Wooden Garden Benches: Smooth and Rough-Hewn, Traditional and Modern

Garden bench under a tree at Scampston Hall Gardens
Scampston Hall Gardens

The longer we linger in gardens and green spaces, the more we value a place to sit. Over the last 18 months one of our most useful garden accessories, the bench, has been widely used and appreciated as never before.

I’m celebrating wooden benches that range in character from beautifully finished to rough-hewn and from classic to contemporary, by way of quirky and downright artsy. If your imagination works this way, try removing the bench from one pictures and replacing it with another. Garden furniture is more than just practical: the style of each bench alters the way we see its surroundings. 

Square design garden bench, CCLA Family Garden at Chatsworth
CCLA Family Garden at RHS Chatsworth Flower Show
Bench in Howick Hall's sensory garden
Bench in Howick Hall’s sensory garden

This nicely worn bench sits in an interactive garden – we need have no fear of sitting here.

I’ve shared pictures of some of these gardens before: read about the Sensory Garden at Howick Hall here

Wood and wicker Arts and Crafts style bench
Wood and wicker bench at York Gate Garden

or check out my post about York Gate Garden which has an Arts and Crafts theme.

Bench at Fountains Abbey and Studeley Royal Water Garden
Traditional garden bench at Studeley Royal Water Garden

The benches at Studeley Royal Water Garden and Dunham Massey are variations on a theme, similar in dimensions and outline, but while one has the elegance its setting demands, the other is a thing of the woods.

Rustic garden bench at Dunham Massey
Garden bench with a log frame at Dunham Massey
Seat built around a tree trunk
Seat built around a tree trunk
Distressed wooden bench with wriggly back and pillar ends
Rustic, artsy bench at RHS Garden Rosemoor
Serpentine wooden bench at RHS Garden Wisley
Serpentine bench at RHS Garden Wisley

RHS Wisley’s serpentine bench is very clever. It seats many people while still providing some feeling of privacy for smaller groups and its natural lines reflect the meandering outline of the lake it surveys.

Bench swing with poodle trees at Harlow Carr
Bench swing, RHS Harlow Carr
White bench with roses in Arley Hall's walled garden
White bench in a walled garden

White is the classic paint colour for a wooden garden bench, so I’m signing off with some characterful, upmarket white-painted designs. Though we might think of it as impractical, the colour certainly draws the eye.

High-backed wooden garden bench, painted white
Classical, high-backed bench design at Gresgarth Hall

The high-backed wooden bench creates a visual anchor against a yew hedge that would dwarf a standard-sized bench; the one below plays a similar role at Arley Hall gardens in Cheshire.

Cherub statue with white garden

Shared for Becky’s TreeSquares.

36 Replies to “Wooden Garden Benches: Smooth and Rough-Hewn, Traditional and Modern”

  1. A great variety of benches for every taste… while I appreciate formal ones in tidy gardens, my favorite is the log frame one at Dunham Massey. Suits my rustic taste. 🙂

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