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GardenSMART :: Have a Seat

Have a Seat

By Kate Karam, Monrovia
Photographs, unless noted, courtesy of Monrovia

While you should always be open to the feels you get when standing in a spot and thinking, "I would love to sit here," well-planned seating can take a garden from a nice place to look at to one that's an exciting destination. Of course, every landscape, homeowner needs, and budget are different, but hopefully, these ideas will help you to look at your yard with fresh eyes. Here are five things to consider when thinking about creating garden seating.

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1. Three Common Garden Seating Mistakes:

  • Choosing the wrong size bench for the area. You want the bench to feel totally integrated – typically larger is better!
  • Failing to ensure that ground is level beneath seating for comfort and safety.
  • Not taking cues from the architectural style of the house when selecting seating.

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Photograph courtesy of Lankford Associates, Seattle, WA.

2. Capture Views

Now, your yard (above) may not look like this at all, but there are lessons here!

By moving away from the house and into the open, the view seems even larger as it's not in context with a building.

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Photograph courtesy of Todd Haiman Landscape Design, New York, NY.

3. Create a Journey

Get off the patio and into the garden by placing seating at a distance with lots to see in between.

Example above: A meadow-y backyard was mowed to create a simple path, but it's the blue bench at the far end that seduces.

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Photograph courtesy of Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design, Boston, MA.

4. Make "Stop Here" Moments

Find ways to encourage slowing down by creating places that are so inviting that you cannot help but take a seat.

Example above: Yes, this is impressive, but the idea here is to configure a built-in during construction. Betting everyone stops here!

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5. A Few Missed Opportunities

We are NOT here to judge, we're here to learn from each other! Here's an example where a small change would have made a big impact.

You're going to say, "What?? These are amazing gardens. If only…" and they are. Each is super interesting and let's face it, pretty seductive.

However, look at this spectacular setting and in your mind add: a larger, brightly colored bench to the shade; a chair on which to perch under that flowering tree; and seating that's in scale with the amazing arched tunnel. The placement of seating would change each site into a place one could not help but stop and linger.

What do you think? Click here for more examples.

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GardenSMART Featured Article

By GrowJoy
Photographs courtesy of GrowJoy

Tomatoes are the most widely grown vegetable in home gardens around the world. And, everyone runs into problems with tomatoes at one time or another. By learning the most common problems, what to look for, as well as suggested solutions we can be ready for the tomato growing season. Click here for an interesting and informative article.

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