Last week’s blog prompted so many responses that I’m writing about benches again. Kathy Purdy, a friend, regular reader and blogger extraordinaire (you can read her blog here) made the excellent comment that the view from a bench is as important as — more important than? — the design itself. I also have photos of many interesting bench designs that I didn’t include last week. So location as well as design is the focus for this post.
I’ve positioned benches at Glen Villa with the view very much in mind. A Victorian-style metal frame bench offers a place to look out onto the circular stone wall that stood in front of the early 19th century Glen Villa Inn.
This very simple bench sitting on the bank above Lake Massawippi draws no attention to itself, leaving that to the view onto the lake.
Anyone sitting on the bench at the Sundial Clearing looks straight at the tall dead pine tree whose shadow acts as the gnomon, or pointer, to indicate the hour and to suggest the relentless passage of time.
The view from the bench above the Skating Pond shows the pond and the surrounding fields and hills.
Which is more important in a public garden — the view or the spacing between one place to sit and another? They aren’t mutually exclusive, of course, but sometimes people need to sit and rest. A bench at the botanical garden in Edinburgh looked out on a view that held only moderate interest, but it appeared just when I was ready to take a break, making it perfectly located.
The bench also demonstrates how inventiveness can turn a simple construction into a work of art, using nothing more than 2×4 boards.
More 2x4s create another very simple bench at Hannah Peschar’s Sculpture Garden. Yet see how effective it is!
Wooden planks that rise up to a climax creative an impressive bench that is a work of art at Pensthorpe Natural Reserve in Norfolk.
Wood left in its original form can also create original and effective benches.
With thought and a desire to construct something special, wood left in its natural form can create wonderful benches. That’s why one of my autumn projects is to convert this tree trunk into a bench.
The height is right for a bench and the natural shape of the maple tree trunk is interesting.
But best of all, the view is great.
That’s what I call a win/win.