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Come Frolic in Yards Way Too Pretty to be in Cities

While major metropolitan cities offer no shortage of luscious (sometimes even starchitect-designed) parks and quirky, public micro "parklets," finding an apartment with an actual backyard—as in not just a wedge of trash-strewn dirt—is an admirable feat. So city dwellers from NYC all the way to the UK, come live vicariously through those who've hit the green space jack pot and transformed their precious slices of urban land into tiny edens amongst concrete. Have a look, below, and prepare to fight deep pangs of real estate jealousy.

(↑ and ↓) A "playful, romantic sanctuary" in NYC designed by architect and landscaper Brian Sawyer for actress Julianne Moore. The urban jungle was featured in Architectural Digest in 2012. Photos by Christopher Baker/Architectural Digest [link]

(↑ and ↓) Rocky pathways, thatches of trees, and a wood-burning fireplace hidden by a $1.395M Brooklyn townhouse. [link]

(↑) A family's London townhouse with neat limestone terraces and a grassy lawn designed to please the two young children. The project was featured in a 2009 issues of Architectural Digest. Photos by Andrew Twort/Architectural Digest [link]

(↑ and ↓) Manicured topiaries and plenty of lawn space at a $13.3M blockbuster in San Francisco. [link]

(↑ and ↓) Mosaic panels, a 19th-century French fountain, and vintage window panes in an NYC backyard featured in the October 2013 issue of Architectural Digest. Photos by Pieter Estersohn/Architectural Digest [link]

(↑) A leafy Boston rooftop designed by landscape architect Kerry Lewis and featured in Architectural Digest way back in 2006. Photo by Billy Cunningham/Architectural Digest [link]

(↑ and ↓) An $8M oceanfront manse with an infinity pool and cabana way out in NYC's Brighton Beach. [link]

(↑) A lush rooftop garden with hanging vines and a shaded seating area atop a $3.75M townhouse in Chicago. [link]

(↑) Ultra-elaborate landscaping, a "nearly pool-sized hot tub," and a fireplace at a $7.5M listing in San Francisco. [link]

(↑) A perfect tea party location—complete with slightly wild plants meant to look "welcoming rather than formal"—in the heart of Glasgow, Scotland. The property was featured featured in Architectural Digest back in 2009. Photo by Durston Saylor/Architectural Digest [link]

(↑) Japanese maples, fruit trees, and an elevated hot tub in a $1.149M San Francisco oasis. [link]

(↑) Modern zen gardens tucked behind an 18th-century London townhouse rehabbed by singer Sting. The tranquil yard comes from the pages of May 2010's Architectural Digest. Photos by Derry Moore/Architectural Digest. [link]

· All Outdoors Week 2014 posts [Curbed National]