To be successful amid the outdoor living boom, it's critical for retailers and builders to stay abreast of rapidly changing consumer tastes in backyard products. To help keep your product lines up to date, AQUA has partnered with design megasite Houzz to bring you more content about outdoor living, from pools and spas to outdoor kitchens and patio furniture. Here, a Houzz expert talks low-maintenance backyards that bring on the fun.

Whether you are hoping to conserve water, cut down on time spent weeding and mowing or just want to make the most of your outdoor space, these six backyards prove that low maintenance doesn’t have to mean boring. They get it right with a party-ready bocce ball court, alfresco dining areas and more.

Photo by SOMOS Design and Landscaping

1. Bocce ball court. With a bocce ball court, fire pit and minimal plantings, this water-wise Austin, Texas backyard is primed for parties. String lights around the perimeter illuminate the court at night and add to the ambiance.

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Photo by B. Jane Gardens

2. Small on lawn, big on play. A central rectangle of lawn offers comfy play space for little ones without giving over the entire backyard to grass. Surrounding the center green are cement and gravel paths leading to a fire pit, covered seating area and deck.

Photo by Seed Studio Landscape Design

3. Cool urban hangout. This small San Francisco backyard was transformed from a jumbled mishmash of potted plants and wonky brickwork into a flowing space ideal for relaxing with friends. An outdoor living room positioned at the highest point in the yard provides a lookout over neighboring Bernal Hill, while the Cor-Ten steel fire pit creates a welcoming spot to gather in the evening.

Photo by Fork Garden Design

4. No mowing needed. Artificial turf forms the centerpiece of this small city garden in London, where a real lawn would be challenging to care for. Surrounding the artificial turf with real plants and trees, as seen here, is a good way to help the fake stuff blend in.

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Photo by P2 Design

5. Private putting green. For a golfer, having a private putting green may just be the ultimate backyard accessory. A seating area next to the artificial turf green allows spectators to lounge in comfort.

Photo by Kayla Stark

6. Sweet and petite. This Alabama backyard may be small but it still manages to pack in tons of features, from the raised deck dining area to the office shed. A hanging chair, gas fire table and mini-lawn area provide nooks to explore.