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Why is Seating in the Smaller Garden Important?

Basil, clay pot
Geranium Cloud 9
Helianthus, Leycestria Formosa
Pergola in Winter

A good question. Surely in smaller gardens, it’s easier to bring out a kitchen chair to sit on?   Make that 2 chairs, as a friend has popped round for a cup of tea and a chat. Now, where to put the chairs so we can enjoy the garden at the same time?

By the time you’ve settled, the tea’s cold and it feels odd having taken the chairs down to the sunny corner by the lavender.

You decide to invest in some proper garden seating. Questions to ask yourself –

·         Would you like to sit in sun or shade - or both?

·         Does the seat need to be near the house or would you prefer a quiet spot?

Seating in the smaller garden should be an integral part of your garden’s design. It has greater visibility whether its on show all the time or hidden behind a trellis covered with scented jasmine.

 Seating in the Smaller Garden as a Focal Point

What are focal points? They are a garden element that your eye is drawn towards. In smaller gardens these sometimes get forgotten and the garden looks cluttered even when it isn’t because there isn’t anything to focus on. Which is where seating in the smaller garden can come into its own.  Let’s consider 2 design options.

1.A sunny courtyard garden with large lead look-alike planters filled with Mediterranean style pants and herbs. The whole space is on view.

During winter, viewed from inside the house a grouping of Olive, Bay and Rosemary provide interest in one corner. In the other corner, set at an angle across it, is the garden bench. That gives you 2 focal points and may tempt you outside with your morning coffee even on a frosty day.

2.A narrow urban garden has a twisting path leading you between borders full to bursting with English Cottage Garden style planting. Intrigued, you walk along the path. It’s not until you round the last turn that you see a beautiful garden bench, highlighted by the sun’s rays, surrounded by scented jasmine and roses. There’s a sense of mystery to this summer garden, and the garden seating provides the focal point, the reason for travelling along the path.

Seating in the Smaller Garden – Size Matters

Small is beautiful and large makes a bold statement! What do you need from the garden seating?

It has to physically fit into the space you have available, you’ll need elbow room either side, for example. The seat should also look like it fits, not just been crammed in, or you’ll find you won’t be comfortable using it.

Do you need seating for 1, 2 or more? A combination of seats in the same material (or same wood) gives cohesion of style in a small space. If you have more than one, they can be in different styles or the same. Similar but complementary styles create an informal look without looking ‘busy’.

 What’s your favourite occupation in the garden? Weeding? Or sitting on a beautiful wooden garden bench chatting with your friend whilst drinking tea? If it’s the latter, then that is what your garden should reflect, and the right garden seating will help you do that.

Off the peg solutions may work for you, but in a small garden you can afford to splash out on something unique to create a stunning yet practical focal point. Why not consider a bespoke garden bench, hand crafted, perhaps with an individual carving to make it even more yours? That’s why seating in the smaller garden is important!

Rosa Rugosa
Salvia on trellis of a roof garden
Willow Dome Roof
Trellis with Sweat Peas


 Tel: 0203 7474 360;

Resolving your Gardening issues with inspirational ideas and flexible solutions


Passionate about edible ornamental gardens where you have a beautiful, practical space, Marie at Plews offers Garden Design, Garden Consultancy and Gardening Lessons where your garden is your classroom. She writes a weekly award-winning gardening blog – Plews Potting Shed.

Sitting Spiritually Personalised Oak Chair

Posted by Siobhan on November 29th 2018

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