Friday, June 24, 2016

Let The Games Begin....

... or in this case, Let the Boules begin!

A year and a half ago my parents rented a cottage on Omaha Beach, Normandie, France and took all of us on an amazing vacation. 

The cottage was a converted gatekeeper's cottage from an old, large estate! 
We toured the D-Day beaches by day, visited the local markets for delicious food to have at "home" in the evenings and had so much fun playing on the Boules court in the backyard of our cottage.

From this viewpoint ( picture above) you look through the fence and over the rolling hill to hedgerows that are still thick and standing. If you remember WWII history the hedgerows in France helped to stop German tanks. It really was an amazing place to visit. So many stories came to life ... all the history class lessons and movies and books through the years. My family lives in Bedford, VA which is home to the DDay Memorial. The "Bedford Boys" are a very famous part of the story of DDay and the liberation of France. My brother in law grew up in Bedford with some of the Bedford Boys who survived DDay.

We had such a great time drinking delicious French wine and eating fruit and cheese from the markets that we wanted to replicate the fun at home!

So last Fall we began our Boules Court believing that it would be ready for Winter fun.
We have a sunken firepit off of our porch and we thought wine, cheese, firepit fun and Boules sounded perfect.

But like all outdoor projects in Georgia, it begins with leveling the rolling ground :)
Last fall. Dreary and gray weather.

It gets ugly before it gets better!
We had most of the timbers and we had to transplant a few things to make space.

And  we  my husband dug and dug. 
And then we seemed to be responsible for causing the rainiest Fall
 in recent Georgia weather history.
We couldn't get a dry day or the ground dried out to dig.
So the project just sat in it's half finished state through the Winter.
It happens. #unfinished projects!

And then it warmed up and we got productive in the Springy weather!
We just do better when it's warm and sunny.

So we started digging and leveling and hauling stuff around.
The Mother's Day crab boil with friends became the new deadline.
And we made it!! Barely.

I mean barely!
It's a construction zone!
If you look closely you can see saw horses
and ladders leaning where we worked on the small pavilion
 that has Adirondack seating on it.

Propped up lattice and the "burn" pile from pruning around the court..
Generally a mess!


The only thing we really had to purchase was a truckload of finely ground granite.
In this picture it is newly laid and leveled and still not compacted.
It has become very firm over time and we have a bin of loose granite that we can sprinkle and level the court with as needed.

( Wheelbarrow and dirt pile still at the end of the court on Mother's Day.)

The construction mess did not keep us from having a ton of fun playing Boules
 (Bocci, Lawn Bowling - choose your country!)

Our court is not the regulation 91 feet. 
The one we played on in France wasn't regulation either and we had a ton of fun. 
We made ours as long as we had space for, added some seating and in just the few weeks we've had it we have had a ton of laughs out back!
We still want to add some lights and a holder for the balls and a sign with the rules.
Maybe I'll have pretty, blogworthy pics by Summers' end.

But we haven't let that or the lovely dirt pile and unfinished landscaping keep us from enjoying our Boules court with family and friends!

Having a boules court in the backyard?
C'est magnifique!

Linking up:
Savvy Southern Style


  1. It's a family favorite at the beach - now I need one in my yard! Love it!

    1. It's a great backyard addition. I highly recommend putting one in. And if I were closer to the coast like you I would use the oyster shell bocce blend I saw in Charleston!1