Are you sitting comfortably? Choosing garden benches.

There is no better way to unwind than sitting in a garden, soaking up the scents and the sound of birdsong.

But do you have enough seating placed around your garden so that you can do just that?

Pretty wooden bench at the Château de Chenonceau.

In my last garden in England, about an acre in size, I had at least five benches – one for morning coffee, one by the pond, one for catching the sunset and so on. I gradually acquired them – at auctions, reclamation yards or garden centres –  as I came across them and so that the expense was spread over many months.

Lutyens Bench

A Lutyens style bench just in view in a country garden.

Siting your Bench

A bench, unlike dining furniture or loungers on your terrace/patio,

  • is likely to remain outdoors all year round
  • doesn’t need to be as comfortable as dining chairs
  • can be softened with cushions in the summer months
  • can act as a focal point
  • looks decorative in its own right
  • can encourage exploration of your garden, especially in winter months

A bench placed just in view in a large garden can direct visitors onwards to explore further.

A garden bench beckons.

A garden bench beckons.

But even a tiny city centre front garden, where outdoor space is at such a premium, can find room for a bench. I’m amazed at how few people seem to really use this space – you wouldn’t ignore 10 sq metres inside your house.

Pretty white bench in a city centre garden.

Pretty white bench in a city centre front garden. Secured well!

Stone, metal or wood? 

It’s worth buying the best you can afford for longevity. Look out for something unusual at reclamation yards, second hand shops and flea markets, as well as online stores and garden centres.

Four Seasons lilongwe

A period stone bench may cost you thousands but there are many good reproductions available which will look authentic after a winter or two outdoors. I think they look timeless and improve year by year.

Stone bench invites you to sit awhile.

Stone bench invites you to sit awhile.

I like the look of these pretty metal benches, lovely in the gardens of older properties where they look decorative in their own right, though they are not always the most comfortable for any length of time.

Garden bench

 

They can be painted to suit your taste.

Garden Bench

Painted metal garden bench

There are many wonderful designs available in wood, from reasonably priced to the intake of breath variety. They are often the most comfortable – elegance and comfort are probably the most desirable assets in a bench I think!

Edwardian two-seater. Image : Andrew Crace

There’s the classic Lutyens style bench, named after the British architect Edwin Lutyens, who collaborated with Gertrude Jekyll on a number of country houses and gardens. The flowing lines add romance to a garden.

Lutyens style bench painted in eau-de-nil.                                                                   Image : Waitrose.com

Even a cheaper flatpack bench can be jollied up with a coat of paint or woodstain.

Here are some websites in Britain and Ireland which may provide inspiration – you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a stylish look.

Hope you’ll be sitting comfortably quite soon!

Reclamation Dublin.                                                                      

Outdoor Furniture Ireland.

Andrew Crace UK

Waitrose Garden Benches UK

8 thoughts on “Are you sitting comfortably? Choosing garden benches.

    • Thanks Robbie – I think it’s wonderful to have lots of different areas to sit depending on the time of day and I always try to get more than one seating area in even the tiniest garden.
      I miss my last garden deep in the Norfolk countryside but life moves on …

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love your posts, your taste and your style! The photographs and benches are all so desirable! I have many and am sanding and painting them all for an open day in my garden soon in aid of St Luke’s Hospice. You have influenced my garden so much. I now have cloud pruning, a little circular pond ( teaming with wild life) and the soon to be completed BUG HOTEL! Thank you so much for all your inspiration.
    Karen

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Karen, thank you for your lovely comment. It’s always great to hear that the blog has an impact. Thank you!
    I’m so delighted your garden is opening for such a good cause and I hope all your preparations go well.
    Your own beautiful blog is inspirational.

    Like

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