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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Seating areas

One of my most favorite photos taken in a garden is this opening shot. It shows my daughter Lauren (now 19) quite a few years ago. We were touring the horticultural learning gardens at the New York State University at Farmingdale and Lauren was totally engrossed in one of the earliest Harry Potter books. Farmingdale has magnificent tropical gardens and I'll be touring them again in a few weeks with my garden club.

What you see here is the perfect setting for seating in a garden. Surrounded by lush plant material, it's a little oasis, a place to sit and relax while still being a part of nature.

My mom bought us this swing a number of years ago. It took a few tries before I had it located the way I wanted. Now, it is the crown jewel in my herb garden. I have spent many a lunch time sitting in this swing.

It's a perfect place to sit in early spring because the sun shines on you and warms you while you are sitting there. In the summer, you can only sit there with breakfast in hand or in the late afternoon when the roof shades you. It also is the perfect spot to take photos and we've had many people pose here exactly for that purpose.

The most used seating area in our yard is this one, by the swimming pool. For some reason visitors just gravitate to this spot. I think it's the subconscious thought that it's "OK" to relax when you are by a swimming pool.

Now I have to add that none of these seating areas are the new super deluxe, break the bank, kind of furniture sets. In fact, this white vinyl set was bought second hand at least 10 years ago and still does it's purpose. While those fancy sets are fine, they don't really impress me. I don't need my garden to look like the inside of my house, shabby chic works fine when outdoors.

This is not a good photo but it's my gazebo out front and it's the one seating area that I rarely find people sitting in (and that includes myself). I know what's missing from here but I just haven't gotten around to getting it right. This area needs to be part of a setting, it needs to send out an invitation that says "come sit here and your worries will fade away". I guess I can look at it as another challenge in the garden.

Today's challenge though will be to get a few hours of work done without freezing or getting soaked. Maybe in the summer we will be longing for these cold wet days but somehow I don't think so.

It's spring, so think green!


Joanne said...

Hi Melanie I to like seating areas in the garden apart from the usefulness they draw your eye to a feature and help draw people round the garden even in my small garden they work well.

The gazebo looks lovely so I will be interested to see how you manage to draw people in.

Gail said...

You are so right can plop a seat down anywhere but it won't be used it there isn't a view or it doesn't help you relax! It helps that they are functional, too!

I have been looking for a nice substantial bench for under my bird houses...but gee whiz the costs are astronomical!

I love your seating areas and I can see exactly why folks move to the does say let's relax and have a beverage.


Heather said...

Good morning Melanie- I think all three vignettes are great and inviting. I love the gazebo and can't wait until you show us the "just right" photos of it. I am trying to create inviting places like yours in my garden. One step at a time.

our friend Ben said...

Cold, rainy and miserable here, too, Melanie, just when the garden is beckoning. Grrrr!!! I love your herb garden swing. And I can't help but think that it's not the pool but the wonderful, colorful garden in front of it that's drawing people in to your poolside seating area. It certainly drew me in!

Sue Ellen said...

I really enjoyed your post on the seating area. I especially liked the swing. My grandfather always had a swing in yard. I may have to look for a place that I could include a swing in my garden.

Dirt Princess said...

Your garden is beautiful