Saturday, May 12, 2012

Backyard ballpark ...

One of the best memories of childhood was playing ball in our back yard. It was your average suburban space with lush St. Augustine grass and great oak trees that provided shade and served as bases (when I wasn't climbing them, of course).

My poor Mom broke her leg sliding into home base just beyond our back door during an enthusiastic game.

Despite the breaks, blood and bruises associated with outdoor 'play,' our family and friends spent endless hours of fun in the yard.

Those carefree days of my youth fueled my love for green lawns and entertaining al fresco today.

Image via Landscaping Ideas.

The photos above and below are great examples of the marriage between hardscape, with ample entertaining area and meandering walkways, and landscape that provides shade, texture and color.

Image via Plush Hemisphere.

Image via Landscape Ideas and Design.

Lighting is another component that seems paramount when entertaining once the sun goes down. And, I'm a devotee of water features that add interest as well as soothing sound.

Image via Katie Mitchell.

I find formal gardens so enchanting and would love to have spaces like those shown above and below. But, we live in a semi-arid climate where native plants thrive far better with our heat and shallow soil. Unfortunately, landscaping that needs frequent watering or a more temperate environment doesn't fair well here.

Image via Fairy Landscape.

But, where there's shade, there are people enjoying the outdoors year-round and finding inspiration in welcoming landscapes.

Image via Poppy Talk.

So, hurray for the native oak trees, soft carpet grass and hours devoted to playing ballgames, horseshoes, badminton, croquet, and dozens of other activities in the back yard.

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