The garden, for many of us, is an extension of the home. It’s where we can get back to nature, dig our hands in, and contribute to the growth of an abundant crop. Even urban gardeners who don’t have much space can appreciate the big impact that these (mostly) small pieces of of unusual furnitures can make.
These swings from Fletcher and Myburgh Designs look like something out of a fairy tale. They are as much works of art as they are places to sit down and take a break from a hard day of gardening. The soft lines and rounded shapes make each swing seem like a cocoon of peace removed from the outside world.
A relaxing bench is the first piece of furniture most gardeners buy for their little plot of land. These lovely steel butterfly and peacock benches and leaf-shaped chairs carry on the nature theme of the garden while giving visitors a place to pause and take in the sights.
These creative designs show what happens when you don’t just make furniture to go in the garden – you make it part of the garden. The benches, tables, and chairs from Cinq Cinq Designers feature built-in planters to let you keep green things near you always.
Some garden furniture is closer to its, ahem, roots than most. The practice of arborsculpture – coaxing trees to grow in specific shapes or patterns – has been around for centuries, but it has enjoyed a resurgence in the new millenium. Many people think that this is the future of furniture making: designing and growing your own furniture. The above designs include a coffee table (in its growing form at top left and finished form at top right), a still-growing chair, and a living table.
UPDATE: Becky from Pooktre, makers of the beautiful growing furniture above, has kindly corrected me about their method. It is not arborsculpture, but a gentler way of guiding growing trees into the desired shape. Learn more about their process at their site and in the comments section of this post. Thanks, Becky!
They may not be live, growing furniture, but they almost look like it. These adorable carved wooden pieces are actually children’s chairs to put in the garden. The low toadstools would be perfectly at home among tall ornamental grasses or wildflowers, or even beside a garden path.
Garden furniture that does double duty is bound to catch the fancy of any space-conscious gardener. These are great examples of how garden furniture can be ornamental and functional at the same time. The birdbath plant stand is made to hold up to twelve hanging baskets, bird feeders, or a combination of the two. In the center sits a birdbath for your feathered visitors to wash up in after a nice meal. The Little Garden table is available in two heights and lets you keep a bit of the garden with you during outdoor summer meals. Plant some herbs in it and you’ve got instant seasoning for your meals.
Listening to music while you weed the flowerbeds doesn’t have to mean wearing uncomfortable earbuds. The StereoStone Fountain Speaker lets you pipe your favorite tunes outdoors while the running water up top creates soothing background noise. And if your garden space is severely limited, you can make some furniture do double (or triple) duty. The Griffin planter/chair/table transforms to be what you need when you need it.
Why leave your pets out? They love a good garden almost as much as you do. These innovative pet houses use the otherwise wasted space on the roof to create intriguing little gardens filled with plants native to your specific area.
Great garden furniture may not make your flowers bloom, but it can certainly make the area feel more relaxing and inviting for everyone who enters.