Dream Gardens for Early Years – Wish List

Wood stained trees on top of a mud kitchen

Our Dream Toddler Garden Update

It’s starting to feel like Spring is almost here. The snowdrops are piercing through the ground and daffodils are beginning to flower. We’ve been out in the garden while the sun has been shining tidying up and making plans.

We’ve now got the basic landscape of the garden in place and it’s time to get creative with the space. Last year we devised a wish list for our toddler friendly garden. Some things got completed, but others needed to wait.

Our Dream


Have you ever been somewhere magical? Somewhere peaceful, calm yet, intriguing and exciting that you just can’t wait to explore. That’s how I felt when I went to Japan and walked around many Japanese gardens. I was lucky enough to travel when it was Cherry Blossom season; so beautiful. I want somewhere magical for Floss to adventure in our own back garden.

Toddler Friendly Garden – The Reality

Garden before photo - dream garden plan

Sadly, our garden hadn’t even got turf! Spring sprung and turned the ground into a glorious green and purple carpet of wild weeds. From this view it almost looks like turf, but up close the milk thistles could swallow you whole and still be hungry!

Toddler Friendly Garden – The Plan

Luckily, I had a plan! A rough one, a work in progress. I wanted to work out how I could have a garden for our little one, Floss (18 months old), yet still have somewhere that DadDad and I could enjoy on the evenings without having to feel like we were in an early years outdoor classroom. I got inspiration from Garden Answers Magazine’s Design Solutions article.

What I liked about it was the idea of different zones in the garden, hidden areas and making a feature out of play equipment – like the house. So, my first job was to make a list of the lovely things I was hoping to have in our garden. You’ll see separate post for different aspects of the garden at the end of this post. They include ideas and great resource finds to go with things on my wish list. I’ll also be sharing our wilderness as it transforms into a beautiful oasis for our family; well fingers crossed that’s the plan!

The Wish List

Mud Kitchen
Hedgehog Hotel
  • Low level planting area
  • Tuff trays at different heights
  • Seating at different levels
  • Herb garden
  • Fruit trees
Bug Hotel
  • Bug hotel
  • Japanese maple tree
  • Places to eat
  • Den building

Additions to the Wish List

  • Creative area
  • Book nook
  • Relaxing/ calming space

What would be on your wish list? Where did you get inspiration for your early years space?

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