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A True Room in the Garden.
Gardens are meant to be viewed, but most gardeners spend the bulk of their time up close and personal with the plants. Still, seating is an important aspect of any garden. Gardens are representative of the gardener's vision and as ever changing as the weather, so there are no hard rules about using seating in a garden. It can be purely functional or as fanciful as the gardener's imagination. A bench facing a great view might never actually get used, but a secluded spot to read or chairs... waiting nearby when you unload your tools can be too hard to resist.
Often seating is used to draw visitors into the garden or entice them down a path. They may not sit, but the temptation and romance is there. Even more alluring is the promise of a secret hide-away to read or nap. And don't underestimate whimsy. An oversized or brightly colored creation can make a garden extremely memorable, especially to children.
Here's how some gardeners have added relaxation to their gardens.
I call this gazebo in the far corner of my yard my summer palace. It's a very shady area and much more over grown now, but it makes a wonderful retreat from the bugs on a hot summer evening and I've even used it to escape from a sudden rain.
By setting aside an intentional area for sitting and relaxing, rather than surveying the view, you are more inclined to use it.Continue to 2 of 12 below.
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Dragon Flies, Frogs, Duck Weed and You.
No one will even know you're here, tucked behind the elephant ear's and umbrella plant. A bench by a water garden serves a unique purpose. Water gardens are relatively low maintenance and there are stretches of time when you barely notice them, because you're so busy weeding elsewhere. A nearby bench lets you pause and enjoy an ecosystem so unlike the rest of your garden in it's plants, insects and animals.Continue to 3 of 12 below.
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Secluded, Cool and Probably Never Used
I get the feeling this bench doesn't see much action, since it's being taken over by the plants. Still, it looks inviting, doesn't it?
You can include seating areas in tucked away sections of the garden. Even if you don't get a chance to sit for a couple of years, one day you stumble on it with fresh eyes, after the initial plantings fill in and integrate themselves in the setting, and it becomes your favorite spot.Continue to 4 of 12 below.
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Garden Seating Doesn't have to be Secretive or Subtle.
This is a very elaborate and evolving garden and the seating is intentionally conspicuous, almost park-like. It's a destination from the house and set on its own little slab, but right smack in the middle of the borders. A place to review the garden or just enjoy it with a glass of wine.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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There's No Reason Seating Can't be a Focal Point of the Garden.
Functional doesn't have to mean boring. Seating that's meant for convenience can also add character and color to the garden. This series of blue Adirondack chairs are in a good vantage point and comfortable. But it's the color that makes them so perfect for this cool green spot.Continue to 6 of 12 below.
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Who Needs Flowers?
It's color again that makes these vintage metal chairs a focal point in this shady nook. It's hard to keep a shade garden in color at all, let alone all season, unless you cheat a little and use colorful ornaments or chairs like these.Continue to 7 of 12 below.
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The Romance of a Garden Seating Area.
I'll agree that wrought iron lawn furniture can be over used, but there's a reason it's so popular and it's not comfort. Wrought iron works well in gardens with a cottagey feel. The material is rustic and usually in some state of rusting. It suits the surroundings and doesn't look like it will be harmed by a muddy boot or sudden shower.
Use what you like. If you like the look of weathered rust, the practicality of molded resin or retro chic of webbing, in a few years,... they'll all be classics.Continue to 8 of 12 below.
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Freshness to the Extreme.
Here's function for you: put your seating within picking distance of your vegetables. A fresh salad is literally within reach.
It's rare to see a seat in a vegetable patch. Vegetable gardens aren't often ornamental. We go in, pick what we need and head back to the kitchen. What a treat to eat or relax in the midst of the aromas of basil and tomatoes.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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Not Your Average Stone Bench.
Just try and keep the kids off these hands. These are not chairs for an afternoon nap, but they bring this part of the garden alive. Sometimes garden decorations and benches can begin to look the same from one garden to the next. Seeking out locally made products or flea market finds can yield some very unusual garden treasures.Continue to 10 of 12 below.
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Blurring the Lines Between House and Garden.
Now here's seating that's meant to be used. Whether for a moment alone to collect your thoughts or to share a pitcher of lemonade with a couple of friends, there is nothing as accessible as a couple of chairs clustered around a small table and surrounded by over flowing flower pots and borders. You barely have to leave your house to enter your garden.Continue to 11 of 12 below.
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It's your garden. Make yourself comfortable.
There's no confusion about what this bench is for. Even in a small city yard, there's room for some comfort and escape.Continue to 12 of 12 below.
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The Chair as Art.
And finally, sometimes seating serves no function besides it's aesthetic appeal to the gardener. Or maybe someone took the seat out of this chair as a subtle reminder to keep working.