I received my $50 gift card to spruce up my yard for Spring. My front yard is not the safest place, the grass is high with a cement type sidewalk around it, then it drops to the cement. Squirrels also like to bury their nuts in our yard, lol, so it's all bumpy. They play on the cement on this side if they are playing with chalk. This is the house I grew up in and my grandfather (who used to live in the Apt I live in now, I am in a 3 family, my dad is on the second floor and is my landlord) had a couple gardens over there. Most of them are still growing and there, but there are these little cement things by the fence that he had flowers in that have since died. I am going to buy some seeds and what not so my 4 yr old and I can plant some flowers of our own for her to take care of.  What are some good flowers that can be planted between April and May?

This is that area

My back yard is where the kids play more. There is not much to it. Unfortunately over the years it is slowly sinking down into the parking lot behind it. This is the area the kids go in the kiddie pool or just play in the sprinkler. I have no clue, I was thinking of getting them a slide and picnic table, but then I saw some little swing sets that were around $150. I don't live in the best neighborhood so a picnic table and slide will have to be able to fold up so I can bring it in at night, or I will have to chain it up so no one can steal it.  A swing set on the other hand can not be easily stolen and the people who live on the 3rd floor have a 15 month old grandson that they have 2 days a week who can also benefit from it. I just really don't know if this is enough space for one and how my dad is going to feel about it taking up all the space back there. It will make it hard to cut the grass. lol

This is the view standing on the porch, you can see where the fence to the left and ground is falling into the parking lot. The little bit of grass before the fence leads to the driveway. That fence was not there before, my dad, husband, and brother put it up so there would be a barricade from the driveway/street when the kids played out there.

That gate opens up because my brother would occasionally need to put his other car back there.

My kids (the girls in the pink bathing suits) and their friends playing back there on Wednesday. With the kids in there, it kind of shows the amount of space I have to work with.

What are some other idea's I can use for this space, preferably for the kids.

HERE IS THE LINK TO WHAT I PURCHASED... ASSIGNMENT #2  http://www.cafemom.com/group/107447/forums/read/11235700/I_went_to_KMART_today_w_my_50_Gift_Card


by on Apr. 9, 2010 at 12:05 PM
Replies (11-16):
by on Apr. 9, 2010 at 3:59 PM


Quoting Bmat:

Petunias are easy and spread a bit, so they would cover up that cement block area.


A hundred years from now... it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove... but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child. -Kathy Davis

by Bronze Member on Apr. 9, 2010 at 4:52 PM

 I suggest perennials , bulbs, fruit and veggie plants  from KMART...

Perennials ..  plant them, water a little and they are on their own, they come up every year. You can split them up and transplant, one small plant [always buy the smallest of what you like] and you will have a ton to transplant in years to come.

Hosta would be perfect for the cinder blocks, they would hide the blocks and create a nice border ... come in various variegated foliage... green all season long ... and you do not have to worry about bee stings.  Alyssum would add color all season long and will return next year. A bag of bulbs would provide color for years to come. You could buy a bag of mulch  and spread over to dress it up a little and hide the cinder blocks.

Flowers and herbs not only add spectacular colors and interest in the vegetable garden but can appeal to a child’s sense of smell as well.  Sunflowers, zinnias, and numerous other flowers may also attract butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden.

KMART has a hummingbird feeder" for $4.49 ... http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_10104_043W454847120001P?vName=Outdoor+Living&cName=Outdoor+Decor&sName=View+All&sbf=Brand&sbv=Perky-Pet

Children love to touch soft, fuzzy plants. Appeal to these needs with plants such as lamb’s ear. Don’t forget sounds; adding unique features such as water fountains, windmills, and chimes will often spark additional interest in a child.

Children love to snack; include favorites like cherry tomatoes, strawberries, or peas.

Beans are great for little kids ...   runner beans offer more yield in the same space (because they grow upwards!) and you can experiment with growing the beans over arches, creating a tunnel of runner beans through which the children can walk or make a bean tepee! Plus the kids usually eat them off the vine.

Since you are concerned about vandalism ...  How about building  a sandbox for the children and attaching to the fence? http://www.ehow.com/how_2320199_make-wooden-sandbox.html  ... If you want it a little more elaborate,  you could add a 52X90 multi-color canopy  for $29.99 for the sandbox:   http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_10104_418NE44030000000P?

A place to escape from the sun ... http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_10104_510000000000MM04P?vName=Fitness%20&%20Sports&cName=Camping&Hiking&sName=Tents&psid=FROOGLE&sid=KDx20070926x00003a

 a screen tent for the children ...  http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_10104_51000000000CT022P?vName=Fitness+%26+Sports&cName=Camping+%26+Hiking&sName=Tents


by on Apr. 9, 2010 at 7:12 PM

Thanks Ladies! We have thrown around the idea of the sandbox too, but are still up in the air about it. Perennials sound like my best bet since I do not have a green thumb (though depending how we do, I am thinking of making bigger plans for next year!). Cadence (my 4 yr old) is asking about Tulips. Anyone know much about tulips? I am getting so excited about making my yard prettier. When I was a kid, that back yard was a huge vegetable garden. We have grape vines all over the wooden fences and we have a little grassy ally way on the side of my house that was all corn stalks too.  Planting things kind of reminds me more of my grandfather too, I like the idea of also doing it for him, I miss him all the time and I have some flowers left over to remind me of him, I just want to add to it.

Cafe Jenn
by Head Admin on Apr. 9, 2010 at 7:17 PM

Tulips are a fall bulb.  You can get some in the fall and plant them and they'll come up next spring. 

You could check around garden centers too.  A lot of time they'll mark down their Easter flowers to next to nothing and you can use those bulbs to plant too.

by on Apr. 9, 2010 at 7:27 PM

Petunia's!!! I just looked up what those were and those are what my grandfather had in those cement blocks when I was a kid!!!  I think I might go with those. I never realized how hard of a decision this would be.  Maybe if I did half in Petunia's then maybe some with Tulips?

Quoting jrp0606:


Quoting Bmat:

Petunias are easy and spread a bit, so they would cover up that cement block area.


Mommy to Cadence (4-27-06) and Savannah (9-30-08)

by on Apr. 9, 2010 at 7:31 PM

Thanks, it might even be nice to do it that way too, I think Cadence would be excited to know that something she planted grew, no matter when it comes up. :)

Quoting Cafe Jenn:

Tulips are a fall bulb.  You can get some in the fall and plant them and they'll come up next spring. 

You could check around garden centers too.  A lot of time they'll mark down their Easter flowers to next to nothing and you can use those bulbs to plant too.

Mommy to Cadence (4-27-06) and Savannah (9-30-08)

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