Best Way to Improve Your Garden with Seats and Benches

One obvious and immediate way to enhance your garden is to place attractive garden furniture all around it. However, you could quickly run up a very large bill buying everything from the local garden centre. What better than to make your own bench, tailored to suit your garden? The following features are not difficult to construct and require only modest carpentry skills and a little knowledge of brick-laying.

Wooden seats

These come in a variety of different forms; some are just a stout plank secured to brick or wood supports, while others are tailored for specific places. Tree seat: This is ideal for constructing around a large tree. It can be combined with a paved area formed around the tree, or located in a more relaxed setting such as a woodland or wildflower garden.

Seats and Benches Best Way to Improve Your Garden with Seats and Benches

The construction of a tree seat appears more complicated than it is; four (sometimes five when encircling a large tree) frame-like supports are needed, with 10cm (4in) wide and 2.5cm (1in) thick planks screwed to their tops to form a seat. Rustic bench seat: This is quickly and easily made by digging two holes, each about 30cm (12in) wide and 45cm (18in) deep, 1.2m (4ft) apart. Thick logs, about 20cm (8in) wide and 60cm (2ft) long, are inserted 45cm (18in) into the soil, with coarse rubble rammed around them. First, however, check that their tops are level. Then, use several galvanized nails to secure the plank to the supports. Formal bench seat: Ideal for a formal setting, perhaps at the edge of a patio or terrace. This bench needs wood-working and modest brick-laying skills. About 1.2m (4ft) apart, construct two pillars, 23cm square (slightly less if metric bricks are used), and about 38cm (15m) high. Use masonry fixings to secure a 36mm thick, 20-23cm (8-9in) long and 5-7.5cm (2-3in) wide piece of wood to each plinth. The seating strips, 36-50mm (1-2in) thick and 6.5cm (2in) wide, can then be screwed to the top. Preferably, the ends should extend beyond each plinth by about 10cm (4m). Paint the wood white, using several coats.

Concrete and brick seats

Concrete and brick seats bring different textures and effects to the garden and can be constructed to any individually-tailored plan. However, they will usually take slightly longer to construct than wooden seats. Brick planter and seat: This is an attractive and relatively easily-built feature, formed of a brick planter about 90cm (3ft) square and 75cm (2ft) high. The centre is open, with drainage gaps left between several bricks in the base. The base is filled with coarse drainage material, then top-soil in which plants can be placed.

Seats and Benches 1 Best Way to Improve Your Garden with Seats and Benches

The seat part is made of a brick base, four courses high and about 30cm (12in) wide; one or two paving slabs cemented to the bricks form the actual seat.

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