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How to Landscape a Kid-Friendly Backyard in Omaha

Omaha is a city that has hot, humid summers. During the warm months, children like to play outdoors, so it's a good idea to landscape your backyard into a kid-friendly place. Use these ideas to inspire your project.

Divide Up the Backyard

Both children and adults utilize the backyard, so divide it into two areas, one for play and the other for quiet times. The latter can be for adults as they relax and keep an eye on children and also for kids who want to read or play solitary games.

Ask your local Omaha landscaper to divide the sections with a low evergreen hedge, a perennial flowerbed or container plants. Place a couple of garden chairs and a table or a hammock in the "getaway" section.

Best Kid-Friendly Plants

Fun, easy-to-grow plants suitable for Hardiness Zone 5 include:

  * Sunflowers: Helianthus annus. The brilliant yellow flowers of this indigenous plant are always a hit. Plant them in a circle to form a small hideaway spot.

  * Peonies: Paeonia. The scent of peony flowers delights children. They come in a variety of colors, ranging from white to pink or red.

  * Marigolds: Tagetes. Once the weather is warm, let your children scatter marigold seeds in a flowerbed, and watch their joy as the plants appear within a few days. Masses of colors and flower sizes are available.

  * Thyme: Thymus vulgaris. Introduce kids to herb growing with lemon thyme, a strong-scented plant that is best grown from cuttings.

Choose plants with care, ensuring you don't grow poisonous vegetation. A number of websites offer lists of toxic plants, so research to avoid these varieties and consult with your landscaper.

For the Play Area

One of the main aims of a kid-friendly backyard is get children outdoors and active. Swings, seesaws and jungle gyms are ideal and easy to source.

Your landscaper may even have contacts with playground equipment suppliers. Additional ideas to incorporate in your backyard:

  * Sandpit: Kids of all ages love to play with sand. Add digging tools and a portable paddling pool (water play must always be supervised by an adult) and erect a shade tarp for the hot Omaha days.

  * Storage for toys: Use the space under your deck seating bench or build or purchase a toy box for smaller outdoor toys. This encourages kids to care for their belongings and keeps your backyard clutter-free.

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