You Just Can’t Argue With A Good Idea

I felt a brief surge of panic as King of the Hill mentioned settling our garden bench in the newly cleared area at the feet of the horse chestnut and beech trees.

Limnanthes douglasii - poached egg plant - flowers

“But that is going to be our woodland area!”, I exclaimed, pointing out the sinuous curve of the planted border that would continue across the front of this bare earth to seamlessly join the strawberry bed. King of the Hill pointed out that in his mind we had always intended to put the bench here.

Garden bench in dappled shade beneath canopy of trees

“Perhaps we could pull the bench forwards so that it sits on the grass just in front of that border…”, I continued hopefully, but I already knew that I had lost this debate, for no better reason than that I could see just what a good spot it would indeed be for the old wooden seat.

We carried the bench to this contentious spot, and I couldn’t fail to agree that it was a perfect position. Snug under the trees, there was some shelter from the winds that was lost just a foot or two further forward. And it gave a lovely view along the adjoining border, and across the lawn to the far plantings and up to the house.

Garden with bench nestled beneath trees

We agreed that I could have free rein planting around and beneath the bench; and even in front of it, with the addition of a few stepping stones to give access to the seat – being mindful that anything planted here had a good chance of being trodden on despite such stones.

Garden bench behind the swell of the border

So here the seat has remained, looking as though it has always been there: a perfect place to perch with a cup of tea and survey the garden; shady in the heat of the day and catching the last of the evening sun before it sinks in front of the house. We planted a vigorous rambling rose, Paul’s Himalayan Musk, just to the side of the bench where it should scramble up into the trees above to give a burst of scent and colour mid-summer.

Bench catching evening sun in late spring

And so the bench that has been restlessly shuffling around the garden finally has a home, and I am revising the half-formed plans in my head to incorporate this seat. I shall plant the area up slowly in the months to come as I raise or obtain suitable plants. A sweet scented sarcococca whispering over our shoulders in the crisp cool air, a carpet of creeping phlox around our feet in summer… not to mention the tumbling rose above us. A change in direction, but there is promise here.


6 thoughts on “You Just Can’t Argue With A Good Idea

  1. My bench has never got any further than by the back door as I sit on it to put my boots on. Having said that I do feel a need for another bench up the garden though my steps are quite comfy in a cold concrete way!

    • Ah, we could do with something by the back door! I sometimes perch on the edge of the path/steps to look down the garden, but it can be quite chilly indeed. We’re hoping to cobble together or find another bench or two around the garden. I’d like a circular seat around the trunk of the holly tree beyond the greenhouse at the end of the garden, to take advantage of the stunning views beyond.

  2. I’m envious, I haven’t even got a bench!! We contemplated buying one at Malvern but by the time we’d worked our way back to the stand I was pooped and had lost all interest. I was fixated on sitting down with a cup of tea.

    • This bench came with the house. I intend to give it some TLC soon, as it has a fine coat of lichen, and one of the front-to-back supporting struts underneath is broken, we’ve been intending to replace it for months or one of these days you may find one of us sitting ‘in’ the bench 😉

  3. I have to drag the enormous and very, very heavy bench at the Priory to one side when I mow and then back again afterwards. I might look to see whether I can’t stick it somewhere permanently – so to speak. I love the glimpse of the hills in that 3rd shot. Dave

    • We have a similar issue with the big table (currently also loaded up with chairs, so requiring two of us to shift it to mow underneath). The bench at least is lightweight, even I could throw it around singlehanded, but it’s nice to find it a home.
      Ah the rolling hills around us, they are quite something.

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