I am discovering more and more often that it is important to have a great many seats in the garden. In fact there should probably be one every three feet or so.
That might be a bit cluttered, but the idea that you’re too busy gardening to sit down is shameful. A garden needs to be appreciated and it needs to be contemplated critically. Both are easiest to do sitting down. And, of course, you should be sitting down regularly with a partner or a friend, enjoying the fresh air, freezing cold wind, and maybe a drink or two.
What’s more, – really getting into lecture mode here (gardeners seem to like lectures, they’re always going on courses, maybe this is a winner!) –
Seats themselves should be part of the visual pleasure in a garden. From spring onwards this is one of the joyful sights for me:
Sadly, seats have to be looked after, just like the rest of the flipping garden, else a heavy sit down could lead to a catastrophic collapse. Painting and repairing wooden seats has led to Charles beginning to curse wood, quite understandably. But we have reduced our wooden seat maintenance. I designed and made had made minimum maintenance, ultra comfortable seats. Like this:
The various Veddws on here are due to the inevitable complaints we get that we spell our house name (which we inherited) wrong. My researches on the name produced many versions – which I put, with their dates, on the seat. If you’re interested there is more about that here.
The thing to make a seat comfortable is to have it low. As a short person I get fed up having dangling feet, so my seats are at a height where my feet can be firmly planted. And the next thing is depth, front to back. This means, of course, you can lie down comfortably flat on your back in extremis. Or – given that it’s easiest to made a back straight up, a deep seat means leaning back in comfort. This seat also has plenty of room beside us for glasses, plates, books….
The thing is made by a builder, or a useful handy person, with concrete blocks and wooden slats to sit on. If shaping the back like that is too hard then it can be simply rectangular:
One thing you’d never think of, unless you were a builder, is that the earth moves. Though we all know that it does, don’t we? So, built without foundations, our Veddw seat cracked. Which was an opportunity to indulge ourselves with a little kintsukuroi.
Which is the delightful Japanese way of embracing imperfections with a gold highlight:
And that could no doubt get me damned for cultural appropriation.
And here’s another seat we had made to my specifications:
It seems to me to be a great thing to be able to make a comfortable garden seat at the size and shape you want.
I did make another kind of seat altogether, but can’t claim low maintenance for it – Charles has just basically had to remake it. But it works. I wanted a seat built into the hillside, that being easier than levelling the hill.
So the seat bit is a sort of box, full of earth. Simple.
I have much more to say about seats, (ask me?) but that will do for now. I’m off to go and sit on one and admire the view (which is always part of the point of a seat) :