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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Have a Seat

Seating in the garden is a very important feature. Sometimes the seating is part of the decoration of the garden. A number of years ago I found this old wooden chair at the curb awaiting pick-up by the garbage men. I painted it a different color each year depending on the mood of my garden. I'll never forget the day there was a garden club here and I saw a woman step into my flower bed and sit on the chair. That day I realized how important it is to have a place for people to sit while enjoying the garden.

The urge to use the seats as decorations was still strong. My mom found a broken table and two chairs in the garbage and I drove out and brought them home with me. The chairs just needed a good cleaning and new pieces of scrap fabric as covers. The table was fitted with a wire basket and then planted. I showed the table just a few days ago but now you'll see some of the mechanics.

After a two years of being outdoors the seats also broke. I was faced with the prospect of fixing them or doing something different. Is it any surprise I chose the different route? Like the table, I decided I would plant the chairs.

Here you can see a single chair. I took green hardware cloth (wire grating) and folded it into a basket shape that would fit inside the frame. Then I took green floral wire and sewed the basket into place.

Before putting the potting soil in you need to first add a layer of protection. One year I used black landscape fabric, one year I bought a coconut fiber basket liner and ripped it into the right shape, the last year I used sphagnum moss. All worked well, they just gave a different look.

On the back of the chair I made mini living wreaths and hung them. Here you can see the chair all planted. This one had a purple, silver and green theme.

For the table, I thought that I'd use herbs/edibles even though not all were truly edible. I've planted that table for 5 years and this was my favorite combination.

Here you can see them all finished. They lasted for five years in the garden before the legs of the table got to the point that they were dangerously wobbly. Five more years of life before they were sent back out with the garbage.

25 comments:

Nan Ondra said...

Oh. My. Goodness. That is *such* a fantastic idea, Melanie! I'll have a make sure I add a link to this post for the container-gardening Design Workshop at GGW. And I think I really have to attempt something like this myself. Thanks for the inspiration!

Carol said...

I've seen pictures of chairs all planted up like that and would love to have some in my garden. I'll remember to come back here to see how it is done.

Also, I know we read this a lot around the blogosphere, but your pictures of those chairs all planted up are better than anything I've seen in a garden magazine lately, really.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

lintys said...

What an adorable idea Melanie. You're so creative!

Jean said...

The plantings, oh, the plantings! I really enjoyed looking at each photo.

I love the look of seating in the garden, but I seldom stop to sit and contemplate. Just in case of sudden swooning, I do have some seats about. I notice that visitors do take advantage of seating. Maybe they're just not used to exploring several hundred feet of paths.

Thanks for the tour, love the dog!

Vanillalotus said...

What a creative idea. It's so interesting to see what gardeners do with the junk of others. You did some nice combinations I really love them.

Crafty Gardener said...

I love planting chairs for the garden. You have some lovely ones there.

Gail said...

Melanie,

I was enchanted by the red chair and then surprised me with the planted chair. Very nice.
Gail

Lin in zone 9 said...

Great ideas to add to the garden!

It's wildflower time in Southern California! I wanted to share some photos.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kerrykey/sets/72157604033984747/

Ki said...

It is quite amazing how unconscious some people are to trample through your nicely planted garden bed so she could sit on the chair. And this was a gardener?

Jane Marie said...

I love your red chair. I've decided to paint my old school desk chair this year. Maybe I'll go with a nice bright color, too. THanks for sharing the for the idea.

Wurzerl said...

Dear Melanie, first I was dazzled by the red chair. Then I saw the planted chairs and I' m so fascinated. Wonderful, what a great idea, I love it!!! I must look if I see an old chair in my loft!
Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
Have a great week Wurzerl

N. & J. said...

Great idea! I still have visions of finding an old wrought iron bed frame destined for the trash heap and using that in a garden.

N.

http://badhuman.wordpress.com

Dave said...

That's a good re-use of an old material. Your chairs came together really well! Not exactly a place to sip coffee in the morning, but sipping the view can be just as good. :)

Cabs said...

Oh I absolutely love this idea. Thanks so much for sharing it. I won't be looking at broken down chairs quite the same way again!
And....since my house will be on the garden tour here this June, I will also heed your advice about places for people to sit!
Carol

Robin's Nesting Place said...

What a cute idea! I love the living wreath on the chairs. It was fun to see how you did the screen in the chairs.

Anna said...

I haven't been able to get the stains out of my white britches since sitting in your plant chairs--other than that...I love them. OH-you know I love it all!!! I bet you see a red chair in my garden this summer or whatever color seems to match the best. This was a fun day in your garden and thanks for sharing. In some of my window boxes that call for a liner, I use brown paper bags from the grocery store. It holds up well all summer. I just poke a few holes in the bottom for drainage. Then it goes in the compost bin when the season is over. I do use two layers.

dynochick (Jan) said...

Very very cute and such wonderful combination of plants.

Multifuncional said...

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Karen said...

You make it look so easy! I've been wanting to try the "chair garden" myself. These picutres look fabulous.

Trudi said...

Hi Melanie, I had a look at your blog. I do like it. Especially also how you recycle old "things" so they fit your garden. Thats great. I personally think that is so much more fun then just going out to buy something new. So long until next time I meet you at your blog. Trudi

Nancy J. Bond said...

Brilliant ideas!

Frances, said...

This is an award winning post in my book, beautiful photos and an easy to follow how to! Thanks a million, there will be many a chair and table planted up with wire in the blogdom. For sure there will be one or more here! I think I like the table idea, a little higher for easy tending and picking of herbs and flowers. You are brilliant!

Frances at Faire Garden

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Wow, each chair or table is a garden vignette by itself. Lovely.

Kathryn/plantwhateverbringsyoujoy.com said...

Thanks for the inspiration. I have designated this year as a year to explore container gardening, so your project will remain in the creative mix. As for seating--I had a gathering last year and someone there informed me that I have seating in my backyard for 24 people! LOL! Wooden picnic table holds six, etc. I guess I like company now and then in the garden!
It's there to share, right?

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

So much creativity! I'm amazed because I'm not that creative. I always wondered how people did that. Thank you for showing us.~~Dee