10 ideas for seating areas
At this time of year, when the light returns, I start dreaming about summer. I imagine long days spent leisurely enjoying the garden, looking at the flowers and feeling pleased with the progress. Ideally, I would be seated comfortably with a cup of coffee in the morning, and with a good friend and some wine in the evening. Of course the needs of each occasion are different, and so I thought I would gather together a collection of pictures of seating areas in other peoples gardens for inspiration. These are all pictures that I have taken on my travels and I'm so happy to have them now, when all travel is made impossible by Covid. Looking at old pictures from other peoples gardens I can ponder my own seating areas, and in my minds eye tweak them to perfection.
Reality (of course) never lives up to the expectations... Instead of being comfortably seated somewhere nice in the garden, I end up spending all my time weeding, watering, planting and mulching, performing the odd nip-and-tuck on wayward plants, redoing an area that just doesn't work. If I'm not working in the garden most likely you will find me harvesting vegetables and cooking for my family and friends, cleaning one of the many cottages or running errands to the local villages. Never comes the day when all the work is done, but to me that is the charm of living on a farm deep in the countryside. I'm a tiny bit overactive - they say - and keeping busy keeps me happy and healthy. Still, I like the idea of sitting down for a long natter with a glas of wine and a good friend and I really love a well placed seating area in the garden. (The reality of this being that I often end up simultaneously weeding, but luckily I'm blessed with the kindest and most patient people who don't take offence but simply indulge my quirks.)
To my mind, a good garden needs seating areas both in the sun and in the shade so that there is always somewhere that is just right for that days weather. Personally I find too much heat a bit difficult, so I like a place in the shade for the odd hot day that blesses us with its presence. For windy days a sheltered corner, and for cool autumn days a place that traps the sun. Of course no one actually needs that many seating areas, quite in the same manner as no one actually needs all those plants or so many chicken, but what harm can it do and it may come handy. Last year for example, when there was no travel, I was oddly glad to have a change of scenery depending on my mood. If I felt sociable I would walk over to Portvakten and have a glass of wine with it's residents, and if I wanted peace and quiet from the others during a Skype call with a friend stuck over seas I'd hide in the woodland patio at Stensund. In the early evening the rose arbour at Humlegård was the place to be to enjoy the setting sun. Living harmoniously many generations together on the same farm is much easier if there is space for everyone to do their own thing as and when needed.
Making a seating area beautiful is not quite as easy as it sounds. It is not just the myriad of different styles of garden furniture to choose from, or the plants around it, but also how it sits within the surrounding landscape that sets the mood. Added to that, there is the question of decorating it with extras or keeping it simple. As you all know I do like little still life collections and odd decorations dotted around the garden, and especially so on randomly placed tables. To my mind it fills up the space and enhances the experience of walking past while on my own, and yet in my gardens most of the seating areas are quite simply framed. Personally, I love coloured cast iron furniture, and sometimes I feel it is enough to just keep it all quite simple. Still, I will be thinking twice about composition come spring just in case there will be no travel this summer either!
As February turns into March, I'm wishing you all a lovely spring!