ISSUE 25  |  Bath and Spa

5 Favorites: Tennis Courts So Beautiful You Won’t Care About the Score

June 22, 2012 5:00 PM

BY Michelle Slatalla

This much is known about the perfect tennis court: Its playing surface must be 36 feet wide and 78 feet long for doubles, and the net should be three feet high at the center. The rest is commentary.

Grass, clay, or bouncy synthetic: Building a court is not a poor man’s hobby. But let us not dwell on construction costs that can spiral upwards of, oh, $50,000. Let us instead pretend we have inherited a tennis court, perhaps from a rich and distant great-uncle. (Bear with us on this—it’s a variation of our long-lost-dead-relative’s-beach-house inheritance fantasy.) When the will is read, we learn a separate bequest has been made for beautification. Upon exiting the estate lawyer’s paneled library? Our first call would be to NY-based landscape architect Edmund Hollander. Here’s why:

Photographs via The Private Oasis.

Above: A beach side tennis court can be integrated into its surroundings with plantings of juniper, crepe myrtle, bayberry, and grasses.

Above: A court’s fence becomes its most visible landscape element from a distance. A hedge will help hide it.

Above: Grass is the surface that requires the most maintenance and care.

Above: A polished concrete terrace and oak fencing with netting, backed by a hedge of clipped beech.

Above: Mr. Hollander has turned many tennis court fantasies into realities for his wealthy New York City and Long Island clients. In northern latitudes, he tries to situate a court on a north-south alignment to prevent a sun disadvantage for either player. Boxwood (Above) provides a sense of separation without blocking the view of the action.

(N.B.: For more of Mr. Hollander’s gardens, see Required Reading: The Private Oasis.)