Choosing an Outdoor Garden Bench
An outdoor garden bench can not only provide you with a place to sit when you are enjoying your garden, it can become an attractive and integral part of the garden itself. Before you rush out and buy the first bench you see, take a step back and do a little planning. You won't enjoy your bench as much if you don't plan and research first.
You won't get as much enjoyment out of your outdoor garden bench if you don't place it in the right spot. Take a folding chair and walk about your garden. Set up the chair wherever you're considering putting the bench and sit down. Take a look at your view. Do you like it? Try this in the morning, the afternoon and evening. How does the placement of the sun affect your bench? Will it be right in your eyes? Do you have enough shade there to allow you to enjoy a warm summer's afternoon on your bench?
Once you've gotten a spot picked out, you need to figure out if you need to do anything to prepare the ground you've chosen for your bench. If the ground is level, you probably won't need to worry. If not, you may want to level it out. Some people like to put down some pavers under their benches so they don't need to worry about plants growing too close to it, while others want the bench to look like it is literally set in the middle of the plants.
Types of Outdoor Garden Bench Materials
Now that you know where to put your outdoor garden bench, what kind of bench do you want? There are literally hundreds of designs that you can find online and at local shops. Garden benches come in teak, oak, birch, beech, maple, cherry, poplar, cedar, eucalyptus hardwood and other woods. They are also available in plastic, recycled plastic, steel, aluminum and cast iron. Concrete and cast stone offer still more options.
You want to choose a style that fits your garden design, looks attractive and fits in your budget. Wooden benches are the most popular. If you would like a wooden bench, be sure to treat the wood with the proper finish so it doesn't get ruined by spending time in all different types of weather. The winter can be especially harsh to wooden benches that haven't been treated.
Once the wood begins to deteriorate, insects, mosses and molds can move in. If you take the time to seal the wood on your bench, it will last much longer and look great for a long time. You can find more information about sealing wood at house-painting-info.com or ask at your local home improvement store what the best treatments would be.
Recycled plastic benches can be made to resemble wood, but it is very durable. You can often see this type used for park benches. They look nice and require little care. Other benches made of plastic may be portable, so you can put them away in the winter, or they can double as storage for your outdoor tools and accessories.
Metal benches or cast aluminum look especially nice in formal gardens. They last a long time and require only a little maintenance now and then to keep them looking their best.
Cast stone and concrete may not be as comfortable as the others, but they offer the opportunity to personalize them with sayings, names, dates and so on.
Concrete and stone will also withstand almost anything. They can be very heavy to install, however.
Once you've chosen the material you like best, do you want a simple bench with no back? This can be fine for many applications, but if you want one to relax in, you may want to opt for one with a sturdy back. Another decorative option is to get a bench with a built in arbor. Some people prefer one that swings. There are many different options to choose from.
If you're not sure what you like or what would be comfortable, go to your local home improvement shop and try some out. In the spring and summer, most of these stores will have several models available that are put together for people to see.
Most garden benches will easily seat two or three people. Get one that will seat the number you want. If you need more seating than that, you may want to consider creating a seating area that can hold a bench and a few garden chairs.
Installing your bench may be as simple as setting it in place. If you need to level your chosen spot, your bench will be much steadier. You can set the bench on pavers or gravel to encourage water to drain away from the legs of the bench. Use a level to ensure that your bench is set evenly on the surface.
Now that your bench is all set in the garden, you can go out and relax. Enjoy the view whenever the mood strikes. You'll find you enjoy your garden more with a place designated for sitting.
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