Games in the Garden
If you plan to play Tennis or Croquet on your lawn, it must be dead level, with flat surfaces. It may be best to consult with an expert to level your grounds. In this case, you may want to choose an area where the lawn is most level for this type of activity.
If there is no level area, you will find it necessary to transfer soil from the higher to the lower parts of the ground. The operator should provide himself with a long straight- edge (about seven feet long) and a spirit-level, as well as a supply of stout wooden pegs.
The first step is to get the foundation approximately level. This is done using the straight-edge on the surface, or by sighting from tall pegs driven into the ground carrying cross-pieces fixed horizontally by means of the level. Drive in pegs over the whole surface six feet apart, and standing so much above the foundation so it will allow the amount of surface soil to be subsequently distributed over it.
Taking a central peg as a datum, work outward, adjusting each peg in turn by means of the straight-edge, and adjust until the tops of all are at the same level. Then simply fill in the soil to the tops of the pegs, or slightly over, allowing for subsidence and compacting by rolling. The pegs can then be removed anytime.
A tennis court has a net size of seventy-eight feet by thirty-six feet, or nine feet less in width for the single game. Additional width must be permitted for the poles and for the players. That means a total clear space of one hundred feet by fifty feet is not too great an allowance, and may be taken as the minimum space need for a comfortable and convenient game.
According to the revised rules of the Croquet Association, a croquet ground should measure thirty-five yards by twenty-eight yards, or in feet one hundred and five by eighty-four, and must be in clear turf. Decorations should be limited to items like a wall fountain, or something that can be kept out of the playing field.
The designer has the choice of two courses when determining the position of tennis of croquet placement. Space can be allotted to itself, being enclosed by a hedge or screen of trees or shrubs, placing it out of sight, so as not to disrupt the harmony of the rest of the setting. They could also be left out in the midst of the garden, as an obvious feature and component part of the garden design. Either plan has advantages and disadvantages.
If the garden area features straight lines, the rectangular turf for tennis or croquet would not be as evident for a type of garden iwhere the designer aims for a natural effect and winding walks were elements in the design.
There is no need to make any strict rules about the location of the gaming areas. They can be placed in any long and open stretch of land where they will not impact the horticulture growing in the area, and the space is enough for comfort and convenience.
Tennis lawns on grounds with a slight slope do not create attractive features, playing on the ideas of the "hanging gardens" of Babylon. Sometimes these lawns are considered indispensable, and if they must be used at the expense of much excavating and banking up, it is important to find ways to conceal the artificial lines, with the use of shrubbery and planting.
There is a revived interest in bowls, causing homeowners to create private bowling green’s on their grounds. The regulation size is forty yards square, but less width is admissible if space is restricted. Typically, the green is sunk below the general surface, and it is important for the green to be truly level. The sloping banks and the space adjacent to them need to be turf, the former as a check to the bowls, and the latter to provide a vantage ground for spectators.