Another excellent impromptu method of setting up garden quoits is to point thirty-two sticks of white firewood, with the help of a sharp knife, and to peg them into the ground in the form of a square.
A Golf Putting Course may be arranged on the narrowest strip of turf, and provides the greatest amusement for both " grown-ups " and children, and a putting match is an excellent way of filling up a spare half-hour, and excellent practice, too.
A hank or two of inch-wide white tape cut into a dozen strips, varying from one and a half to three feet long, a penny packet of strong hairpins, and a small round tin canister will be required, besides a golf ball and a putter; or, failing this latter implement, a straight-crooked walking-stick does very well.
The canister must be sunk into the ground until the rim is on a level with the turf, or if this is objected to as damaging the grass, a circle of white tape pegged down in place with half a dozen hairpins will answer every purpose.
The tape must next be pegged out in straight lines from a foot to three feet apart, gradually growing wider apart as they are further away from the hole.
The game consists in each of the players in turn making a complete score, striking the ball from each line in succession into the hole in the fewest possible number of strokes, starting from the line nearest the hole.
A golf putting course can be arranged on a narrow strip of turf, and affords amusement for the children and good practice for the "grown-ups "
An umpire with a sheet of paper to note down the scores should be provided, and any number of players from two up to six can play; but if more than this number enter it makes the game a slow one while waiting for one's turn to come round.
The "net" consists of two upright sticks, such as gardeners always keep in stock, or which can be bought for a few pence. They are about six feet high, pointed at the lower ends, and should be thrust into the ground about four yards apart until they will stand rigidly upright. A band of the widest white tape obtainable is now pinned across the top from stick to stick, and makes a splendid "net" over which to play.
Side lines in such an impromptu game are really unnecessary, but back lines, from behind which players must serve (each one consisting of a line of broad white tape well pegged down with hairpins), must be placed on either side about fourteen feet back from the net and parallel with it.
A couple of battledores are required. The parchment-covered ones, costing from sixpence to a shilling at any toyshop, are best to play with; but, failing these, round wooden bats, costing a penny or twopence, will do. Two or three shuttlecocks are required, and these are obtainable for a penny or twopence each.
If "doubles" are to be indulged in, a couple of extra bats will be required, and the court might be laid out a size larger.
Where no suitable patch of turf exists, a wide gravel path makes an excellent impromptu badminton court across which to play.
Rules for impromptu badminton may be adapted from the ordinary tennis ones. Players take it in turn to serve from behind the tape line, the game being scored from one to six." He who first scores six wins the game, and the service crosses over to the opposite side. The winner of the best out of six games wins the " sett."
If, when serving, the shuttlecock goes under instead of over the net, it is a "fault." Only two faults are allowed, and after that each failure to serve the shuttlecock over the net scores one to the opposite side. In returning a service and in volleying, if the shuttlecock goes under the net it scores one against the striker.
Clock Golf can be arranged quite inexpensively on any scrap of lawn big enough to accommodate a circle of from eight to sixteen feet in diameter.
The necessary accessories consist merely of two or three hanks of wide tape for marking out the circle, pegged down in place with hairpins, several hanks of half-inch tape, and some very fine hairpins with which to manufacture the numbers which appear on the face of a clock, making each numeral from four to six inches long.
Garden badminton for children requires merely a small lawn on which two poles and a tape can be erected to serve as net. The lines can be marked by tape, pegged down by hairpins. Two battledores and a few shuttlecocks complete the necessary outfit
A watch will be needed from which to copy the spaces and lettering, for a clock face is a deceptive thing to map out from memory.
A small circle of tape will be needed in the middle of the clock, or a small tin is, of course, better, for the "hole." A golf ball and a putter, or a walking-stick with a straight crook, will also be required. The game consists in each player playing round the face of the clock from each " hour " into the hole in the fewest number of strokes. Two or more players can compete, one after another, and a scorer should, if possible, be provided.
Ring Golf is another good garden game, for which half a dozen rather deep white saucers will be needed, besides a golf ball and putter.
The saucers must be inverted, and a big number printed in black ink on the side of each one. The saucers are then arranged about the garden, in and out of flower-beds, on the narrow lines of dividing turf, and the game consists in each player starting from a point indicated by a small red flag a few yards away from saucer No. 1 and playing on to the top of the saucer. This by no means easy feat accomplished, he proceeds to saucer No. 2, and " makes " it in the same way until the whole course has been completed. The player who goes round the entire course in the fewest number of strokes wins the game.
A proper set of " ring golf " can be bought for about half a guinea, in which raised tin discs with a hole in the top of each take the place of saucers, and make the game a far easier one to play, so that if expense is no object it is well worth while to invest in a proper set.
Many of the tiniest gardens possess a steep grassy slope, and if a couple of old tea-trays are provided, upon which the children can sit crosslegged to enjoy the excitement of tobogganing down the side, it will afford them endless pleasure, and do little or no harm to the grass.
The smallest garden, if laid out in the manner described, will provide ample amusement for a children's half-holiday party, for golf competitions and a bumble-puppy, and badminton tournaments can be organised, the children entering for whichever games they prefer, and small prizes being awarded after tea.
If the party is a big one, to which more than fifteen or twenty children have been invited, it is a good plan for the hostess to get several grown-up girl friends to come to her aid and act as scorers and timekeepers, settle any disputes which may arise, and generally see fair play.
Small boys enjoy few things better than throwing missiles at a target. To gratify this desire in a harmless fashion will earn their undying gratitude. Therefore, in a description of games that may be played successfully in small gardens, mention should most certainly be made of that old favourite, Aunt Sally. It is possible to buy the complete outfit of wooden missiles and painted and gaudily-dressed wooden figure, with pipe in mouth, from any toyshop, but it is far better fun to devise one's own, and tax the ingenuity of any boy carver of the party. Handicaps should be given generously, so that even the smallest of the company may enjoy the dear delight of a successful shy, and if the principle of the cocoa-nut shy of the village fair be adopted, and a reward crown a true shot, so much the more popular will the sport prove.
Lest energy exceed skill of markmanship, it is as well to see that the background for the game is one that can suffer no material damage from ill-directed shots. When/small children are playing, every precaution must also be taken that they do not unwarily stray near the firing line, or the consequences may be grave.
clock golf is a game that can be played upon a plot of lawn from eight to sixteen feet in diameter. A golf ball and putter, together with tape to mark the clock circle, and a tin for the "hole" in the centre, are required for the game