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Gardens come in a number of guises and the larger the garden is, the more you can do with it in terms of setting out areas for different uses.

My garden, being tiered, lends itself to natural splits.  One of those splits is the main lawn area.  Apart from it being nice to have a decent grassed area, it also doubles as what I call my ‘games lawn’.  It’s not a big area in terms of being able to play energetic games.  If you were lucky you might get away with badminton, though I suspect it would be a little windy for that.  Therefore I have somewhat more leisurely games for the garden.  However while they may be leisurely, non-competitive I can assure you they are not.  I have even gone as far as cutting certain areas of the lawn to a different height to provide clear playing areas.

I thought I’d mention some of the garden games I have as they are not necessarily the most common ones, but they are great fun and just a few games can get people heading off to buy their own.  The three games I’m going to mention below are fairly easy to set up, don’t have rules that are overly complicated and can be played by just about anyone.  Hopefully you’ll find a new fun game from them.

The first of these games is the first garden game I got.  I spotted it on the internet and thought that it was sufficiently different to raise interest!  (That proved to be an understatement which I’ll mention later).  Let me introduce you to Smite.  For me the name of the game is great as well and reminds me of the quote from Bruce Almighty ‘Smite me oh mighty smiter’.  In some respects it’s a game of skittles, but has some nice differences.  The smiter (used to knock down the pins) is cylindrical and surprisingly light!  This means that it has the ability to bounce in front of a pin and either go straight over or round in a semi-circle behind it without ever touching the pin itself.  The other nice touch is that wherever the pins fall is where they get stood back up, so the playing area expands as the game develops.  I won’t go into all the scoring and such here as I just wanted to give an idea of what’s involved.  There’s a website you can check if you want to.  It’s a surprisingly addictive game.  My mother has two sets, sort of a home and away set.  Another friend had bought a set online before he had even finished playing his first game!  I even got people at work playing during a lunch time when I requested to play it as an alternative birthday activity (normally eating at a restaurant).  It was a success then as well with a number of colleagues looking into getting sets in the future!

The second of these games is call Kubb.  This caught my eye as it’s a bit like smite, but played in teams.  It does have some differences as well though.  As a team game, there’s no scoring like there is in Smite.  There is also a defined playing area split in half, one for each team.  The basic idea is to knock down all the pins on your half of the play area and then knock down the king.  What makes the game last longer (hopefully) is that any pins knocked over by a team become pins for the other team to have to knock over.  In theory a game could last for hours.  Again the batons to knock down the pins are cylindrical so make it as equally frustrating as Smite can be.

The final game I’ll mention is Tournament of Knights.  This has similarities to Kubb in that you have pins to knock down before aiming for the ‘Lady’.  It is also played in teams and is similarly turn based.  Unlike the previous two games though you are throwing balls at the pins rather than cylinders.  It does, however have more complicated rules to it and has a number of different ‘stages’ in the game, thus making it longer in the set up and explanation.  However if you are looking for something that you can take your time over, then it is certainly worth considering.

I have all three of these games and enjoy them as something different to play but at the same time are fun and sociable games as well.

I should add, given the nature of some of the blogosphere, that I am in no way connected with any of these games financially or otherwise and have no gain in any respect in mentioning them.  I should also add that there are lots of other garden games available that will be equally entertaining.

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