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The Family Friendly Garden | Outdoor living by Maeve O’Neill

The Family Friendly Garden | Outdoor living by Maeve O’Neill

Outdoor living by Maeve O’Neill


Maeve’s design for this split-level garden features three distinct zones: a patio with a vibrant raised bed encased in Cor-ten steel; a lawn with a solid wall where the children can play ball; and a relaxed seating area at the back of the garden. There you’ll find a green-roofed playhouse with a sandpit and a studio room which can be used for an office or storage, or converted into a den when the kids are older. A pergola adds privacy, creating an intimate space to enjoy the morning sun. 

The planting throughout this garden is designed to encourage pollinators and wildlife. Low maintenance and low toxicity, it suits a busy family with young children who have a keen sense of adventure.

‘The plants are robust and will stand up to exuberant play. You don’t want to be the parent that’s always shouting “be careful off the plants!’  

says Maeve.

The planting list for this garden has been carefully selected to ensure the colour palette, height and texture work together, explains Maeve. ‘For instance, the green and purple tones of the grasses and Alliums in the foreground work with the yellows and whites of the climbers around the pergola. Being selective like this helps to create a more cohesive design for your garden.’ 

All imagery courtesy of Bloom by Bord Bia. With kind thanks to Gemma Smyth at

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