Furniture for the garden can instantly change an okay area into one that invites the homeowner to wander out with his coffee and simply enjoy it.
But how can this instant transformation take place? Simply by the addition of garden furniture – but it must be the right kind.
Most people think in terms of a bench or seating of some kind when it comes to outdoor furniture. It is true that seating is good, but tables can also provide a multi-function area. They can be used for setting your coffee and book on, for the children to play games or color on, or even for small garden tasks such as potting up.
It will certainly save a lot of backache to have a high area on which to pot up those cuttings or sort out bulbs and other produce.
And if you have a vegetable garden, part of your garden furniture could well be a sink with a tap over it and a drain back to the garden. These can be bought specially for garden areas and are idea for washing produce, sorting, potting and transplanting. A small table and chair will also facilitate work, especially for senior gardeners.
Fitting Outdoor Furniture to Your Garden Theme
Firstly any garden furniture must fit in with the theme of the back garden – and the size. For instance, an inner-city courtyard will be totally overwhelmed by a large bench and table. And a formal garden will simply not look right with rustic pieces of garden furniture. However a back yard that has been made into a cottage garden will be enhanced by rustic pieces, while a formal garden will need something formal – a stone bench is a good start. Sandstone or marble is also beautiful.
Caring for Garden Furniture
Much garden furniture is made from timber. This will need to be cared for properly if it is not to disintegrate over the years due to the action of sun and rain. Oiling is the traditional way to care for most timber furniture that is meant for outdoors, though some can be painted.
The effects of weathering can be minimized with the addition of covers for outdoor furniture, but this will add extra work to put them on and take them off, so that decision can only be made by the homeowner.
Plastic or multi-material outdoor furniture such as cane and aluminum can also be an option. Modern plastics are much hardier than their older counterparts and the designs are more modern. It does tend to get mold on it if the weather is humid or damp, so wiping it over frequently will be necessary.
Design of Outdoor Furniture
Garden furniture comes in various designs and it is often better to go with something a little less traditional. A swing-seat might be a better idea for comfort than a hard chair. Or a pair of chairs joined by a center table could be something just a little different. Comfort is necessary as well as hardwearing properties.
A timber chaise-longue may suit the garden and the user far better than a straight backed bench. Slatted timber seats are often more comfortable to sit on than solid ones as there is more give in the seat.
Remember that more than one seat may be necessary if there is a family or frequent visitors. But make sure that there is unity in the seating and tables so that the garden or lawn does not look like a jumbled mess.