Spring is in the air, with longer days and lighter nights, and more time to spend in our gardens. From getting your daily vitamin D intake, to boosting your mental health by spending time in nature, gardens are amazing places. Getting outside is proven to lower stress and increase energy levels and, if you’re working from home, even 10 minutes outdoors, away from your computer screen, can be a huge benefit. And once you’ve done the hard gardening – or home office - graft, you’ll need somewhere to sit, relax and simply enjoy. Our guide to choosing garden furniture will help you find the most comfortable, stylish way to do it.
Follow the sun
Note where the sun falls throughout the day. If you love a morning coffee, is there an area that catches the early morning sun where you could place a garden seat? Being guided by where the sun falls allows you to plan seating areas that will maximise sunlight in the morning, afternoon and evening, or avoid it if you prefer a shady spot.
Consider the shape of your garden; do you have exposed sections along a wall or fence, an overlooked corner or an unused alcove? A well-placed garden bench will draw the eye, add interest and offer somewhere to grab a peaceful, restorative 10 minutes in the sunshine.
Once you’ve chosen your spot, consider the size of the space and who will use it – do you need seating for one, two or more people? For smaller numbers, the beautiful wooden Companion Bench is ideal for two people enjoying a morning coffee, afternoon tea or a sundowner together. Handcrafted in teak, with two seats at an angle and a table between them, this is a relaxed, comfortable choice that looks great in many styles of garden. You can place a companion bench pretty much anywhere, but they can be particularly effective in a corner, alcove or sheltered spot. If possible, position it close to a sweet-smelling climber, such as honeysuckle, or plant up some lavender, sage and lemon balm in pots and enjoy the scent on a gentle breeze.
Equally good for a corner spot is the curvaceous Teak Banana Bench, also often called a crescent, half-moon or peanut bench because of its distinctive curved top rail. The slatted back adds a classic element to the more contemporary style. It looks so inviting, it works just as well positioned on an open lawn as nestled in a corner, and it’s a beautiful piece to team with circular landscaping, such as curved beds, paths or grassy areas.
If you need something a bit bigger, our Lutyens Garden Bench can be relied on for classic style. The beautiful three-seater is based on a design by renowned British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1969-1944), whose painstakingly, hand-carved design set the standard for garden seating.
Low-maintenance outdoor furniture
A key consideration when choosing garden furniture is maintenance. Are you happy with furniture that has to be stored over winter, or would you prefer something that can be left outdoors all year round? If it’s the latter, teak garden furniture is a fantastic option. Teak is a low-maintenance wood that naturally contains silica, which makes it resistant to fungal decay, as well as many of the effects of water, including rot, swelling and warping. Teak can be left outdoors all year round with no upkeep, and also ages beautifully, gaining a silvery look over time.
Great Gatsby style
For complete relaxation, you can’t beat a Garden Lounger. The pair we currently have available feature a durable teak hardwood frame teamed with weather-resistant fabric. An adjustable backrest and pull-out side table add to the practicality, but these beautiful pieces are all about decadent days and creating a Great Gatsby-esque vibe in your outdoor space.
The last decade has seen gardens become an extension of living spaces. Outdoor sofas allow you to create areas dedicated to gatherings with friends and family. You might need a few cosy sheepskins on chilly days, but outdoor heating, from firepits to chimineas and electric lamps, will help extend an afternoon gathering into the evening. Perfect for decking, patios or pergolas, our Luxury Outdoor Sofa Set is crafted in teak with cushioned seating. Team a couple of outdoor candles with one of our Ribbed Terracotta Planters filled with foliage on the table for a decorative display, then sit back and enjoy an evening drink as the sun sets.
Adding little extras, such as candles, lights and plant or herb-filled pots, creates a welcoming space. Turning your garden into a more inviting place will make you want to spend more time there, reaping all of those mental and physical health benefits. And nobody said you shouldn’t do it with an evening G&T in your hand - in fact, we highly recommend it.