Safety In the garden is of paramount importance. It is a space for the whole family to enjoy, whatever their age, and a place where you entertain guests in the summer. Eliminating the danger from a garden is impossible, but sensible precautions can make the chances of an accident or another mishap unlikely.
Here are a few top tips for creating a safe backyard where old and young alike can relax and enjoy the fresh air safely.
All gardens benefit from water, but it brings an inherent danger. The sound of a trickling brook or a fountain enhances the space but if young children are in residence, you must consider the style of the feature carefully. It might be best to avoid the use of a pond completely until the children are a bit older. Though you have the best of intentions, you cannot keep your eye on them for every second of the day and they get up to all sorts of mischief. Children are naturally attracted to water, and accidents happen. If you insist on including a pond in your garden design, make sure there is a sturdy fence around it to keep the young ones out.
You could opt for a small feature that has water splashing over pebbles instead. These clever little units use an underground sump as a reservoir for the fountain. The water lands on the pebbles from where it falls back into the sump. There is little chance of drowning with these features, and you can make them a suitable scale for your area.
Are your trees in good condition? It is worth getting an expert opinion every five years or so to be on the safe side. Rickert Landscaping & Tree Service have seen it all before. The experts can spot signs of disease and weak limbs that pose a danger and deal with them accordingly. High winds can cause a branch to fall which poses a risk to people and property. Make a tree service part of your maintenance schedule, and you should have no problems.
Sometimes a patio made of flagstones can move a bit. You might notice that one of the slabs sinks at one end and causes the other end to rise. It is an obvious tripping hazard that you can fix in one day. Lift the slab, repair and level the foundation, and lay it once more. If the entire patio is affected, you must lift the whole thing and put it right, particularly if you are selling the house. The imperfection will make the garden look ugly.
Your young children might enjoy helping you weed the borders, and cats pose a danger to them. They enjoy burying their mess, and it carries the risk of infection. Toxoplasmosis is harmful to young kids and unborn babies, so do what you can to deter cats from your garden. There are now sonic deterrents on the market that activate when they detect movement. The sound should not be audible to humans, but it can bother young children, in my experience. You will never know if it is suitable for your yard until you try it.
I hope you find my advice invaluable and act before you encounter problems. Prevention is better than a cure, as they say.