Jun 29, 2010

Seats in the Garden

The perfect placing of Seats in the Garden 
is part symmetry, part scale and part intuition.
Because if seats are placed properly in a garden,
they do more than just provide a place to sit...
They invite the visitor to linger for a moment 
of private, perfectly delicious reflection... 
They form an irresistible attraction 
to draw the garden viewer towards them, 
especially if they are 
aligned on an axis to arrest the wandering eye...
And, if perfectly placed, 
with a shape that echoes the shapes of the 
plantings and layout around them, 
they can appear to have effortlessly "grown" in the garden, 
as if by themselves.
Sometimes, it is a tiny splash of colour, 
especially red, that can focus the eye. 
{Red is the complimentary colour to 
the many-shaded green in a garden, 
and therefore contrasts beautifully with theatrical drama.} 
I very much want to walk to the butterfly chair 
& spend a pleasant afternoon 
sipping Gin & Tonic in it... 
watching the butterflies flutter by...
And sometimes, 
it is the "framing" of the garden structure 
which will enhance the appeal of the seating. 
Over-scaled elements, 
like the lantern and the large columns above, 
help to define the atmosphere of a "room" - 
although of course, none really exists. 
It is, however, 
enough to make the table + chairs 
look as if they belong, 
to give them a "grounding".
Seats can be framed with organic shapes too - 
like the billowing, willowy wattle trees 
that snuggle around this seat 
at the beautiful Garden Vineyard, 
in the gentle Mornington Peninsula of Victoria.
I have saved the most beautiful image for the end - 
because that is where I would like 
to end my journey through a fabulous garden - 
sitting on this character-laden seat, 
constructed from sculptural gum slabs, 
with sunlight and shadows playing mischievously 
over the crackling grass. 
Sheer bliss: a Perfectly Placed Seat in the Garden!

Photo credits: 1. "White Symmetry" photo by Max Belloni
2. photo by Vicki Archer, her own garden via French Essence
3,4 & 9. Gardens by Eckersley Garden Architecture; 5. Ben Barrell, sculptor; 
6. Garden by Foras Studio, New York; 7. Garden by Michael Cooke
8. Photo by author, at Garden Vineyard


  1. Really useful ideas and beautiful images. Thanks!

  2. Love the last image - a very restful scene.

  3. what a beautiful places!!!
    this post inspiring me a lot!!!
    greetings from spain

  4. Beautiful Post!
    My husband is a Landscape Architect, and I can't wait to show this to him.

    Keep these fabulous posts coming!!!
    Greetings from Tucson, Arizona!


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