Sit and stay! How to train a human to enjoy their garden
This dog is quite good at sitting. But are you?
Find it difficult to sit down? Gardeners and garden-lovers generally share this tricky trait. They love their gardens so much that they just have to keep adjusting them. No sooner has bottom touched seat that they are up and off to deadhead the roses; to fix a broken stem and to pluck out a weed.
Sit! A series of seating options in the garden will help people to actually enjoy their outdoor space.
The gardens that people create so lovingly become the outdoor space that they would hope to sit in.
Garden-makers spend weeks, months and years getting the garden into a shape and form in which they hope to sit. Then sunshine comes along, providing the right sort of weather in which they will be able to relax. But do they? No... they simply keep on pruning, preening, clipping, weeding, nurturing, planting, humming and haa-ing. They might sit down for a minute or two, then are up and off again because they've spotted a task that needs attention.
I'll just sit down and have a rest. Wait! There's a weed! I must dig it up before those dandelion seeds are spread all over the garden.
Create as many seating areas in the garden as you can possibly squeeze in.
So, what can be done about this sorry state of affairs?
Seating is the key to being able to enjoy the outdoor space. Sitting in a garden is good for you!
Seating can be integral to the design or added afterwards in the form of tables, chairs and loungers
. Whatever sort of seating that is introduced needs to be carefully placed so that there is something on which people can enjoy the best aspects of the garden.
This handy bench will encourage you to sit for a moment rather than rushing from one garden task to the next.
What can people sit or lounge on?
It doesn't need to be a chair... but it can be. A bench, a wall, seating steps, a swing, a hammock even. People can sit on lawns, on the edge of a retaining wall or on the side of a planter. Any perch is worth having and every one that is provided should be carefully placed so that to sit is to enjoy.
Now, here's a great option for a bench which also doubles up as a retaining wall. Every opportunity should be made to make a little perching spot for maximum garden enjoyment.
Over the last few years the face of garden seating has changed beyond all recognition. Dining al fresco is more popular than ever before (thanks to patio heaters, barbecues
) and tables and chairs
now come in a wide range of materials. Not only are there wooden beauties that will stand the test of time but chairs and tables in powder-coated metals; wrought iron; aluminium; woven plaited artificial, weather-resistant rattan; canvas and plastic. The range of garden furniture on offer is enormous.
This charming 'Tea for Two' metal table and chairs is available from Perfectplants.co.uk. Cluck on the photo for details.
What style furniture can you choose for your garden?
If you have a contemporary garden then you will probably want to continue the theme of clean lines by adding some furniture and seating which is similarly simple. You will want to avoid lots of fussy detail and opt for minimal decoration and maximum functionality.
Contemporary or classic, garden seating should reflect the nature of the space around it.
This doesn't compromise on comfort, however, as sometimes simple can be sumptuous! Your garden could be ultra-modern, in which case your seating will probably not look like seating at all!
Within a traditional setting,
you might want to blend with the style of trellises and herbaceous borders
by having garden furniture with a little more flourish. Perhaps you would like some quirky seating to fit in with your unique space? There are even tables made to look like tractors and chairs that look like tractor seats!
Available from Perfectplants are these tractor tables which have matching tractor chairs. They are quirky! Click on the photo for more information.
The tractor seats can be used indoors and outdoors. They are great at a barbecue or when used with the tractor table. Click on the photo for more information.
Create some shade
There are umbrellas, garden parasols
, shades and even awnings. These all make the garden into a more usable space that can be used whatever the weather. Modern settings and traditional can all benefit from built-in shade including roll-out awnings fixed to the house which will enable the patio to be used more often. Shade sails are increasing in popularity and these can be simply erected at the beginning of summer and taken down in the autumn.
Garden parasols can be a simple way of introducing shade to small areas of a garden.
are another option, of course as a strategically-placed tree can provide the best sort of shade that you could possibly wish for. The dappled light provided by a tree casts a most interesting, changing shadow with fluttering leaves and of course, that wonderful sound. Bamboo can also be used in a similar way and the breeze through the stems is enchanting.
Consider planting a tree in a strategic position in order to provide shade in your garden.
A wide range of garden seating, parasols and awnings is available from www.perfectplants.co.uk