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.  Continue reading “Wooden Garden Benches: Smooth and Rough-Hewn, Traditional and Modern”

Handpainted Metal Chair

Distressed textures | Painted outdoor chair and firewood

Lichen-encrusted kindling tones perfectly with the colour scheme of this Mississippi-style porch chair. To me, its bright, cheerful design looks just as good with the extra textures heaped on by weather’s rust and flaking.

Its owner hurried to brush away the wood when he learned I wanted to take its picture, but I thought it was perfect as it was. Continue reading “Handpainted Metal Chair”

Decorative Arched Footbridge, Desert Wash, East Ruston, Norfolk

Arched wooden bridge with spiky uprights

While this wooden footbridge prompted my post, I thought I’d add a few words about Old Vicarage Gardens in East Ruston where it can be found. Like many English gardens, it’s a series of themed garden rooms that make the most of micro-climates, both natural and created.

Being close to the North Sea, the garden doesn’t have the arid conditions or unrelenting sun we associate with a desert landscape but yucca, aloe, agave, dasylirion and cactus seem happy there in the Arizona-inspired Desert Wash. Continue reading “Decorative Arched Footbridge, Desert Wash, East Ruston, Norfolk”

Parliament Of Owls In A Woodland Garden

Eight stone owls with etched details and yellow eyes

If the idea of gardening merely prompts memories of garden chores such as leaf-blowing, mowing, edging, dead-heading, thank your lucky stars you don’t have to engage in large scale owl-shifting.

Hearing Sherra Owen (whose garden these owls inhabit) on MPB radio reminded me that I had not yet shared my picture of her stone owl log. It is unfair of me not to say once again what a wonderful woodland garden she has, but she’s such a lovely person, I feel sure she won’t mind. Even her wooden fence thrills me, to say nothing of her trilliums, hellebores and other woodland ephemerals.

Apparently one of the things about encouraging owls to roost on fallen timber is that the wood decays and the owls fall… or rather they would, if the lady in question did not move them to a freshly fallen log. Continue reading “Parliament Of Owls In A Woodland Garden”