Your garden needs to be versatile – on one hand, it needs to be a safe space that accommodates children at play, but it is also the space where you can relax and enjoy the summer sun. It is often the venue for summer garden parties, complete with BBQ dinners and al fresco dining.
Creating the perfect space is about design, but can also be about the accessories you add to a garden, and that includes the seating options.
Seating options can be anything from a folding deck chair to a garden bench, a day bed or an outdoor sofa. Getting the right seating depends on space, personal preference and budget.
The Garden Bench
The garden bench is a seating solution that has been in use for centuries, as well as across a variety of applications.
Benches have been an important internal and external piece of furniture through history, and this has stayed true today. Although benches are not always a common sight in domestic homes, their versatility is undeniable.
It is no surprise that the garden bench is used in outdoor spaces for both domestic and commercial properties across the world. But how can you use a garden bench to create the perfect garden?
Ideas for Using a Garden Bench
With a variety of garden benches available to purchase, knowing which one to choose can seem like a tough decision. But with these ideas, you will have a much better idea of which is best for you.
We often think of benches as straight in design and shape, and this is the original design of yesteryear. This ‘basic’ or standard shape works well, but you can try something new with a shape known as the banana bench.
The banana bench takes its shape from the curve of a banana, a shape that is more conducive to sharing the bench with a loved one.
“Curved benches are less formal than a straight bench, less angular and more forgiving when placed in the garden landscape.”
The banana bench comes in a range of sizes and design, and they arise fast becoming a popular option for the garden.
The garden bench is flexible and versatile, two elements that make it one of the most loved accessories for the garden. As a seating solution, it is simple and fuss-free. Shedding its pretensions, the garden bench is perfect for any garden. When it is well-placed, it becomes even more of a useful seat.
For example, how about placing a bench by the pond, watching the ripples made by pond skaters and the occasional flick of a fish’s tail?
“Or enjoy the shade of a tree by placing your hardwood bench under the canopy of a tree. There is nothing like sitting and enjoying a few moments of calm, the sounds of the leaves rustling and the occasional burst of bird song to soothe and settle the soul.”
If you have opted for a teak hardwood bench, it can be left out in all weather – just use a protective waterproof cover in the winter. There is no need to drag it out from the garage or shed and then stuff it back in again like you have to do with fabric deck chairs. All you need to do is take a comfy cushion outside with you - that is all.
A bench normally has a back to it, complete with arm rests that make it a fantastically comfortable place to sit. In fact, you can sit for many hours on a garden bench and feel no ill effect on your back or rear.
But if you want to be even more comfortable, you need some more support, and this is where the shape of the bench comes into play. The better designed the bench, the more comfortable it will be as a place to sit. Look out for a bench that has many wooden slats with small gaps between each slat.
From the vast variety of garden benches to choose from, look for those with a high and/or shaped back. These benches help to support the shoulders when you sit and enjoy your garden.
“How about enjoying time in your garden, seated on a high-backed, shaped garden bench in the fragrant shade of a climbing clematis on a pergola? Doesn’t that sound like bliss?”
Create its Own Space or Move the Garden Bench Around
Essentially, the bench was designed as a seating solution that could be moved around. It may be a two-person job, but it is often convenient and easy to do.
This means you have two choices when it comes to placing your garden bench. Either opt for it in a fixed position or keep it freestanding, so that the next time you have a gathering of family and friends, you can move closer to the fire pit or enjoy dining al fresco.
Fixing your bench to the ground is as much about security as anything, and using L-shaped brackets to secure it to firm ground (like a concrete plinth) is ideal. These stop it from toppling over, and prevent someone from making off with your bench!
The garden bench is humble and simple in design. It doesn’t ask to be the star of the show in your garden and yet, somehow it is always there, always willing to be the best seating solution. Watch how people gravitate towards it - this is because the bench is familiar, safe and comfortable. Which style and design will you choose?