Where I stand on benches
We have benches and quiet places to sit around the garden. Some of the benches have to be taken inside over winter, others are too heavy to move so we cover them in tarpaulins and keep the worst of the weather off. I'm not alone in not always getting time to sit down in the garden and just relax and enjoy it. I often hear people chatting about how nice it is to stay still and enjoy the garden. We've just put the oak benches out for the new season, so I thought I'd write a blog on where the best places to sit are. here's where I would sit if I had the time!
The best benches to rest on in the garden
The Tennis Court bench in the Walled Garden is the most popular I think. Although people seem to take photos of it rather than sit on it, so maybe I'm getting this list wrong! Anyway, it's a grand old bench; a Lutyens design. It's all lichen-covered and dwarfed by the planting behind at various times of the year. The most dramatic is when the Filipendula rubra 'Venusta' sticks up about 5 foot above it.
Then come the Cottage Garden benches. There are two here that are special. The first is in the 'ruins' of the cottage walls. These walls are a folly, created to make it look like a tumbledown cottage that's been over-run with wild plants. It was modelled on a cottage in Crete that the head gardener at the time, Keith Wiley, had seen whilst travelling. The other bench is near the silver birch trees, giving views all the way down the valley to St. Andrew's Church, in Buckland Monachorum.
My fourth choice is a bench that was new in 2017. It's on a smashing spot, down by the lake, underneath an oak tree. We had to remodel the bank to get it in place but the effort was well worth it and many people have already adopted it as a favourite place to be.
I'll stop at five or I'll be here all day. The next choice is the long bench in the Sunken Garden. This one is a real suntrap. in fact it's one of the warmest, most sheltered spots we have. ironically with all the walls in this place, this is my only South facing stone to put tender climbers on. The Sunken Garden is always home to blackbirds and other garden birds. It's tucked away behind the barn and is a perfect spot to sit quietly, often unobserved, watching the world go by.
I've realised instead of stopping, I should mention that I'd like to put a special picnic bench in the Dell. I've seen one that is giant sized, with seats and sections that pull out to make tables for children to sit at. It would be perfect for storytelling and family lunches. If anyone knows any carpenters with time on their hands - let me know!
See you in the garden soon,