It's Outdoors Week! Here we explore the craziest backyards up for sale in Los Angeles right this very minute.
↑ What's going on here? Are we in a country where people talk with their hands right now? Is the Lady of Shalott going to pass us by in a rowboat? Nope, we're just at this incredible Sherman Oaks villa, where the artfully overgrown foliage is precisely unkempt, where the saltwater pool looks like it's naturally occurring, where the grass grows between the patio stones. Why yes, that is a "meandering koi pond"—thanks for noticing. The five-bedroom Tuscan- and French-inspired compound is asking $7.5 million.
↑ Winning our award for best use of space is this Reseda house that even a non-millionaire might be able to swing. The yard here looks exotic and resorty, having used a hardwood deck, two cabanas, and a Zen rock garden to give the space that far-away feeling. There's also a small studio or study with French doors that open out onto the deck. The house is asking $599,900.
↑ Though your first impulse might not be to break into this La Habra Heights house and have a rager like some delinquent teens did in December, we can probably all agree that this mansion has a deeply covetable outdoor set-up. Explains the listing, "Fountains, waterfalls, waterslide with ring of fire, grotto, cave, swim to bar, full outside kitchen with sports bar, volley ball court and much much more." What else could there possibly be? Find out for $12 million.
↑ This Pasadena house is surrounded by a "series of 'garden rooms'" created by landscape designer Thomas Batcheller Cox, and has a courtyard built around three of the orange trees that were kept after this former "sloping, rambling fruit orchard" became a fancy estate near the Huntington Library. The grounds have a "secret garden" feel, with weathered wood doors hiding little nooks with planting tables, fountains, and wildflowers. The asking price is $5.8 million.
↑ This property in the Hollywood Hills below Runyon Canyon sits on more than 10 acres of property and comes with its own "Brazilian Ironwood bridge" that connects to trails in the hills behind the house. It's also got a giant tipi, a gorgeous arbor that covers the fireplace and barbecue area, a campsite, and drool-worthy infinity pool. The living quarters are equally incredible—the main house is an 11-bedroom Spanish-style home, and there's also a Craftsman guesthouse and a cottage. Oh yeah, and it's celebrity-owned. The pricechopped palace is now asking just $11.95 million.
↑ Damn, Bob Hope, even your house is a class act. The Bob Hope Estate in Toluca Lake has gorgeous formal gardens, a one-hole golf course (don't be greedy!), and an awesome pool. Unbelievably lovely. The estate is asking $21.8 million.
↑ Shade from trees is so passé; shade sails are the modern way to keep from crisping in the sun, and this Pacific Palisades house from architect Phillip Vertoch has got 'em. The outdoor patio also has a seating area with what just might be astroturf, a "sport court" to accommodate a variety of athletics, serene gardens, and an infinity pool. The listing shows some grapes growing on the property, too—perfect for the budding vintner. This dreamy yard and the house it's attached to are asking $9.995 million.
↑ If a person has not watched a sporting event while sitting in a swim-up spa and eating pizza hot out of a "custom Chicago Brick Pizza Oven," has that person even really lived? For those who said "no," we present this Granada Hills house with the most incredible outdoor cooking features we've seen in a while. Besides the brick pizza oven, there's a barbecue, a warming drawer, a beer tap (just bring the keg!), and what looks to be a Green Egg meat smoker out there. The shaggy-roofed hut under which all these culinary curiosities reside is equipped for multiple TVs, as evidenced by the listing photos, and the adjacent pool has a waterslide and is heated by the power of the sun. The house and its amazing backyard-party-waiting-to-happen are asking $2.4 million.
↑ This Malibu residence doesn't have a custom-made deep-pit barbecue or a waterslide that shoots flames or a secret pool speakeasy that can only be accessed from a tunnel in the shallow end, but it does have a backyard that just is the beach. Open the door, walk or stumble or somersault six feet, and you are in the grainy, Paradise Cove sand. The listing photos look like half of America's desktop/laptop backgrounds. Live the dream for $24.95 million.
↑ Ever dreamed of owning, operating, and possibly living on an "Equestrian Center, Dog Kennel, Spa, Military Training Facility, Travel Park/Campground, Vineyard, Orchard, Agrigulture [sic], [or] Cattle Ranch"? This dynamic, 32-acre property in the Angeles National Forest southeast of Acton can be any of those things. And with no neighbors adjoining the property, no one will complain that the dogs are barking too much or the cows are mooing to excess. The property and the house on it are asking $675,000.
· Outdoors Week 2014 [Curbed LA]