The Mystique of the Garden Bench
By David Chandler
What better way to spend a lazy summer day than sitting
on a beautiful garden bench. The humble garden bench can
hold a special place in our hearts and our memories. Do
you remember sitting with a grandparent, parent or other
family member just relaxing and enjoying the view? On
the other hand, does your garden bench have a more
romantic memory shared with your significant other?
Location, location, location! The location of your bench
should be placed some distance from your home, if
possible, and within view from your home. The bench will
then call out to you to take a walk, sit down, relax,
and enjoy the view. A good tip to remember is it is not
where the bench looks good, but what looks good when
sitting on your bench!
Garden benches come in a variety of colors and
materials. The type of bench you choose is a matter of
taste, although when selecting your bench, consider
practicality as well as being an ornamental garden
Wood benches made from hardwood such as teak, redwood,
mahogany, or cedar can stay outside year-round. While
these benches are pricey, they are not rot-resistant and
will turn a silver gray color when left unattended.
These benches need to be washed once a year with mild
soap and a bit of bleach. Benches made from
pressure-treated wood (as seen on decks) are another
option. Painted benches made from wood should remain
inside or under cover.
Metal benches options are cast or tubular aluminum,
wrought iron. Although wrought iron is nice to behold,
it will rust and therefore should be saved for indoor
use. Cast aluminum benches are poured into molds and
therefore can simulate wood or wrought iron. Aluminum
benches can come in all different colors and antique
finishes. The paint is baked on for durability and these
benches can easily be cleaned with soap and water.
Benches made from carved stone, stone slabs, and cast
stone require no maintenance other than an occasional
dusting off debris.
Wicker and rattan settees say "garden," but save them
for covered porches or inside. There are All-weather
wicker benches, usually made from woven synthetics on an
aluminum frame, which can go outside.
Also, do not rule out low-priced plastic or resin
benches. They are lightweight and wash up with soap and
water, though prolonged exposure to the elements can
make them brittle.