Garden Bench Ideas

I’ve been contemplating building a garden bench for our backyard so whenever I see a nice one I take a picture. The first example (above) resides in a nursery in Bolinas, California. Looks like one end is the ubiquitous cinder block and the other a pre-cast concrete pier. Add some driftwood (there’s a lot of it in Bolinas) and you’ve got a bench.

This arts n’ craftsy bench is in the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park. If I want to recreate this I’d have to pull out the router to do the fancy lettering. Would be kind of funny to offer naming rights to objects in our backyard, though.

Also in the Arboretum, this massive stone bench. Kinda hard to get those heavy stones up the steps to our house. It’s beautiful, but if I recreated it poorly I’d have an object that recalls the tiny Stonehenge gag in This is Spinal Tap. The amusing back story to many of the stones in the San Francisco Arboretum is that they came from a Medieval Spanish monastery that William Randolph Hearst bought and had disassembled, crated and shipped to California at great expense. A couple of fires destroyed the crates and markings and years of acrimonious debate on where to put Hearst’s monastery ended with many of the stones getting distributed around the park as benches and walls. Most went to the construction of a new abbey near Sacramento.

Really nice stonework here–a bench midway up a staircase on the Lands End trail overlooking the entrance to the bay. It’s the most beautiful place on the planet with a nice bench to enjoy the view. 

A bench at the Preston Winery, home of that olive oil I blogged about yesterday.

I don’t ‘think a short bench like any of these would work in our backyard. At home I’m either running around or completely horizontal. Perhaps some kind of lounge chair might work better or a really long bench with some cushions.Will have to consult with the boss . . .

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  1. I have a bunch of leftover timbers and plastic decking that weren’t quite enough for making another planter box, and the previous owner of this house left a s**tload of various concrete blocks and pavers all over the yard, so I have a sort of temporary bench fashioned out of this detritus in the back corner of the yard, which, by the way, is the only shady spot in it. It’s a great place to go have a glass of water and a rest when it’s hotter’n'hell outside and you just want to sit down for a minute. I’ve been grateful for that bench, as half-assed as it is, many, many times.

  2. When my 84-year-old neighbor died, I was given her bench. She obtained one of the courthouse steps for her yard many years ago. I had to hire a tow truck to bring it half a block. I laid out newspapers where I wanted it set up and two friends lifted it onto some stones I got from her. I put my stone bench in the front yard of my corner lot under and oak with a double trunk. Soon, neighbors on the other corners had benches under the trees on their corners. It was all quite picturesque until my oak died. Now, the stone bench looks ridiculous where it sits. In my yard are two other benches, both metal, and two large swings, one custom made from my specs. There is never a problem finding a place to sit or lie. Then, there is the picnic table that a friend often lies on when he takes a break. I love places to sit in the yard. Most of my seating was free or dirt cheap.

  3. I have a bunch of leftover timbers and plastic decking that weren’t quite enough for making another planter box, and the previous owner of this house left a s**tload of various concrete blocks and pavers all over the yard, so I have a sort of temporary bench fashioned out of this detritus in the back corner of the yard, which, by the way, is the only shady spot in it. It’s a great place to go have a glass of water and a rest when it’s hotter’n'hell outside and you just want to sit down for a minute.I want a garden bench too!! It’s on my project list. Those are cool examples. I like this post thanks you are sharing a great post.

  4. I laid out newspapers where I wanted it set up and two friends lifted it onto some stones I got from her. I put my stone bench in the front yard of my corner lot under and oak with a double trunk. Soon, neighbors on the other corners had benches under the trees on their corners. It was all quite picturesque until my oak died. Good article method good article pics thanks

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