Keep your children safe in the garden this summer by getting to know your outdoor space. Here’s my guide to poisons, prickles, pets and ponds, with some help from The Royal Horticultural Society.

POISONS Be aware of the dangerous plants in your garden and educate your kids. Teach them not to attempt to eat any berries from your garden without your supervision. Keep a watch out for plants where the seed has been spread by bird poop too. The appearance of these plants can mean you don’t always notice new, and potentially dangerous plants, in the garden. Here’s a full guide to the dangerous plants in your garden.

PRICKLES Some plants can look harmless, yet have spines beneath their leaves. Likewise, some plants may have minuscule hairs on the stems or leaves, which can cause rashes and skin irritation. Nettle stings often occur during country walks, if this happens, do not scratch the area and either find a cold compress or dress with cool foliage (such as Dock leaves)! Find out more in the potential harmful plants list from The RHS.


PETS Animals should be encouraged to stay off your borders, not only will it keep your plants looking at their best, but it will also reduce their exposure to potentially poisonous plants. It will also stop dirty paw prints! Take particular care with lilies, as all parts of the plant can pose a risk to cats, either in the border or at home in a vase. If you have any concerns, then simply avoid having lilies in your planting plan. Read more about the risks posed to cats here.

PONDS Water can pose a major risk in the garden, however shallow. But, don’t panic, just make sure your children are supervised and any open water is fenced off and/or netted over. Some tips on keeping water safe can be found here.

More information on avoiding outdoor risks can be found on the RHS website, click here.

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