Georgia Lindsay’s Family Garden and ‘Bub Tub’ Competition

Calm and reassuring, the figure of a circle makes us think of a great big hug, and Georgia Lindsay, a finalist in  the 2014 Grand Designs Garden Design competition, created a garden full of them. We met the London-based designer during a family day out to the Grand Designs show last Spring and instantly knew we had to help her show it off!

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A gorgeous metal swing seat designed by Steve Myburgh (Myburgh Designs) provides comfortable and playful respite from all the action in the garden. Artificial turf is used throughout. This can be cut in shapes to help form the lids for the tugs and circular play spaces.

The colours and shapes of this wonderfully child friendly space made my children beam, a response Georgia was clearly aiming for:

“The circles were very deliberate. Soft curves seem much friendlier and child orientated than angular lines.” I also was taken with the boldness of simple colours and shapes that were. . .well, appealing.

Georgia-Lindsay A penchant for clean lines were traded in for a family garden resplendent with circles in order to create a family friendly and appropriate design.

“I am actually known for doing very clean lined contemporary gardens but for this Family Garden I made a deliberate decision to smooth out all the edges.”

The garden upholds the circular theme, from the choice of a single proliferating bloom–a daisy–to the circular-seats of the beautiful steel swing and Georgia’s signature ‘Bub Tub’ kiddie seats to the holes dug as an interchangeable sandpit or paddling pool or trampline recess, or even a fire pit for some grown-up fun!

The seating area is inviting, comfortable, and purposeful. The softly circular theme is maintained whilst remembering that children DO go to bed (after helping to put the toys away, of course) and then the adults do not want to be sat in the middle of a landscaped toy shop. To that end, she has oh-so-cleverly devised turfed fitting lids for the play pits.

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Georgia’s “Bub Tubs”: One of the attractions of the chairs is that they can easily transform back into a storage bucket once the kids have grown out of them. They also stack easily when the cushion is taken out and look fabulous in all the beautiful rainbow colours they come in. People also love that they can store toys in the little compartment under the cushion, a little bit less clutter is always a bonus with kids!

So how did she dream up this amazing landscape? “The brief of the competition this year was introducing colour to your garden,” she tells us. “It would have been too predictable using colourful plants to fulfil this brief so I purposely didn’t use any flowers with colour and chose the white daisies and green grass as a neutral palette.”

Atop this neutral palette are the play spaces and sitting spaces: a beautiful wrought metal swing seat hovers over a dug-out circle, giving the feeling of depth. The gentle steps up and down were designed to make the terrain easily navigable for little ones.  She is a mum of two toddlers, ages 2 years and 9 months and 11months, so the well-imagined and safely realised space is a true labour of love: “The garden was really a tribute to them,” she says, and “completely designed for that age group, hence the curved lines and easy heights to navigate.”

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Kevin McCloud, of the Grand Designs Show, called the garden “innovative and practical.”

Since the show this Spring, Georgia has been overwhelmed with interest in her design and for the “Bub Tub” she designed for the garden. “The reusable quality of them really has appealed to people. As we parents all know we go through kids’ paraphernalia so quickly as they grow out of things so fast.”

Innovative yet practical. And we really like that.

Creating Your Own Garden

daisiesGeorgia’s design was purpose-built as a small show space, but you can use some of her great ideas in your own garden, large or small.

Do consider the shapes of the things in your garden–choose furniture, flower beds, and blooms with rounded edges instead of sharp, angular ones. Georgia recommends sunflowers for rapid and impressive growth.

And back to the theme of purposeful–why not incorporate edible, weed-controlling blooms? “Strawberries are another great one, not only do you get the thrill of picking the juicy fruit but also the added pleasure of putting them to bed in a little nest of straw. All veggies give great satisfaction, I don’t think anyone could ever tire of the thrill of pulling a carrot from the ground and the condensed carroty smell which fills the air.”

 

Play Along and Win a Pair of Bub Tubs

Grand Designs Live Excel 3-11 May May 2014

These amazing little chairs are soft, stackable, and have toy storage underneath! Perfect for toddlers and pre-schoolers, for indoor or outdoor use.

This garden is so chock full of playfulness, irresistibly so. Mumsnet Local and Wanstead’s neighbourhood pub, The Duke, would love for you to play along, so here’s your big chance.

We’d love to hear your suggestions for simple, affordable child-friendly home gardens. The winner will receive a pair of Georgia’s signature Bub Tubs, pictured here. These are valued at £45 each. If you’d like to get up close and personal with the Bub Tubs, they’ll be at The Duke in Wanstead from Friday, July 25th until the competition closes.

Entries will be accepted from Friday, July 25th until Midnight on Sunday August 3rd. The winner will be chosen by Georgia Lindsay herself.

If you’re having trouble thinking of ideas, our friend at Mumsnet Suffolk and Norfolk has some great ones on her blog.

When you’re ready, post your idea to the Talk thread on Mumsnet Local – Redbridge. You must post your entry by midnight on Sunday August 3rd, 2014.

Good luck and have a wonderful, playful summer!

  • Find your Mumsnet Local web site here–register by updating your Mumsnet account and receive a customised monthly newsletter with all the latest happenings in your area.

duke wanstead

Head over to The Duke on Thursday 31st July & Friday 1st August at 10am when they will be hosting their Little Duke’s kids club.
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At Tumbling Bay Playground in the Olympic Park

I now see what everyone’s raving about. We visited the Tumbling Bay Playground at the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park at Stratford this weekend. It’s in our neighbouring borough of Newham, so just a short ride on the train. And yes, it’s totally WOW. Agreed.

Beautifully landscaped, the architects have taken pride in preserving the natural riverside environment as you walk up to the play area, which has been thoughtfully designed for kids of all ages: Sandpits, water play, climbing, a rope bridge, slides, and loads of green space to run and play. There’s plenty of space to picnic, or you can have a meal at the Timber Lodge cafe, which shares the play space.

The walk up to the play area is full of very picturesque views of the river and London in the distance. Modern art is playfully placed all around (see photos), and there’s a poetry installation at the Playground. We saw a poetry potter’s shed last Sunday with free workshops for the kids. And it’s just really cool to be in the Olympic Park.

We took a wrong turn on our way and ended up at the London Aquatic Centre. Another WOW! I’m booking in a swim for us next week. It’s easy to use during the week and busier on weekends. But as my 8-year old nephew said, “You’re going to swim in the pool where Michael Phelps swam? WOW!” The Copper Box also is now home to an amazing gym. We saw people playing table tennis outdoors.

Here’s some more WOW from the Park. For pics of the Playground, see the link to the web site, below:

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The view down to the river. One of several large spherical sculptures. The Park is full of modern art like this. During the Olympics, this space was used as a picnic area.

 

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Nearly there. . . a final hill of daffodils before we reach Tumbling Bay. Just there is the Athlete’s Village. These are privately owned flats. More are being built just behind the play area. Lucky local residents!

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A nice welcoming entrance to the play space, keeping the all natural theme.

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The view across to the Athletic Stadium, which will reopen in 2015 for the Rugby World Cup and then be home to West Ham United’s football team. Next to it is that thing. . . er, the ArcelorMittal Orbit, which you can still climb for a view of the Park.

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Yes, there was a lot of tumbling at Tumbling Bay. . .

How to get there: Many people cycle to this park, but if it’s not local to you, then you can easily take public transportation. From Stratford International rail/bus/tube, it’s a 15-minute walk (through Westfield and then out on the main road) OR two stops on bus route 388 to the Copper Box stop.

Tumbling Bay Playground’s web site: http://queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk/the-park/attractions/tumbling-bay-playground

The Promise of Camellias

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I took the girls to Valentine’s Mansion and Park this morning. Beaming sunshine beckoned us outdoors instead of to mass; we’ve been under the weather for what seems like weeks now, so our bodies are craving vitamin D and outdoor play. A quick glance at the weatherstation promised rain. I ignored that. Got to the park, aboard tricycle and scooter, and realised that the sun was quickly disappearing. A quick look at the ducks and geese in the pond before hitting the playground, and I spotted this lovely Camellia bush aching with abundant flowers and had to take a photo (or five). My little ones are used to me wanting to look at flowers and plants and trees and so indulged me for a moment. It’s just the loveliest flower, bright and big and bold against vibrant evergreen foliage. And at a time of the year when one seems just desperate for bright, big, bold, and vibrant. Glad I ignored the weatherstation this morning. Am happy now.