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Backyard Games: How About a Game of Chess?

Or Maybe Checkers??

Did you think backyard games meant the standard basketball or football?  What if you were looking for games anyone could play at any age?  How about chess or checkers?  That’s just what a Woodbury, Mn family was hoping for.  With six grandsons (between the ages of 7 to 17) and all of them interested in chess, it seemed like the natural thing to do.

The property is right up against a naturalized area. Over the years, the homeowners created gardens with paths as a buffer between the “wilds” of the wooded area and their back yard.  It seemed like the perfect place for a chess board and Landscape Designer Alyson Landmark accepted the challenge!

Games in the Garden

Games in the Garden

Largely hidden from view from the decks at the back of the house, you can just see the corner of the board and a few chess pieces through the archway and down the path.  It serves as a sculptural focal point, a destination point with a purpose to enter the gardens. The adjacent boulder retaining wall doubles as seating during play.

The "Board" is 10' x 10'

The “Board” is 10′ x 10′

Chess Anyone?

Chess Anyone?

The board is 8′ x 8′ with a 1′ border; three colors of Bluestone – the darkest and lightest squares were used in the board with an intermediate color for the border. The chess pieces are hard plastic, ranging from 18″ to 25″ in height (The king pieces are 25″). The bases can be filled with water or sand to hold them in place during the stormiest days.

This secret garden is more than a peaceful stroll through nature.  Now, it offers hours of fun for the whole family.


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