Its important to take time to enjoy passively viewing your garden. The opportunity to stop, sit and stare for a while can allow useful thoughts on new planting combinations and ideas on design to percolate up through the layers of more active and immediate gardening tasks that often occupy our minds. The best way to encourage some sedentary, passive gardening is to plant a few chosen seats and tables here and there. As well as being functional, these items can become a part of your garden’s design – it’s look and feel. Both seats and tables can be anything from a transient up-turned wooden box to a permanent, painted ornate cast iron bench and outdoor dining table. Seating can be built into structural beds, the great thing about raised bed gardens is that the beds themselves can offer somewhere to perch and ponder things whilst you get your breath back after some frantic activity. Useful, momentary repose but perhaps not the most comfortable, certainly not a book reading spot.
Ensure your seat is stable – even if it is just a large log lying on its side. Tables, chairs and benches with legs will sink slowly and randomly into most good garden soils so you may want to get a spirit level and some concrete slabs out to provide the four or more legs with a level surface on which to stand. This also stops wooden feet and legs from continually soaking up moisture from the soil and rotting away. Furniture can be left outdoors during summer but in the winter months, when the weather is harsh, it is often brought indoors and stored in a garage or shed. This helps it to last that bit longer. Remember to consider shade for any seating or dining areas – especially during high summer. Try and use styles, shapes and materials that are in harmony with the other structural elements you have in your garden. Furniture is fun, its is a reward for long hours tending plants and working soil and it gives a garden small destinations that can draw visitors in – particularly useful when some of these visitors might even do you the favour of pulling the odd weed.