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I really like James Alexander Sinclair for his posh charm and unassuming expertise in gardening matters, but I'm not sure what I think of his warning to avoid pink patios. I had one years ago (crumbs! 35 years ago!) and I was extremely proud of it. I thought it was very posh indeed. You don't keep a pink patio long tho - it soon fades to beige. Since then, I've started off with boring beige. We have a large one, now, laid by a friend who rushed it and did a terrible job. It has big gaps between the uneven slabs and they are arranged in wonky lines. We're learning to live with it! Good hard landscaping is very important and really, he has ruined an important [part of the garden. (We kept our mouths shut, somehow, and are still on good terms with him).
I have a smallish garden but a couple of seating areas: An east facing bench which is ideal for an early morning cuppa (weather permitting). Am currently growing a scented rose against the fence behind (David Austin's Gertrude Jekyll), a small decked area with a chair where the hubby sunbathes (if there are not too many pots on there) and a small metal cafe table and two chairs facing west to catch the evening sun (ideal for a glass of something cold!).
The cat has also sussed the route around the garden to follow the sun. Spring is definately on its way as she has been out in the garden just for a wander TWICE over the weekend! - shes a cat that really dislikes the wet and cold (well, she is about 17).
Daughter made one last year by the house which catches the afternoon sun and in her Uni break will be making another at the end of the garden which catches the evening sun. She uses a mold and last year had to hand mix all the concrete - shes only a tiny woman - so this year I will hire a concrete mixer. Hopefully now my back has improved I will help more - pity her 6ft teenage brothers dont help much. Shes chopped a whole load of 20ft olive saplings down and is using them to build a pergola for a white garden with wisteria and roses over it.
My back garden is like a Doctor Who's Tardis.
There's a small patio which has a shed and bike shed to store stuff in, either end. Without them the area would be quite large but the space which is left is big enough for a round table, four chairs and bar-be-cue, conveniently, the size of a gazebo for those rainy days when entertaining, and wide enough not to knock over pots. This furniture all folds down and can by stored in the bike shed but it is hard wood and usually stay's out for the duration of the summer where you could breakfast, lunch and tea, if the weathers was fine, and look out into the garden.
I've then an asortment of fold aways seats which come out if numbers exceed four when entertaining and pots are moved to the path, and I've a sun lounger if I'm feeling really decandent to catch the summer rays.
The patio and main path is tarmac with in laid stones, not everyone's first choice but friends children can chalk on them, draw pictures, play hop scotch and notes and crosses when they visit, and the rain washes the chalk away when they've gone. The patio area is also large enough for a paddling pool once furniture is stored away.
I'm loving this thread! It realy reflects people's joy in their gardens and the homeliness of having one's own patch of earth to do with as one will. Our garden is not large but we have an open-fronted summerhouse with a gazebo over aforementioned awful patio and three benches in different parts of the garden where we can vegetate and just enjoy the view. Our garden is enclosed by equally hideous breeze-block walls, which my husband has clothed in wooden fencing. It is sunny and sheltered. To defeat the Welsh rain, we have put a plastic roof on the gazebo which leaks a bit but helps a lot and we are slowly clothing it with roses, jasmine and honeysuckle. I'm doing as much vertical gardening as I can to maximise the space we have. OH and i are both hindered by lack of real expertise, but we are slowly creating a beautiful space. Mond you, I'd give a lot for the services of a good garden designer (if I could).
I agree with you about the cost of garden seating. It was my 40th last year and anyone who asked about what I would like as a present was told National Garden Vouchers. I have enough to look at a nice bench now. My cafe table and chairs were a christmas present from my mum in a lovely powder blue colour. They sit outside our conservatory and (as mentioned above) catch the evening sun in the summer. I have let next door's honeysuckle grow over our fence and through our forsythia so it smells lovely in the evening.
My brother had some really nice 'Royal Garden' table and chair sets, basically impervious to everything the elements can throw at it, yet stylish as well. I was very impressed, so I went on the internet and had a look for a rectangular table and 6 chairs.. not a lot of change from 7-800 quid!! I'll be booking the overtime now lol
Last year i bought 3 benches all good deals. i bought a lovely really heavy wood and iron park type bench from my local flea market and then 2 fancy white benches from Wilko. The one was half price at £20 - not really worth £40 I thought. the next week they were £15 so it had to be bought. in fact they have survived the winter very well. My friend thought it hilarious because she saw me pushing a supermarket trolley across car park with a bench across it, very hard to steer. The One fancy one will go in my fairy arbour, the extra one I don't know yet and the old bench goes under the shade of an oak tree.
I feel very fortunate in having a South facing garden where the sun shines all day. I too, sat out week before last trying to get a little vitamen D. Large patio but I only have a 'Jack and Jill' seat which my kids bought me a few years back. Also have a stone curved seat by the pond where I sit for a bit of therapy watching the Koi. Intend gettinga further stone seat or bench for the end of the garden where there is a bit of shade just in case we get a baking hot summer! Don't do bbq's so no table and chairs.
Forgot -we have an enclosed patio only open on one side and we use that as a dining room in summer - that's why i forgot - hardly used it last year. Folding round wooden table and chairs there - started painting it- fed up of orangey wood - never finished - weather was against it
Would love some permanent seating which can stay out all year and like the idea of a two seater arrangement made from logs with a table in between joining them. I've my eye on one at a local nursery, must take a tape measure next time I'm there to see if it will fit in a space between the shed and flower bed.
Always liked those. Can't think where one will go
I have a permanent seat that was built in to the garden last year, it was all for free
This pic was last May so unfinished, the back that you can see is very heavy made of iron I think, I had it hanging on the wall before I moved here. I think it cost me a donation of 50p. The seating/trellis was made out of stuff that were in a skip. All of it has been stained since and many a pint has been enjoyed on there and no doubt many more to come
Love your seating arrangment holie hock.
Bunny, the two seater arrangement I'm thinking of is £90, I thought that was reasonable. It doesn't look treated though, I was thinking of using linseed oil on it if it fits in the space. Ideal for a place to sit, having a break from gardening with cuppa or relaxing in the evening with a good book and glass of wine