lived in for 9 years of his life.  
Another thing that we will always remember in our Park Avenue home  was the cherry tree that we planted when Rylie was 2 years old, she helped us plant it in the front lawn.  So to recreate those memories, we planted a Magnolia tree on her 12th birthday.  
 Planting a tree is not  a typical  thing to do on birthdays but I thought it would be memorable and symbolic to do that.  This tree would help  shield us from the business  part of our area.  Right now, the only thing that separate our home to the  business area is a fence which is  starting to fall apart.
 I can't wait to see this tree grow and  see  it's beautiful bloom in the Spring.  It would take probably a couple of years before this blooms, we will see.
 We planted  pines last year with the same reason, shielding our home to the business area.  Hopefully, the tree and the pines will grow  quickly and  give us shade and barrier from the  other side of our property.
 I wrote the message  on a piece of wood and  stained it.
 Right now, the tree is as almost as tall as the kids so we will see the growth each year.
 Even Bolt was very enthusiastic in helping out with the planting.
 You can learn more about the Magnolia tree here.
I love how Magnolia tree looks like when it blooms during Spring time.  I can't wait to see ours bloom in  few more years.  

Monday, July 3, 2017

How to Create a Family-Friendly Garden

During the summer months, there is nothing better than getting out in your garden to spend some time together as a family. And you will get even more enjoyment out of your outdoor space if you make it as family friendly as possible. It is very easy for everything to get taken over by the kids, but if you separate out the different areas, you can create a space that is great for everyone. Of course, what constitutes a family-friendly garden really varies from person to person, but here are a few general tips that will get you started.

Divide Your Garden into Zones

To start off with, you should make a plan of how you are going to divide up your garden. Check out some advice here  So, you may have an area where your kids’ play equipment is kept and a separate section where you have a flowerbed or vegetable patch. You may also want to create an area for entertaining where you put the chairs, table and barbecue. Ultimately, you want to have different areas depending on the various functions of your garden. Of course, it is nice for them all to overlap, but you may decide that there are some sections that are out of bounds for the kids. If you are a keen gardener, you don’t want all your hard work to end up getting trampled on! Depending on how old your kids are, you may want to put their equipment in view of the house so you can keep an eye on them on their own. However, if they are a little older, you may want to give them an area that is more shielded.
Choose Some Equipment for the Kids

One of the most exciting aspects of the garden for your kids is the equipment you choose for them. At the cheaper end of the scale are the bright and bold plastic items that you can pick up from various places. A swing set is high up on the list for many kids, so take a look at the stylish metal ones that are available at Another great option that is fun for kids of all ages is a trampoline, and you may also find yourself enjoying it too! If you want to encourage them to try something a little more sporty, you could go for something like a badminton net or table tennis table. If you are particularly handy and good with your DIY tasks, another option is to make some play equipment yourself, though you need to make sure that everything is entirely safe for use.

Make Sure the Garden is Safe

You will find it much more difficult to get the maximum enjoyment out of your garden if you are constantly worried about the kids. Ultimately, it all depends on the age of your kids and also how much of a sense of personal safety that they have. First of all, be careful with any water features that you have in your garden. If you have a pond already, you may need to put some grids across so toddlers can’t fall in. A good way to help your kids avoid getting hurt when they fall over is to make sure that your lawn is well-kept so that it softens their fall. Watch out for plants that could cause them harm like nettles or brambles and any others that may cause some sort of skin reaction.
Encourage Wildlife into Your Garden

A great way to encourage enjoy the garden as a family is to attract different types of wildlife into the area. So, you could start by putting up some nesting boxes containing different types of seed to encourage birds to breed. You are also more likely to get them into your garden by putting up a birdbath so they have a water source to drink and wash. Planting trees and hedges is another good way to do this as they allow all types of wildlife to seek shelter in them including birds, squirrels and hedgehogs. We already talked about making sure that your pond is safe, but if you have one of these, you can keep fish in there as well as attracting all kinds of frogs and insects.

Do Some Gardening as a Family

There is nothing like getting together as a family to do some gardening together. Start off with something simple where you start seeing results quickly such as sunflowers, poppies and marigolds. A great way to generate some enthusiasm about gardening is by growing some vegetables. Not only do you get to see the results, you get to eat them as well and things always taste better when you have grown them yourself! With so much advice available online, there is plenty of information out there to help you get started.

Sprinklers, Water Pistols and Slides

When the weather starts getting warm, it is a great idea to have a water fight with the family. Sprinklers are a fantastic way to get wet while also making sure that the whole garden is well watered! And many people also set up their own DIY water slides using some plastic sheets. Otherwise, a classic water pistol fight is something that people of all ages can enjoy.

Don’t Worry About Trying to Make Everything Perfect

The whole point of having your garden is to give you a space that you can enjoy. If you have too many rules and regulations, it will be difficult for you to get the maximum fun out of your outdoor space. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can’t take pride in your garden and have everything looking great, but just remember that you don’t want perfectionism to get in the way of your fun.   

These are just a few ways that you can create a fantastic family-friendly garden this summer. All you have to do then is enjoy the weather as long as it lasts and get outdoors as much as possible!

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