The bench--actually a glider--in my garden at this year's F&G Show. Jim Honold of Home & Garden Art in Seattle made it. This is substantial seating, metal that looks like wood until you try moving it. Surprisingly comfortable, with an easy glide. We have chenille and flannel pillows and books and a green apple sitting on it.
The first garden I did at the Show included a child's chair with a picture book lying on the seat. One little girl ran into the garden and had to be retrieved by her mother. "I wanted to sit down and read the book," she explained as her mother carried her away.
Since then her dash into the garden and her desire to sit and read are both the impetus for and the explanation of the best gardens I have designed. We begin outside the garden and then are drawn in. It is seating--a comfortable chair or bench and the setting--that tugs at us.
On Sunday, during move-in, once the patio was finished, we set the glider in place. That and the containers on either side of the entrance determined where everything else in the garden would be placed.
The small, old bench in front of the glider holds a teapot, and teacup and saucer and two miniature cupcakes. The pitcher of tulips crowded the bench so we set it on the floor. Beside the glider are small containers with one pink hellebore in each, and the tiny, scented pink flowers of the ABELIOPHYLLUM in the container on the left reach out to the glider.
On a patio this size everything is--and needs to be--visible from the seating. The beauty of each plant, the scent of the ABELIOPHYLLUM, the sheltering height of the screens draw one to the bench to sip tea, to read a poem and to enjoy being part of the garden.