Happy Monday and welcome to the fifth — and most fun, in my humble opinion — installment of “Not of the garden variety," a weekly, product-centric series that's all about exceptional, agrarian-minded outdoor living accessories and odds and ends — items for in and around the garden that you won't find in the backyards of every Tom, Dick and Harry. 


So far in the series, I've focused on things needed to merrily toil away in the garden with a look at heirloom-quality hand tools, protective gloves, stakes/markers of the non-plastic-variety, and botanical skincare products geared for rough garden hands. Before I get back to business next week with another utilitarian post on the "double T's" — trugs and twine — I thought I'd take a break from the act of gardening itself for a look at old school lawn and garden games that have experienced somewhat of a resurgence in recent years.


Fun, charmingly low-tech, and beloved by both sporty grandpas and their hipster grandchildren, these outdoor games have been around for eons and for good reason. Below you'll find a few popular choices ranging from classic croquet sets to vintage-style bocce kits. Many are handmade from real wood and other durable, long-lasting materials — no throwaway plastic backyard toys to be found here ... these are garden games meant to enjoyed for many seasons. Do you have a favorite garden game? Jarts? Cornhole? Quoits? 


Croquet Set @ Restoration Hardware ($114.49)














Ridley's Boules/Petanque/Bocce Set @ Blue Ribbon General Store ($16.95)














Pro Bocce Set @ Design Within Reach ($140)














Badminton Set @ Conran Shop ($59)















Original Viking Kubb @ Amazon.com ($59.99)














Horseshoe Set @ L.L. Bean ($69)















State Fair Line Lawn Bowling by Front Porch Classics @ Amazon.com ($71.37)














Jacques Magnum Tumble Tower ("Garden Jenga") @ Jacques London ($69.99)













Skee-Bean by Front Porch Classics @ Target ($49.99)














Richmond Croquet Set @ Jacques London($349.99)














Fredericks & Mae Bocce Ball Set @ Fredericks & Mae ($250)














Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Not of the garden variety: Games
Take a break from toiling away in the soil to enjoy a classic, grandpa-approved garden game like croquet, badminton, horseshoes, bocce or even giant outdoor Jen