After a long day in the garden, whether it’s mowing the lawn, tidying it up or tearing flowers, it’s very relaxing to sink into a garden seat with a cup of coffee and admire your hard work.
Some gardeners build planter boxes into their garden benches or design the seating as an integral part of the garden.
You can opt for imaginative, rustic seating designs including old sawn branches, upcycled wood and plastic planters, or opt for a sparkling metal design to add elegance to your outdoor space.
Whether you prefer a raised bed with a bench seat or two planter boxes with a bench in between, read on for ideas that best suit your space.
1. What can you plant in a bench planter?
Of course, this depends on the size of the planter, but don’t think it’s too big unless you’re using it to cast some shade on purpose.
Herbs are the perfect additions to a bench planter. Lavender is quite a large shrub and diffuses perfume around the area to turn it into a relaxing oasis, perfect for a siesta. Sweetly scented gold lakes, followed by scented peas, provide delightful scents all summer long.
The bench may be overly popular with youngsters for a weekend nap, but it can also double as an area for parents and grandparents to take their afternoon nap (I mean reading the paper, of course!). Which brings me to the next thought…
2. Who will use the bench?
If the bench has users of different ages, it may have to endure a lot of jumping and juggling, naps, and lounging while playing on the iPad… The bench needs to be comfortable and strong, while the planter needs to be able to withstand sprawling legs, pets, or sleeping ones Adult. My advice is that the plants need to be fairly interchangeable. Take cuttings!
Here are some planter seating ideas to get you started!
1. British Recycled Plastics to match bench and planter
No splinters, cracks or rot means this range of recycled plastic outdoor benches and seats are low maintenance, weatherproof, safe and built to withstand the most demanding of environments (like the UK winter).
These designs have the added value of being recycled, they are made in the UK and they come with matching planters. Placed fully in your garden, you can be sure you are bringing true British style to your outdoor space.
Another alternative is two planters attached to a bench. These can be bought in plastic or metal and you can easily add small annuals to the planters to make a great spot for your lunch.
2. Sawn-off branch seat and matching planter
If one of your larger trees needs serious pruning, you may be able to make a very unique planter and seat out of the tree trunks. Make sure the branch is secure on the ground and big enough to hold people, or at least one person.
Mark the measurements of the area you want to sit on.
Using a saw, you can remove a section large enough to create a seating area. When the branch is large enough, support your back by cutting another section vertically. This can look great when you add comfy pillows.
If there is another branch, it can be shaped into your planter. As it comes from the same tree, the planter’s bark matches the seat perfectly. A curled branch provides an extremely natural looking planter, or you can add some wire to place a flower pot inside and create a very artistic shape.
This idea depends not only on the available branches, but above all on your imagination. Read on for suggestions on what to plant in your planter.
You can chop smaller scraps of wood to use as fuel for a wood stove. Dry them face down for two years before burning them.