For most of us, our landscapes say a lot about who we are and whats important to us. You can spot the yard of an avid gardener from a mile away. That backyard vegetable garden probably belongs to someone whos concerned about where his familys food is coming from. Take a look at this personal water park in Granite Bay, CA:
Think that homeowner enjoys hosting some wet and wild swim parties?
No matter your hobby, theres probably a way to incorporate it into your landscape. Sports lend themselves particularly well to specialized landscape features. Elaborate plastic-tiled basketball courts are gaining in popularity, going way above and beyond a simple hoop at the end of the driveway. And artificial-surface putting greens are the cornerstone of many a picturesque backyard, like Sandi Christians in San Clemente, CA:
But its not just mainstream sports. In northern climates, backyard ice rinks are hot, hot, hot. Some homeowners have had hundreds of tons of sand trucked in, dumped, and spread out to create their own beach volleyball court. In some areas, batting cages are tucked into the landscape and hidden by tall evergreens. Whatever game scores big with your family, theres likely a place in your yard to make it happen. My In-Laws, Steve & Penni, carved out a 12-foot-by-60-foot space for a bocce ball court in their Visalia, CA yard
where next weekend youll find me holding court all weekend long:
Of course, outdoor cooks have all kinds of tasty ways to whip up something special in their backyard. Gargantuan grills, super-sized smokers, and bad-ass BBQ pits are just the starter course. For an extra-large slice of something out of the ordinary, try a wood-fired brick pizza oven, like the one Rick and Jill Edgar tossed in to their Roseville, CA outdoor kitchen:
Let your imagination run wild and make your landscape a one-of-a-kind reflection of your tastes. Outdoor TVs let you turn your deck or gazebo into your own sports bar. Weatherproof movie screens and projectors create a cool neighborhood version of the classic drive-in. Looking for something more scaled-down and personal? When Scott Anderson steps out into his Nolensville, TN yard, its all aboard for a landscape like no other: