What sort of bench would suit my garden?

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Garden bench materials

Garden benches come in all sorts of styles and materials; metals including steel, iron and aluminium, various synthetics such as plastic and UPVC, and natural products like wickerwork, and even living willow. Combinations are possible, including the Victorian favourite which combines cast iron ends with wooden slats. Probably the best-looking and most practical garden benches are made of wood. In Britain, oak is a traditional material for quality garden benches, with painted pine as a less durable but cheaper alternative. But teak is hard to beat - it is durable, practical, and also very beautiful. If properly looked after, teak can last for many years; having its origin in tropical forests, it is extremely resistant to damp and rot, and being strong and fine-grained, it can be worked into almost any design. As it ages, the original dark colour weathers to a lovely silver-grey patina. At one time teak was viewed with suspicion by many people because of concerns about damage to natural rain forests caused by its extraction; however, nowadays teak can be certified as coming from sustainably managed plantations, and as such its production provides an environmentally-sound boost to developing economies in the Far East.

Garden bench design

There is a huge range of design possibilities to choose from. Very plain and simple benches could suit a restful classical garden. And what could be more enchanting than a low plain seat almost hidden in the greenery that surrounds it? But then again, a brightly-painted bench can stand out as the focal point of a garden design. Some furniture is very practical, such as for example the benches in a barbecue area which form part of the dining arrangements, or the one outside a door where you can take muddy boots off. Others remind us of a pastoral fantasy - overlooking a pond, say, or under an arch of roses. If the garden is big enough, how about the bench that fits right round a tree? A throwback to a gracious age!

Traditional or modern?

A completely classic garden bench will immediately fit into any setting, but for a traditional garden design (gravel paths and box hedges, for example) the imposing lines of an ornate bench such as those in the style of Sir Edwin Lutyens would be particularly appropriate. A modern garden design, however, could be complemented by a sensuously curvy bench or perhaps one hewn directly from a tree trunk. A garden bench can blend in with its surroundings or contrast with them.

Something a bit different

The Victorians loved novelty garden furniture, and some of their ideas persist to this day. Their 'conversation' seat survives as the modern 'snake' bench which allows two people to chat whilst facing in different directions - an opportunity for a little discreet flirting! A 'couples' bench allows the pair to face each other, and includes somewhere to put the tea, or perhaps something a little more romantic, a fruity cocktail perhaps! Seats also come with shades and parasols, with cushions, with storage boxes - the choice is huge. The garden bench on a swing is a traditional favourite that will tempt you to while away summer days when you should be mowing the lawn. There's bound to be a garden bench that is just right for you.

1 comment:

  1. ....for me any bench would be perfect as long as I am with family and dear friends...but yes indeed it pays to purchasr the best benches for our home...