* Keep your borders narrow (.5 to 1m) so plants don't get stomped on to retrieve the ball. Straight borders make for a better pitch shape.
* Keep planting simple with only 2 or 3 different plants - eg. a row of the same tree, a shrub and then a groundcover border in front...looks great and can take a hit
* Avoid hunting for cricket balls in the undergrowth - limb up the lower branches of your hedge to give you clear space, then underplant with a low growing groundcover like liriope.
* Mass planting looks tidy, and if plants get knocked out of shape there are others to fill the gap. Narrow plants are harder to hit!
* Avoid plants that attract a lot of bees around the main zones of play.
* Low groundcovers make finding stray balls easy – try Selliera radicans, Pratia angulata or green Dichondra…natives that can take being stomped on occasionally.
* Buy larger grade plants - they're less likely to be crushed to death.
* Grasses are tough enough to take a falling tackle, but are also soft to land on - Lomandra 'Tanika', Anemanthele lessoniana, Carex virgata, Carex testacea are good choices.
* Site your productive garden out of harm's way, or behind a hedge.
TOUGH PLANTS FOR SPORTY GARDENS
Tough natives include titoki, puka, karaka, hoheria, kowhai and pohutukawa cultivars. Olive trees, Mexican alder, bangalow and queen palms...
Hedges - Pittosporum 'Screenmaster', Photinia, Laurus nobilis (bay tree), Prunus lusitanica, Griselinia, karo, michelia figo, clumping bamboo...
Shrubs - Choisya ternata, Griselinia, flaxes, Muehlenbeckia astonii, Corokia, Coprosma, Artemisia, hebes, Spirea, Osmanthus, Pseudopanax, Brachyglottis greyii...
Flowers/groundcovers - dwarf agapanthus, lavender, daylilies, thyme, Verbenia bonariensis, Dianella 'Little Jess' and 'Little Rev', mondo grass, liriope, libertia, Ajuga (shady spots), Osteospermum, Arctotis, cranesbill geraniums, Pimelea prostrata, Parahebe...