A Quick Guide to Great Garden Bench Ideas

A garden bench can double as a relaxing and functional part of your garden. A well-placed and uniquely designed bench can make or break the overall look of your outdoor space. It’s important to make sure you bench fits within your garden theme, allows you to appreciate your views, and fulfills its purpose in your garden. These unique garden bench ideas can help you create the perfect bench to fit your space and needs.

Make Room for Storage

You can make more use from your garden bench than just a piece of furniture in your garden. Instead, utilize its size for some added storage. The video above explains how to create a garden bench that doubles as a compost bin. This is perfect for large gardens, or for gardens who simply want easy access to their compost.

Storage within a garden bench can also help hold garden tools, folding chairs for extra seating, off-season decor, cushions for your bench, outdoor toys, and just about anything you may need in your outdoor space.

A handy tip to remember: if you’re using the storage space for compost, make sure your wood or other material isn’t treated with chemicals that will contaminate your compost and future plants. Or, store the compost in a large plastic tub with holes for air circulation and drainage, like this DIY project from Blissfully Domestic, and place the tub within your garden bench storage.

Add Natural Appeal with a Stone Bench

A stone garden bench is the perfect way to create budget-friendly, functional seating while also blending your seating into your landscape for a more natural feel. To make the perfect stone bench, all you really need is two smaller stones to act as legs and a bigger stone that sits level on top of them. Look for stones with somewhat flat surfaces so they will sit well on each other for secure seating.

The DIY Network provided a tutorial for creating a more sophisticated stone bench, if you prefer. For this one, you’ll need a masonry saw, angle grinder, and caulk gun, plus some bolt adhesive to secure your stone pieces together. You can alter this tutorial a bit to create the perfect bench with the types of stones you prefer.

Create a Planter-Bench

Possibly even more important than the aesthetics of a garden bench is its functionality. Building a garden bench that functions as seating and a planter can free up some space in your garden and bring your plants up close to you as you relax.

This particular design makes use of cinder blocks as planters. If you don’t like the look of the cinder blocks naturally, consider painting them with non-toxic paint to blend them into your garden design. Then add wood planks for seating. Fill the cinder blocks with pre-mixed soil and plant to your heart’s content.

You can also make planter benches entirely from wood, utilizing the ends or corner of a garden bench for big planting areas (source). Planter benches will look beautiful either on a patio or porch, or placed within your garden along its paths.

Make it Bright

If you have garden benches along your garden paths, or in secluded areas of your garden for a more hidden retreat, they may blend into your surroundings. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be fun to give them a pop of color that stands out in a sea of green.

Pick a color from one of your plants or flowers near your seating area that really stands out to you. It could be the purple of lilacs, or a bright orange of marigolds. Choose a color with a subtle pop, rather than one that’s abundant in your garden.

Find a paint color to match, making sure it’s weather-resistant. Cover your garden benches in that color for an eye-catching seating area.

Build an Arbor Bench

If your garden bench isn’t in an area with some shade, it can be difficult to find it relaxing during any time of the day. Too much sun can be uncomfortable to the body and eyes. If you don’t have a good, shady location for a garden bench, consider making a bench with an arbor.

This type of garden bench gives your garden some architectural flair, while also giving your the opportunity to get some shade. Allow climbing vines to grow along the arbor so, within time, you’ll have a naturally-shaded rest area in your garden.

Personalize It

beches in landscaping

Garden benches should be unique to your home and family. Personalized garden benches aren’t just for graffitied city park benches or memorial benches in cemeteries. They can be the perfect pieces of furniture to add your family’s personal touch to.

If you have kids, let them have fun on a warm summer day by providing some paint and letting them get creative with paintbrushes or stamping their hand prints along the bench planks. Add your family name, coat it with a weatherproof sealant, and you have a garden bench that’s completely unique to your garden and family.

Create a Bench That’s One with Nature

It’s time to think outside the box with your garden bench! Garden benches don’t have to be the typical bench you see in gardens, with a straight-line design and big enough for only two or three people. You can get creative with shapes, especially if you want it to really blend in with your garden’s design and your surroundings.

You can even build a garden bench that surrounds a tree, for a perfectly harmonious feel in your garden. This type of bench will give you some comfortable shade from your favorite tree, and will become the perfect place to listen to birds or watch the kids play.

This tutorial by Addicted 2 DIY explains how to make a hexagonal cedar bench around a tree. When you design your own bench, make sure you allow several extra inches around the tree to give it plenty of room for its trunk to grow.

Photo Credit

Photo by Field Outdoor Spaces licensed under CC BY 2.0

Photo by jnshimko licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo by Tim Green licensed under CC BY 2.0

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