I’ve spent hours looking over the deck railing down on the lunar landscape below and trying to figure out what to do with it.
Our original idea was a bocce court, but even though the yard looks really, really big from up above, it turns out bocce courts are even bigger (for the record, regulation bocce courts are 76 feet long and 10 to 13 feet wide; a home court can be reduced to 60 feet long).
Then we thought, you know, bocce is so common. EVERYone does bocce these days, and besides, we love France best. Let’s do Petanque instead! That seemed like a very cool idea. Petanque is the provencal name for the French game of Boules, which is more of a tossing game than a bowling game, and the home court size can vary, making it easier to fit into an irregular shaped yard like ours. Still, whether it’s 18 x 50 feet or 12 x 46 feet or something else altogether, at 6 inches deep that is a LOT of base rock and other material to bring in by hand. It’s also a lot of heavy stuff over the leach field, which we weren’t entirely sure was a good idea.
My next thought was badminton, or maybe horseshoes. Badminton courts are 17 feet wide for a single court, which we could just squeak out at the net if we went with a non-standard diamond-shaped court, and 40 feet long. I staked it and tied it off with neon yellow string and then I looked at it from the deck and thought, that is an awful lot of brown to look down on. Horseshoe pits are smaller – 40 feet spike to spike but only 3-6 feet wide. I thought about combining the two, but I couldn’t get the image of someone jumping for a birdy and impaling themselves on a horseshoe spike out of my mind. And that’s where the garden design stopped last week.
That night on the way home we stopped at Wild Flour Bread in Freestone. They make fabulous bread and as a bonus they have a wonderfully inspiring organic garden that you can walk through. And as we strolled, admiring the archways of hops and berries, the soft, meandering sawdust paths, the bean teepees and pea trellises and various exotic greens mixed with flowers, we looked at each other and thought, “Who are we kidding – we don’t care about games; we want a garden like this!”
Seriously though, if you are thinking about a bocce court, you gotta check out this court. It may frighten you off or inspire you to new heights but either way it’s pretty amazing.