It’s good to have somewhere to sit in a garden. Here in our country garden we have wooden furniture. It’s appropriate, it matches the setting and helps to create the mood…
We hope our garden says “Welcome, come in, relax” to our family and friends. Often there’s a vase of flowers on the wooden table or a terracotta pot filled with seasonal plants to add a splash of colour. If we know you are coming there will be coffee and cake. All the seats have cushions. Whether it’s a wooden bench or a chair that you choose to sit on we want you to be comfortable. We all enjoy sitting, chatting, looking at the garden and observing the wildlife.
Gardens that open to the public have different requirements from their seating. They have many more visitors than any private garden. They offer a place to sit for a short while and then they want you to leave and make space for the next batch of people. When there is no one sitting on a bench it has to look good. It needs to blend in with the plants in the garden without overpowering them. It should be photogenic. It should allow visitors to enjoy the vista but not encourage lingering. This is where metal benches come in.
Metal benches look great but your derrière will suffer if you stay too long. To put it bluntly they freeze you ass off in winter and burn bare legs in summer. On the plus side they are virtually indestructible and last for years.
I took photos of two metal benches at Hidcote Manor Garden in Gloucestershire. White furniture can be very hard to place in a garden. It stands out like a sore thumb. At Hidcote the bench is settled into a sunny border with plants that frame it and help to highlight the ornate metal work. A white Wisteria towers above it and white foxgloves with low growing white flowered geraniums carpet the ground around it.
Close to the house in a shady spot is a metal bench painted blue. Once again the planting helps to settle the bench into it’s setting. In this case evergreen planting lends an air of permanence. Ferns surround it and grow through the open framework of the bench. A glossy green ivy climbs the golden Cotswold stone wall behind it. Both of these benches look like they have been there for a long time.
Part of the furniture you might say.
This month I’m joining in with Jude’s Bench Series for her photo challenge on TRAVEL WORDS. Everyone is most welcome to view all the posts from other bloggers and to join in too. Just get your photos in before the end of September. The theme for September is Metal Benches.
Thanks for reading, liking and commenting. Gillian 😉
12 thoughts on “Bench Series: September Metal”
You are so right when you say “When there is no one sitting on a bench it has to look good. It needs to blend in with the plants in the garden without overpowering them. It should be photogenic.” and you have chosen two lovely benches to illustrate this. Thank you for joining in and for introducing me to your lovely blog. I shall return for a good look around as next to travel and photography, gardens are my passion. I also have a flower blog https://smallbluegreenflowers.wordpress.com/ and it will be interesting to see which gardens we have both visited 🙂
Thanks for visiting and commenting Jude. Good to meet you!
The white bench with the wisteria is a beauty Gillian. Sounds like your place would be a nice one to visit.
Oh Yes Jo. Hidcote Garden is well worth a visit! It’s managed by the National Trust now and they are making a good job of it.
I was there many years ago with my husband (he designs gardens) but only have a vague memory.
I just bought a metal stool for my workshop, I sat on it in the store and thought yep it’s perfect. Popped it in the workshop went to sit on it and froze my arse off and now have a cushion on it! You are absolutely right.
Metal looks lovely but you most definitely need a nice thick cushion!
Yes, it can be cold too!
Beautiful but chilly!
What did you think of Hidcote, Gillian? It’s been a while since I was there.
Loved it. The National Trust has spent MILLIONS on it over a few years. Like all gardens there were a couple of areas past their best but that is real life! Most of it was completely stunning. Well worth a trip.
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