10 Types of Garden Furniture for your Garden
Gardens are a great place to get sunshine, fresh air, exercise or just have a quiet cup of tea. There are many styles and materials from which to choose your patio or garden furniture.
Named for the Adirondack mountains, this is a deceptively simple furniture style. The pieces can range from a simple, straight-backed bench to incredibly comfortable loungers and sturdy tables. The various items are made from standard, milled lumber and are sometimes used as shop projects for students.
The term twig furniture is somewhat deceptive, as some of those “twigs” look remarkably like logs! The key feature of twig furniture is that is uniquely styled, and capitalises on the unexpected. The “look” of twig furniture can range from a wild appearance, as if it were just whipped up from random woodlot materials, to items with a sophisticated charm. Mother Earth News published an article about twig furniture. If you would like to make your own, Making Twig Furniture and Household Things by Abby Ruoff is the classic book on this topic.
Rustic garden furnishings is very like twig furniture, but is just a little bit more practical. It combines some of the principles used in both the Adirondack furniture and twig furniture. A rustic garden bench may combine milled lumber and found materials, but practicality and comfort are the key here. You can view some sample of rustic garden furniture at Rocky Mountain Cabin Decor.
4. Split log
Split log furniture is, well, made from split logs. A split-log bench is a classic garden seat. One that is well made combines the rustic charm of twig furniture with the down-to-earth practical aspects of Adirondack furnishings and regular rustic furnishings. Split-log items tend to be heavy, but hold up well to the weather. Mother Earth News has published directions for making a set.
5. Recycled plastic
Maybe you are not the do-it-yourself type. Maybe you would prefer to keep the trees standing upright for some shade instead of making things out of them. You can still enjoy the look of rough-hewn materials by using patio furniture made of recycled plastic. One company, Poly Wood, Inc., advertises that its plastic is made from post-consumer plastics such as milk and detergent bottles.
For patio furniture that you can store away for the winter, you just can’t beat having something that will fold up. Folding furniture comes in a wide variety of styles, including Adirondack and recycled plastic. It can also be made from light-weight metal with woven plastic strips or covered in canvas or similar fabric. The styles are just as varied as the materials. You can find some samples at the Target.
Canvas is a natural for outdoor furnishings, and can be used for everything from sling chairs and hammocks to sturdy upholstery for a variety of chair and bench styles. Treated canvas is water resistant. Fabric items can easily be removed from more solid pieces and stored away during wet or cold months. It can also be used for awnings and umbrellas, and even covers for less moveable pieces. Meijer’s Backyard Basics series gives some good uses of canvas.
Wicker is a superbly versatile material for patio and garden furniture. It can be made from a variety of weaving materials used to create comfortable seats and backs, as well as tables and even storage items. It is a little more permanent than canvas, but not as heavy to move about as some types of outdoor furnishings. It can be made from all-natural substances such as rattan or from recycled plastics. It is receptive to pillows and throws, but can be easily cleaned. This ad from Overstock gives a good idea of just how versatile wicker really is.
Sometimes you want something that is going to last a while. Sturdy iron scrollwork combined with solid two-inch planking makes a lovely garden bench that can be bolted to a concrete base for immovable relaxation. This is especially useful in public areas where it is advisable to keep users from moving things about. Metal work also gives the opportunity to create unique decorations as well as a place to have a nice bit of a blaze to brighten an autumn event.
Extend your enjoyment of your garden by building a brick or earthen bench that backs onto a fire-pit or brick grill. Tucked under a gazebo or similar structure, it can become the heart of a gathering or garden party. You can get some ideas for making baked-earth or brick benches from this You Tube video about cob building.