In schoolyards and playgrounds there is climbing and scrambling. Children wander among the plantings looking for edible berries and small insects to admire.
Plantings in these areas are preferably free of thorns and spines and non-toxic to humans and animals. They are preferably robust species that can take a beating. They should be drought resistant and low maintenance.
Edible species of shrubs and perennials are great for a schoolyard or playground. Consider Hazel (Corylus avelana), the currant tree (Amelanchier lamarckii) and soft fruits such as raspberry and Red or Black currant. Herbs add an extra dimension with their aromatic leaves, such as Rosemary, Thyme and Sage.
Shade is a welcome addition to playgrounds and schoolyards. Larger trees with a broad crown are suitable for providing shade, for example, to an outdoor classroom or slide. Fast-growing species are interesting because, fairly soon after planting, they provide the desired shade. Suitable trees are Prunus avium, Acer pseudoplatanus, Malus baccata ‘Streetparade’, Tilia and also Walnut (Juglans).
Species that can withstand climbing and scrambling include Acer campestre and Carpinus betulus. However, Salix alba is also a good species because of its strong vigor and regenerative ability.
Children can sometimes forget in their play that plants are fragile. Therefore, applying robust species is our advice. It is advisable to cordon off planting beds with stakes or a low fence to prevent trampling.
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