We all have time at home now and what better way to spend it than bringing back some classic yard games from the past? We’ve been talking about this for years and I’m happy to say that we are now happily playing Badminton, Bocce and Croquet in this lovely pre fall weather. These are simple, inexpensive games and you only need a bit of flat(ish) lawn.
Croquet probably originated with 13th century French peasants hitting a ball through hoops made of willow branches. Introduced to the U.S. as “Crooky” from England, it became super popular with Hollywood celebs in the 30”s. We glammed our game up with flowing garden dresses and a “tea party” spread.
Invite some friends and pack a yummy picnic and it’s a fun afternoon! To make these easy sandwiches just mash softened cream cheese with assorted herbs like parsley, chives and or dill. Add thinly sliced cucumber if you like. Light and so refreshing! The classic southern pimento cheese has roasted red peppers and is nothing like the store bought kind. Shortbread cookies, fruit and tea with mint simple syrup round out the spread and keep the energy going..
Bocce is an Italian game that is isn’t as well known here but it should be. It consists of 8 plastic larger balls (bocce) and a small white one (pallino) There are official and perfectly flat bocce courts (even 71400 Autun has one) but we have lots of fun just roughing out the dimensions in the grass and having a throw at it.The rules are simple – just basically seeing who can throw the ball closer to the pallino. Perhaps some refreshing Pellegrino or prosecco…just keep it Italian! Bocce (boe-chae )is the plural of boccia (ball). When a bocce ball touches the pallino it’s a baci which means kisses!! Easy knit sets or graphic tees with shorts are perfect to throw on for this. Or play chic Italian with neutral seperates like a clean black pant, sneakers and an easy top.
Badminton has origins from 2000 years ago. But modern badminton comes from 19th c. British India and the estate of “Badminton” in England. In the United States it became a popular backyard sport in the 30’s. I remember it fondly from my 50’s childhood. So don a cute vintage inspired outfit and enjoy a revival of retro games. You won’t regret it.