Got a Hobby? Take it Outside!

June 3rd, 2010 by
For most of us, our landscapes say a lot about who we are and what’s important to us.  You can spot the yard of an avid gardener from a mile away.  That backyard vegetable garden probably belongs to someone who’s concerned about where his family’s food is coming from.  Take a look at this personal water park in Granite Bay, CA:

Backyard Waterpark

Think that homeowner enjoys hosting some wet and wild swim parties? No matter your hobby, there’s 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 Christian’s in San Clemente, CA:

Putting Green In Backyard

But it’s 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, there’s 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 you’ll find me holding court all weekend long:

Backyard Bocce Ball Court

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:

Backyard Pizza Oven

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, it’s “all aboard” for a landscape like no other:

Backyard Railroad