My wine making clients had been making wine from their backyard grapes for decades. They have a whole set up to make wine on site and every year they invite friends and family over to help them with the harvest (Seriously How Fun!).
Before: My clients' children are now grown and even though they had visits from their grand kids they were not interested in continuing to water the large unused lawn. They also love to host gatherings and wanted to add more ways to entertain their guests but were not sure what to do.
Design: Hearing all their stories of how they loved to entertain, started me thinking about creating more opportunities for them to hang out with their friends & family. They had the space for a bocce court and they jumped at the idea to have something different in the space that multiple ages could play.
To account for the new flow, I extended the bluestone on their current patio to create a larger sitting area around their current fire pit. This larger area now opens up to the new bocce court area. This helped create a much more inviting area to hang around the firepit. Plenty of additional seating space was also added around the court to account for several Adirondack chairs and a provide a prime focal point for my clients wood bear (reminding them of their college days at CAL).
A large planter was also added in the middle of the new bocce area as well. My clients' favorite deciduous tree anchors this bed. The deciduous tree adds shade during the hot summer months but lets the sun shine onto the site during the winter months. The rock planter also adds more seating opportunities especially for grand kids who love climbing on everything. Since my clients enjoy adding annuals to their garden every season, the planter is larger so that these bright flowers can be highlighted.
For this project, I used a more permeable material (decomposed granite) to surround the bocce court but used the traditional crushed oyster shells in the actual bocce court. The oyster shells on the court makes sure there is minimal bounce for the bocce balls. The shells over time fuse together (re-calcify) to create a dense playing surface that will remain porous (unlike other materials). The different materials also gives a great contrast so that the bocce court can really stand out.
After: My clients are loving their new bocce court and entertaining zone. They now have enough room to hang out with all their friends/family after a long day of harvesting grapes as well as just space to enjoy their wines in their own peaceful winery everyday.