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I have been collecting some images of benches over the years, as I love the charming element that a classic bench adds to a garden. Many of the benches that I have seen and admired have been in the beautiful parks that can be found all over London. This image shows a bench in Kew gardens (source).
As I was looking for inspiration photos, Cote de Texas’s most recent post had a beautiful picture of a curved garden bench. I really like this style, but I need at least a 6 foot bench, and this style only comes in 4’ and 5’.
I have long admired the custom benches in this garden designed by John Howard. These benches were custom designed for the space.
A custom colored bench is a feature in this back yard from a house that was on a tour a few years ago.
A simple and classic garden bench, flanked by magnificent trees, makes a wonderful visual feature in this garden. Image from Southern Accents.
This is one of my favorite style benches, and is not too hard to find in the 4’ size (as seen here). However, it is much more difficult to find in the larger 6’ size (and can be quite expensive). Image from old real estate listing.
Here is the larger version – there is something about the straight lines of the bench and the curves of the design that really appeals to me. Source unknown.
Richardson Allen makes a 6’ version of this bench. It comes in natural teak, or any custom color painted in marine grade boat paint (so it is very hardy and won’t rot). I do love this bench – this particular version is over my budget, though! Also, as the bench is custom made for the customer, I could not wait for the standard lead time as we needed to move a tree that was incorrectly placed, and we need to do it while the tree is still dormant.
The Lutyens style bench is a classic (this one is made by Kingsley-Bate), and I kept visiting it in a local teak store as I thought it would look beautiful as a featured landscape design element in my backyard.
According to what I could find on the internet, what we know as the Lutyens bench was designed by famed English architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) for the garden at Little Thakeham, and is officially called the Thakeham seat. When researching the origins of the bench, I stumbled across a company called Lutyens Furniture and Lighting, which was started by Lutyens granddaughter and sells furniture based on Lutyens’ designs. According to the Lutyens Furniture site, not only was Sir Edwin Lutyens a prolific architect, but he also had a passion for and expertise in furniture design. Image source.
After much thought and consideration, I purchased a Lutyens bench for the spot (seen above, in my back yard), and I am very happy with the decision. The Lutyens bench has such a distinctive and classic style, and the size (6’ 5”) works very well for the space. The bench is teak, so it will weather with exposure to the elements, and ultimately achieve a beautiful silvery gray color. Already the color of the teak is starting to mellow.
The bench can be seen from most of the rooms on the main floor, and it such a pleasure to catch a glimpse of it! Landscape design by Alec Michaelides of Land Plus – now that spring is here, and the back yard is starting to bloom, I am simply awed by the beauty of the landscaping – Alec created a truly beautiful design for us. I am such a big advocate of carefully considering the landscape when designing a house. It is an essential design element, and makes our house feel as if it has been here for years.
When I was contemplating the garden bench decision, I pulled out a lovely book that I received for Christmas: Gertude Jekyll and the Country House Garden. Ms. Jekyll was known for her collaboration with Edwin Lutyens, and the book highlights several beautiful gardens that were a result of this collaboration (as well as many more). In this book, I saw pictures of some of the original benches that Lutyens designed for the gardens that they worked on. (Click here to purchase on Amazon)
One of the original Lutyens designed benches, in a garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll.
A Lutyens bench found in an image on the internet (source unknown), at a house in France.
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