In the Garden; Play, Relax…. Repeat

There’s still time.

There’s still a little more time before summer is over, so I always feel the responsibility to make the most of it. Entertaining a few more times, playing a little harder and generally having as much fun as possible in the time available. But, of course, to do that well you also have to be sure and rest up regularly.

That’s what I try to do with a garden design ….pack in as much versatile, flexible space as possible so there is room for fun and room to rest. After all, a garden is just a microcosm of life and we need a balance of sun and shade, activity and repose.

Here are three of my favorite garden designs that exemplify the idea… play….. relax… repeat.


   —  Plenty of Privacy and Room for Entertaining —–

kids play on reduced lawn

PLAY. Kids love lawn. Of course we’re trying to reduce our lawns here in the west and this design reduced the old lawn by 75%. Now the garden has room for many types of activities which makes it great for adults and kids.


boy relaxes on garden bench

RELAX. By reducing the lawn we could increase the deck and add well-placed benches to create room for relaxing.


room for fountain and kids

REPEAT. The new design adds a permeable paver area with a statuesque fountain that draws the eye from all parts of the garden. Everybody’s happy.


—–  A New Landscape for a Young Family  —-

boys drive toys in dirt

PLAY (before). Sometimes kids can be happy with just a patch of dirt…but often the adults in the family want a little more.


garden swing with arbor and platform

RELAX. The new design for this young family includes a substantial bench swing and arbor that matches elements of the house architecture.


garden swing and play path

REPEAT. The re-design includes something for everyone and the path around the garden was specifically sized for the wheel base of the kids buggy…now they have a racetrack and mom can watch from the swing.


—– Relax and Play for a Maturing Family in the Redwoods  —

cat at play with bolles

PLAY. Yeah…I love to add petanque courts and creating this one, as well as adjacent patio seating areas, reduced the original lawn by about 85%.


cat relaxes on garden boulder

RELAX. Boulders can be carefully chosen and strategically placed to form casual seating as well as proper tables and chairs.


cat at rest in petanque court

REPEAT. Sometimes its hard to know what you want to repeat…playing or relaxing.


Want to know more about petanque (aka bolles) courts? Here’s my recent article for The Designer Magazine that explains what, why and how (pg 57). Check out the other great articles, by APLD designers, on choosing furniture for your garden and more.



Petanque for The Designer

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Categories: Enjoying the Garden, Landscape Design


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One Comment on “In the Garden; Play, Relax…. Repeat”

  1. August 12, 2014 at 6:38 am #

    Kitty is loving life too.

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