While some gardeners never take the time to sit down and enjoy their hard work, I certainly do (more and more often as I age!). I appreciate the value of a well placed bench or chair out in the garden that offers not only respite but a garden experience. That experience might include enjoying a view, appreciating fragrance, proximity to wildlife (i.e. butterflies), auditory enjoyment (i.e. water feature), etc. Above is a bench and some Adirondack chairs in the North Point garden. Note that this bench style and the chair colors offer interest as part of the entire garden scheme. While the placement of comfortable seating is important, keep in mind that the features of that unit (color, style, etc.) can also be features in the garden. I've included some examples in this blog which barely scratch the surface of this topic. There are so many types and styles of seating, not to mention materials. At RBG, we have over 100 benches and 10 Adirondack chairs placed around the garden for visitors to rest and enjoy the view. Furniture can be relatively permanent if an ideal location is found. However, movable furniture allows for grouping as needed and possible relocation to sun or shade as desired. Every garden should have outdoor seating for enjoyment but also functionality in those spaces where we grill out, entertain, etc.
Today was a quiet day. After removing snow yesterday, we're seeing the Holiday Lights Show (HLS) paths melting nicely with sunshine and temperatures in the low 30 degrees F. The show resumes tomorrow night (see www.rotarybotanicalgardens.org for more information) although the weather could be dicey with a rain/sleet combination. We'll see what happens. Today we had Dr. Gredler and Patrea painting containers and Gary S. putting primer on some elements of our top secret carpentry project. Pat M. was in and went out in the gardens for some projects. Janice was in to make some calls to confirm our "trailwalking" volunteers for the HLS. These volunteers help patrol the paths for visitor safety (and good behavior!). Janice also continues research on our Thomas Jefferson / Monticello garden theme for 2014. I continue to scour seed catalogs and am getting poised for plenty of ordering at the start of 2014! My blogging will be sporadic over the coming weeks with full time resumption on January 6th.
a simple two person bench with a great view (Schmeeckle Reserve, UW-Stevens Point)
an instant, mobile bench (we're building some!) - photo not mine (from internet)
one of our custom cedar benches built by the Grumpies
note secluded seating nook (Butchart Gardens)
an immersive experience with this seat!
who wouldn't swing on this one (also positioned for a view)
seating options as part of an outdoor entertaining area
outdoor entertaining area (Lake Geneva, WI)
outdoor entertainment with cool fireplace
private seating circle in woodland setting
360 degree potential view! (not great for group chatting though...)
a shady respite
take time to catch some rays
Adirondack chairs at RBG (unfortunately we have to chain them down...)
a painted chair can become a focal point and add color as well as any plant
movable furniture has plenty of value and is appropriate on turf
movable chairs near pond at Chanticleer (Wayne, PA)
weather resistant padding goes a long way for comfort as seen above
this is a colorful spot to observe butterflies and hummingbirds on the adjacent bee balm (Monarda)
a nice sunny spot for chatting (Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Madison, WI)
Note this bench in the distance is a focal point along with the tricolor European beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Roseo-Marginata') behind the bench. This arrangement, with the informal flagstone path, encourages travel to the bench (same location below at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Madison, WI). The sedges (Carex) soften the walkway and make for a "soft approach".
The images directly above and directly below are the same location at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, WI. Note the container between the two seats and the nice use of variegated maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis) behind the seats for interest in this setting. The approach is shaded with the seating patio in more light. As with the images further above at Olbrich, this arrangement encourages travel to this destination.
the pillows and birdhouse offer the accent along with the furniture color
what a nice setting for cocktails near the stream!
the fountain adds some interest (and sound) as well (Chicago Botanic Garden)
tea time for two?
take time to enjoy the garden!