Wednesday, 5 September 2018

A garden of benchly delights

After a long summer the garden benches are looking particularly hot this year.

But now it's September, season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

The Old Vicarage, West Sussex

Everything is a riot of colour.

The flowers are dazzling.

The benches are still blooming in late summer sun.

Littlehampton, West Sussex

After that blaze of colour I need a white bench to calm me down.

Sandown, Isle of Wight

Or some nice quiet evergreens and a plain wooden bench. 

image by Joanna Michalak

Eddie, my Inner Editor, who just happens to be a primate: Here is a picture of me.

Yes, of course, Eddie. We must always have a picture of you. 

Eddie: Why this long introduction? You promised your readers some benchly delights.

Yes, I'm going to show some of the lovely garden benches I have collected over the years. 

Eddie: Will the benches be delightful?

They will. Here's a pretty arbor bench on the Isle of Wight . . . 

Yarmouth, Isle of Wight

and a front garden bench in The Netherlands . . .


. . . and Madame Memessieure and her son.

Eddie: Nice looking kid. Cute dog. The bench here is no great shakes.

But the painting is gorgeous, Eddie. Just appreciate the painting.

Eddie: I am no stranger to paintings. I often find myself in galleries.

I was promised some benchly delights though.

Well, how about this? A delightful cat on a front garden bench.

Yarmouth, Isle of Wight

Eddie: I am far from delighted.

OK, here's a beautiful wood bench in the sun in Cyprus . . .

image by Sheila B

. . . and some friendly sheep on a bench in Germany.

Ganderkessee, Germany

Here is a jolie young woman on a bench in France.

You see, when I travel with Mungo and Miggy I always find wonderful benches. 

Eddie: By the way, here is a front garden bench I saw on my holiday.

Seaview, Isle of Wight

Sorry, Eddie, but this is a bit plain. There aren't any flowers or anything.

Eddie: Alright, here are some flowers. 

Ryde, Isle of Wight

Eddie: And another front garden bench.

This bench is not very attractive though, is it?

Eddie: Front garden benches rarely are. 


Oh, I beg to differ! 

In Bavaria front garden alpine benches are works of art.

Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany

Further north, here's a striking front garden bench in Baltic blue.

This red bench makes a great welcome at the front of this house.

ruthanddave @ Flickr Creative Commons

And brilliant bright colours on this front door bench in Groningen.

Groningen, Netherlands

Eddie: This is too much. 

I feel like I've swallowed a brightly coloured front garden mushroom bench.

Ryde, Isle of Wight

OK, Eddie, you rest on a bench a while and I'll get on with the story. 

Before I was interrupted I was going to say that autumn is an important time for gardens and benches.

Eddie: This story isn't setting my heart bench on fire. 

As I was saying. It's autumn. The beach benches have been carefully stacked and put away.

photo by Sheila B

Likewise the garden swing and hampers.

Eddie: Cats. Who needs 'em?

It's back to the school bench for kids, who have been sitting on the couch all summer watching TV.

Eddie: Not a moment too soon.

It's back to sea on the HMS Peculiar for Mariner Mikey . . . 

Eddie: who had shore leave just long enough to fill his baby bottle with a grog of Navy Rum.

It's back to the workshop for carpenters, who have had their summer holidays in the woods.

Eddie: I'm always wary of woodland. You get strange creatures there.

I wouldn't worry, Eddie. There are lots of nice people on garden benches.

Heerlen, Netherlands

But meanwhile, there's much to do in the garden. Lord Brassica's gardener is wondering where to begin. 

The plant benches are still groaning with tubs of flowers.

image by Joanna Michalak

The pots will need clearing out and stacking.

Eddie: Looks like some of the shrubs have got out of hand.

The grape benches will be ready soon, and then les vendanges.

The Old Vicarage, West Sussex
Eddie: What, grape juice?

Wine! Wein! Vino! Vin!

Eddie: Those exclamation marks, like this vine bench, need pruning.

Agen, France

And the trees will need much attention.

Ouistreham, France

The leaves are hanging low.

Eddie: This is an old chestnut.

Some of the trees have grown into the benches.

Eddie: This bench needs to be trained to circle round the tree.

Good idea, Eddie. 

But then there's the lawn. Lawn benches get a bit scruffy.

Spiaggio, Italy

Grass benches need feeding this time of year.

Gardeners everywhere are mowing like mad to keep up with the fast growing benches.

Eddie: What about your own garden, Seashell. How does your garden grow?

As you know, Eddie, we have a perfectly lovely garden here on Paradise Island.

Our garden at La Casa Perfecta has amazing views.

Eddie: Yes, but if you show your own garden we'll be here until the view changes.

It's true, the prospect of winter looms, but there is still much to enjoy even if you're feeling blue.

image by Joanna Michalak

OK, it's a bit cloudy but the view from the bench is stunning.

The Old Vicarage, West Sussex

Eddie: Not a dandelion bench in sight.

Well, that's because I'm showing the view that is seen from the bench. 

Eddie: So this story is really about views? 

Sort of. Most benches have some kind of view that people enjoy while they sit.

Eddie: I think I know these people. Is this Castle Broccoli?

No, this is Castle Broccoli. 

These are the ancestors of our dear neighbour Lord Brassica, Fifth Earl of Drizzly. Lady Brassica loves this garden.

Eddie: Especially when she can show off her new frocks.

It's traditional for Ladies to dress beautifully in their gardens.

Eddie: And is it traditional for the aristocracy to sleep on benches?

I don't think so. Why?

Eddie: Well, here is Lord Brassica's son Root on one of the benches in the castle gardens.

I don't think you should show that. Root was very drunk and it's kind of embarrassing for Lord Brassica's family.

Eddie: This is Lord Brassica at Drizzly Manor.

Eddie: And this is Root on a garden bench at Drizzly Manor.

That's enough now, Eddie. A blog about garden benches should be peaceful and calming, like a Japanese garden bench. 

The Old Vicarage, West Sussex

Although summer is over, there is still plenty of time to relax on a bench by the fish pool . . . 

The Old Vicarage, West Sussex

or find a nice place to sit in the greenery.

image by Joanna Michalak

A simple bench in the shade of a palm is always a delight.

Colton Fishacre, Devon

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

Eddie: And you have promises to keep, by the way. 

You promised your readers a garden of benchly delights.

I'm doing that. If you go down to the woods today you're in for a big surprise. 

The Old Vicarage, West Sussex

Eddie: What? A silver birch bench?

Yes. Maybe even some picnic benches.

Or a snug bench in the willow arbor.

garden centre, Wiltshire

Eddie: There's a hole in this story. Something's not right.

image by Janet Wells

This story lacks sparkle.

OK, fair enough. But you can pull up a seat just about anywhere in the garden.

Eckerbachtal, Germany

And you need to hurry. 

The best garden benches go under cover for the winter.


Have you fallen for autumn benches? If so, you'll be surprised at how much stuff falls in, on and around benches   There are plenty of woolly warm benches here on Benchsite. If the log benches here have warmed your heart there's a special post about log benches at   Warning: this post also contains cake.

Many of the photos here are my own, collected on many trips taken with Miggy and Mungo over many years. This summer we visited a number of incredible private gardens for the National Gardens Scheme, which raises millions of pounds for charities through the generosity of people who open their gardens to the public. There are quite a few pictures here from The Old Vicarage in West Sussex, a property owned by Lord and Lady Walters. Their garden is really a site to behold, not to mention the delicious tea and cake. 

Joanna Michalak has been a donator of photos from the very beginning of Benchsite. She sent me some lovely bench pictures she took at Denman's Garden near Chichester. Then there was a challenge for me to use them in a story. Well, I can't resist a challenge! Many thanks Joanna. 

Joseph Paul Meslé (1855-1929) painted Madame Memessiére et son fils in 1883. The work is in the public domain.

There are gardens galore, and beautiful girls sitting on benches, in the work of Henri Lebasque (1865-1937). Jeune femme aux hortensias is one such work.

Sheila B lives in Cyprus during the winter and she supplies me with all manner of strange and wonderful Cypriot benches, including  the stacked up lounge chairs in Cyprus at the end of the tourist season last October. 

The beautiful Dandelion Bench is a metal work by Sally Bridge in Wakefield, Rhode Island. Previously a fashion designer, Sally makes amazing furniture from metal. Her Rustic Modern Living collection is inspired by her home in Umbria in Italy, where she lives and works part of the year. She uses reclaimed, recycled and new metal for her pieces and works with local craftsmen. Sally describes her style as a culmination of the following elements: edge (which is undefininable), a sculptural aspect, graphic detail and boldness, a little 50′s, and a well travelled mind. Her website is at

Lord Brassica, Fifth Earl of Drizzly, is a gentleman farmer here on Paradise Island and Unwin is his unfortunate butler. Lord B loves his horse Tonks, his dog Pru,and his 1947 Landrover, in that order. He indulges his wife, Lady Jessica Brassica with a replica mall in the basement of Drizzly Manor, a beach hut on the Esplanade, and unlimited amounts of cash for shopping. However, it has emerged that he doesn't know as much as you'd think about farm animal benches, especially cow benches or sheep benches. He knows a bit more about horse benches, learned from his horse Tonks, and possibly something about dog benches from his dog Pru. What he really knows though, is picnic benches

When William Murphy from Dublin started his Streets Of Ireland project back in 2005 his aim was to publish 100,000 photographs by the end of 2015 but with no real expectation that he would ever achieve such a target. As it happens, he published photograph number 100,000 on November 22, 2014 and was more than a little bit pleased. I'm pleased too, because photo number 100,000 is the brilliant Hungry Tree, the bench embedded in a tree, which is in Dublin

The stately looking couple on a bench was painted by the Swiss painter and etcher Johann Ludwig Aberli (1723-1786).
His catalog of work contains many beautiful works of alpine landscapes and people. 

The chestnut tree was painted in 1909 by Franz Hecker Kastani (1870-1944). Its proper name is Blühende Kastanie im Hof von Gut Sandfort, Farblithographie in 1909.

Janet Wells from London photographed the stone bench under a hole in the green hedge while she was on a trip to the Dordogne several years ago.

Moore Designs is a collaboration between husband and wife team Kim and Alex Moore in West Sussex. Metalsmith Alex Moore makes beautiful contemporary outdoor furniture such as curved metal benches from marine grade stainless steel. The benches are polished or powder- coated for hard wear and come in different colours, including orange. Besides the circular bench and the low backed curved metal bench shown here, Moore Designs make garden obelisks and a variety of accessories and gifts.

If you haven't seen enough coloured benches you might enjoy some bright orange ones, or red ones, or some sunny yellow ones.  Or green, of course. Or some romantic white ones. There are 50 shades of pink and grey benches. You might like silver and gold ones or some manic Black Friday ones. You might be dreaming of a purple bench Christmas. And if that's not enough, there are some very, very depressing blue ones for Blue Monday.

Hannah Headley photographed Someone in the Park in November 2006 in Lexington, Kentucky. That someone just happened to be a flowerpot person.

Root is the son of Lord and Lady Brassica of Drizzly.Whilst Lady B is gorgeous and Lord B is wealthy and personable, Root has none of these qualities. In fact, he has no qualities whatsoever. 

The green grass bench was on show at the Netherland's Floriade in 2012. It was photographed by Pierre Swillens, who is retired and lives in Maastricht in the Netherlands.

Jean-Baptiste Charpentier le Vieux  (1728–1806) was a French portrait painter who painted, among others, Queen Marie-Antoinette of Austria. The painting in this story is Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon with his daughter Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon, wife of the future Philippe Égalité and Duchess of Orléans
Français. Louis-Jean-Marie de Bourbon, was duke of Penthièvre (1725-1793) and his daughter, Louise-Adelaïde, "Mademoiselle de Penthièvre" (1753-1821), future duchesse of Orléans.,_Jean-Baptiste_Charpentier_le_Vieux.jpg

Mike Cogh from Adelaide has nearly a thousand Humble Bench pictures from his travels around the world and he is featured regularly here on Benchsite.  Mike has an eye for public art and also, luckily for me, an eye for benches; he finds them everywhere. The Jolly Little Fella on his green bench is great
but that grass bench looks like it wants mowing.

The oil painting Buche mit Bank was painted in 1891 by German painter Heinrich Wilhelm Trübner 1851-1917. He believed in art for art's sake and that beauty must lie in the painting itself, not in the subject

No comments:

Post a Comment