Choosing a Garden Seat
Choosing a garden seat for an Elizabethan style knot garden is something that really needs thinking about as there are several different considerations. A knot garden is a fairly small area that is created in one or a series of rectangular shaped beds all traditionally edged with box, which is trained and tightly clipped into elaborate patterns. It is these very patterns that can dictate the shape and size of the garden seat that you choose to complement your symbolic garden.
The knot garden first appeared in England at the end of the 15th century and held a variety of plantings from herbs and lavender to bright coloured flowers. This innovative style of garden showed a definite pattern when viewed from upstairs windows as a particular type of showcase garden, displaying the owner’s wealth and power for all to see and quite probably envy.
Modern versions of this kind of design should adhere as much as possible to original layouts and patterns that are particularly abstract or geometric need to be complemented by a garden seat that reflects the history of what an historic Tudor period knot garden fully represents.
For something so simple often a plain white painted wooden bench will be ideal as a contrast, so long as it is not too heavy or over-ornate so that detracts from the intricacy of the knot and its planting.
Top Ten Reasons to Buy a Garden Seat
Summer’s arrived, the garden looks glorious and so here are the top ten reasons to buy a garden seat. Perhaps you already have one but you are toying with the idea of buying another or, perhaps you have always wanted one but can’t quite justify the expense. Don’t dither, just read ten good reasons why you should definitely go out and buy a garden seat and you won’t hesitate any longer.
- You deserve to sit in your garden and relax.
- It’s somewhere to get away from the kids and housework.
- It can be a beautiful feature in your garden.
- It’s a great place to sit and read that book you never had time for.
- It’s somewhere to catch up with friends and the latest gossip.
- It’s a nice spot for the cat to have a snooze.
- It’s somewhere to get fresh air with very little exercise.
- It can double up as a virtual office, all you need is a mobile signal.
- Get the right seat and you get a fantastic tan before you go abroad.
- A garden seat will give you hours of pleasure for years to come.
Pond Side Seats
It is important to choose pond side seats carefully simply because one of the most relaxing places to be in a garden is by the side of a pond. Whether you are looking at a small garden pond with a trickling fountain or a larger stretch of water that is more akin to a small lake it is essential that your seat not only reflects the style of the pond but also is comfortable enough for you to sit for hours at a time to watch your fish and visiting wildlife such as dragonflies and darting swallows.
A still piece of water produces its own sights and sounds that are a tremendous draw for anyone looking for a place of peace and solitude and where better to place a large three seat wooden bench for all the family, or your friends, to sit and enjoy the unique pleasures of pond side entertainment. Feeding the fish, listening to bull frogs calling in the evening twilight, seeing the first water lilies break open into beautiful white or pink visions on the water or even sailing a small boat are all the things that make owning a pond and a pond side seat worthwhile.
The style of your seat can very much depend on the type of pond it is going to be alongside. For example a tiny patio pond would only require a single seat or a very small bench so that the it is not overwhelmed by a huge piece of garden furniture whereas a pond with a promontory would look really good with an usual seat that not only acts as a viewing point but is also as a major part of the garden architecture.
The Timeless Delights of Deck Chairs
Sitting in a deck chair in the sun, eating an ice cream while listening to the sound of children playing and strong waves rolling towards a sandy cove is a typical ‘postcard’ depiction of the British on holiday in this country. Somehow without hundreds of deck chairs sprawled all along the sea front, or on the beach, it just wouldn’t feel like summer at the seaside; such is our love for a very simple yet effective form of outdoor seating that has long stood the test of time.
Deck chairs are such a strong national tradition that not only do we insist on them when we are having our annual break but we also like to have them tucked away in a shed somewhere, so that on a beautiful day we can quickly and easily drag them out onto the lawn or a patio and bask in the heat of the day, sipping a glass of wine or reading the paper.
Old fashioned they may be, compared to some of today’s high tech ergonomically correct garden seats, but they were good enough for our grandparents and indeed our great grandparents. Therefore there must be something about them that has stood the test of time, apart from sentiment, as they are a popular and obviously much cheap alternative to more expensive formal garden seating.
Good quality, standard deck chairs are normally made from folding hardwood frames with cotton or acrylic seats and are available in plain colours, stripes and patterned. One of the joys of these simple seats is that you can adjust the seating angle so that you can sit more upright to read or enjoy a BBQ or you can drop it right down to snooze under a shady tree when the heat of the day is too much.
Although they are very versatile and easy to look after it is probably best not to leave your deck chair out in prolonged heavy rain, as a constant damp seat is not only unpleasant to sit on but in time it may rot the fabric or certainly make it go mouldy. This said most styles are so easy to fold up and put away that it takes seconds to ensure that next time the sun comes out you have somewhere dry and comfortable to lie back and thoroughly enjoy
Choosing a Garden Swing Seat
Choosing a garden swing seat to suit all family members, as well as your outside living space, is something that must not be decided on lightly. There are many considerations to be taken into account since this piece of outdoor furniture is possibly going to be a centerpiece for your garden and precious relaxation periods.
Many people opt for a swing seat as the main focus for getting away from life’s irritations and problems since there is something very soothing about swinging snuggled onto a comfy cushion under a weather proof canopy sipping a glass of wine of spirited away by the pages of a gripping novel. These timeless seats which were an essential part of every conservatory at the beginning of the last century are self supporting, free-standing structures, normally away from strong winds and heavy people traffic. While there are different styles, sizes and colours ranges available there are fundamentally two main types.
These are wooden swing seats and, the more often cheaper, metal swing seats; the latter sometimes having the main seat and sides made from rattan, wicker or other fibers.
Probably the most stylish though are wooden swing seats which are a romantic addition to any garden, large or small, and are suitable for up to three adults, depending on the size chosen. They come in variety of natural wood from teak and oak to pine and painted softwood.
Choosing Garden Chairs With a Table
Adding a beautiful garden table and chairs set to your outdoor space is without doubt one of the best ways to enjoy a relaxing and entertaining experience, in your own private space. However there are so many different types of materials available for outdoor living furniture that is can be confusing deciding which one to choose.
The most common furniture sets are made from specialist wood, such as teak, or oak, closely followed by aluminum, cast iron, rattan and wicker. The variety of outdoor garden tables and chairs available today are outstanding compared to the rather plain selection offered years ago. Outdoor furniture has really developed in the last few years to cater for all tastes and budgets and with so many companies now selling online there is a plethora of magnificent styles and designs.
When considering what you should purchase a good starting point, apart from your available budget, is to work out how often you would be eating and drinking alfresco and how many people do you actually envisage sitting around your garden table.
For example would a four seat wooden garden dining set be ample for your everyday needs or from time to time do you plan to hold a large party where perhaps eight or ten people would need to be seated around the table. It usually pays to plan well ahead before parting with your cash,
It is important also to decide whether a round, oval, square or rectangular outdoor dining set best suits your needs and, even more important, the size and shape of your garden. Take into account how much entertaining you plan on doing outside and on average how many guests you are likely to have at any one time. This will help determine how many and what kind of pieces your likely to purchase. If your outdoor space includes a pool or a spa, a bar is a quite a nice added touch, so you will need to allow even more room for your garden table and chairs.
When looking at tables, in particular, try to picture how many people you could seat comfortably based on the size and indeed the shape of the table. Many of the outdoor furniture sets include cushions and even parasols both of which can be an added bonus, especially as cushions not only increase the comfort level but also add to the general look of the furniture.
Take your time looking at all the different designs, materials and shapes until you come up with one or two that you like. If at all possible you should look for dining sets that are made of durable strong long lasting materials since outdoor dining furniture will be exposed to all kinds of weather elements such as wind and rain, even if it is under a patio cover.
Before you begin shopping seriously make sure you take accurate measurements of the area where you wish to place the furniture, so you have a good idea of size and how your new acquisition will look in the allocated space. Bear in mind also that you will need plenty of room to be able walk round your garden table and chairs with trays of food and drink and also to push the chairs back and relax. There is nothing more off-putting that a tight restricted eating area, particularly in the great outdoors where you are looking for freedom and relaxation.
If you plan on dining outside a lot during midday, when the sun is at its hottest, you might like to consider getting a table with a parasol, or even buying one separately. Having an umbrella built into the table can be a lifesaver on a hot day and serves to make conversing and eating much more comfortable. If you do buy your parasol and outdoor dining set separately, just make sure the table has a compatible mount.
Remember attractive garden table and chairs sets are a great way to make empty space into a comfortable and attractive living environment for you and your guests during the summer months. However given that we often enjoy Indian summers in this country now, with the aid of proper garden lighting and even patio heaters, eating outside can be extended well into mid October, when balmy evenings still carry the scent of late flowering roses on the evening air.
The Beauty of Rattan Garden Furniture
It is always great to be able to take regular quality time relaxing in your garden on some stylish yet comfortable furniture. The perfect choice, especially for a large family is a rattan garden furniture set since it is not only a very durable material, which is essential for our unpredictable climate, but also it can easily become a fabulous and much admired centrepiece for your entire garden. There are lots of rattan garden furniture sets to select from in a variety of colours and weaves. You may want to consider choosing a lighter coloured garden table and chairs for instance if you have a rather dark or overshadowed garden where you don’t want stark white but need to lighten up your outside eating area.
The designs of rattan garden furniture can range enormously. From being quite intricately made, to being very simple there is something for almost any type of garden or outside space. You can also always add a cheery outdoor cushion to jazz things up a bit. If you do a fair bit of entertaining outdoors then a six seater rattan table with matching chairs is probably ideal. You might want to consider purchasing a larger table with up to eight chairs if you have a big family or lots of friends.
These rattan chairs are made in a variety of designs and can be purchased with high backs or low backs and the special outdoor cushions that go with them add a huge degree of comfort. A splendid rattan garden table and chairs is always an excellent investment since in the warmer summer months they form the perfect setting for breakfast outside or a lovely evening party amongst friends. Prices for rattan garden furniture sets can varygreatly, depending upon what size pieces you choose which is why it is a good idea to shop around online, making sure you are able to find the best styles and prices for your outdoor rattan furniture.
Scent Your Bench
Chances are that when you sit in your garden on a comfortable garden bench you have gone outside to relax, shell peas, read a book or watch visiting birds. Plant and flower scents that drift towards you on the air will be most welcome and an added bonus. So why not make sure that everything you plant near your outdoor sitting area will waft you a delicious smell that will make you even more relaxed and happy than you already are.
Scented plants are not difficult to track down or to grow. For example you could place a pretty three seat metal bench under a wrought iron arch that you could have positively dripping with old fashioned climbing roses, honeysuckle and the nearly overwhelming sweet flowering white jasmine.
The combination of these scents on a warm summer’s day could almost overwhelm you and, even more so, on the late evening air. Another way to ‘scent your bench’ is to have a small border next to it or if it is on a patio or terrace then lots of terracotta pots will suffice. All you need to do then is make sure that this special growing space is almost overplanted with masses of perennials and annuals and bedding plants chosen purely for their scent, even at the expense of colour or form. Ideal plants for this purpose would be things such as the tall nicotiania affinis (white tobacco plants) old varieties of pinks, peony plants, the bright mauve ‘cherry pie’, lavender, lily of the valley, bluebells, wallflowers, sweet peas, petunias, thyme, oregano, violets, pansies, geraniums and regal lilies.
The latest research has shown that inhaling the scent of flowers and even leaves can drastically improve our well being and indeed general health. So why not give your garden a scent-sational makeover and plant as many aromatic and scented plants as you can fit in next to or near your favourite garden bench.
Metal Benches Are Perfect For Small Town Gardens
If you have a small town garden where every square in counts it is vital to get your sitting area right; this said you may like to know that a metal garden bench is the perfect solution. Why? Simply because something like an elegant two seat metal bench is not as heavy looking as a wooden one and will blend in more discreetly. This is particularly important in say a tiny patio garden, which is heavily planted with choice specimens and you want the plants to be the focal point, not the seat.
The true test of design in an urban garden is going to be the symetry between the hard landscaping, the plants and features such as pots, arches and of course the furniture. With regard to the latter it is vital to get the style and proportion just right. For example what could look more in keeping with the backyard of a Victorian terraced house than a neat, pale cream, cast iron two seat garden bench, which would also lighten up any dark corners.
In a small area you may want to follow the sun round, throughout the day, so this again is where a light to handle bench comes into its own; a large structure made from teak or oak would require a lot of effort to lift.
On the other hand a light metal bench could, at a pinch, even be moved by one person and it is certainly always going to be easier to shift around than its wooden counterpart. In addition if you like to constantly change the ‘look’ of your garden you can paint a metal seat whatever colour you want and as often as you want to match new planting schemes or even the colour of your front door. Unpainted benches, especially those with plenty of architectural detail will generally go with any style and colour scheme, requiring just the odd wipe down to get rid of grime.
There are masses of metal garden benches to choose from online, in fact you will be spoilt for choice whether you are looking for a classic aluminium bench, a garden arch bench, a steel Lutyens style seat or an ornate cast iron bench. It is really down to how much you want to spend and how much outdoor space you have available.
Add a Relaxing Hammock to Your Garden
Garden hammocks are a great way to relax in any outdoor space. Putting a hammock in your garden immediately creates somewhere to tuck yourself away from the outside world and simply enjoy the pleasures of reading, listening to music, enjoying the birdsong or sleeping a hot afternoon away. There are many styles and colours of hammocks from the basic cotton traditional type slung between two convenient trees to the real luxury freestanding models that are fixed to strong hardwood stands.
Be sure to buy a hammock that is tough enough to withstand the elements and do remember that even though they are designed to be used outside, garden hammocks should not be left out indefinitely in heavy rain and other bad weather conditions which can induce mildew and even rot if constantly wet.
Also they can be affected by UV rays from the sun which will eventually age fabrics and fade bright colours. Cotton, although aesthetically pleasing, is especially susceptible to fading as well as decay, while polyester tends to have a longer lifespan.