Check out these ideas for a spot outdoors where you can rest a while and watch the garden waking up
Houzz UK Editorial Staff. I’m a freelance journalist with more than 13 years’ experience… More
It’s tempting to get out in the garden in February and March, but, let’s face it, the cold weather can really put you off. What’s needed is a little seat in a sheltered, sunny spot where you can sit for a few minutes with a warm drink to glimpse those first spring shoots or listen to the birds tweeting. Take a look at these outdoor spaces for inspiration on how you could incorporate a seat in your own garden.
Go for sturdy stone
If you protect wooden furniture over the winter, it should stand up to harsh conditions, but, for something more low-maintenance, consider stone instead. This bench, for example, is sturdy and durable enough to stand up to snow and frost. The owners have positioned it in a sheltered area at the side of a path surrounded by plants and hedges.
Of course, we’re not all lucky enough to have a large garden like this one, but this idea can easily be adapted for a small garden. Place your bench somewhere sheltered or sunny, and try to plant some early spring bulbs nearby.
When you’re placing a seat away from the patio, it’s a good idea to create a surface for it to sit on. This one has gravel beneath it, which is pretty affordable and easy enough to lay yourself. Dig the soil or grass out to form an even surface, firm, put down a waterproof membrane, add a layer of hardcore, then sprinkle your gravel on top.
Add a focal point
Don’t assume your seating options are limited in a small garden. In fact, by breaking up the space into different zones, you’ll add interest and even trick the eye into thinking it’s a larger space than it is.
The bench here provides a focal point and gives the owners an opportunity to sit among the plants and enjoy another view. While the patio might provide welcome shade in the summer, it’s also good to have a spot in full sun to soak up some vitamin D during the colder months.
For extra shelter over a garden bench, consider investing in an arbour like this one. It’s the perfect compromise between sun and shelter: the open design allows enough sunlight to filter through, but the roof provides cover during a shower. The arbour in this outdoor space is perfectly positioned on a wooden base alongside the gravel pathway.
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Blend in with the flowers
In a small garden, you could give over some of your planting area to provide a seating spot, like the built-in bench in this space. The curved borders have inspired the shape of the bench, which continues around to form a seat in the sun. The simple, understated materials and soft patterned cushions help the bench to blend in with the plants.
Embrace your small space
When it’s cold outside, small gardens can really come into their own – a tiny, enclosed space can feel cosy enough for you to sit out comfortably. Make the most of a small terrace by creating an outside living room like this one, and surround your seating with containers full of spring bulbs. The key is to place the furniture close enough together to make the space feel intimate and snug.
Bring out some blankets
When you’re creating an early spring lounging area in your garden, remember to have some cushions and blankets handy. Soft fabrics will make the space feel cosier and blankets are useful to throw over your shoulders for extra warmth. Here, the seating zone is full of soft furnishings and surrounded by tall plants to provide some shelter.
Keep it simple
Your seating area doesn’t have to be elaborate – a simple perch could be enough to provide a spot for a quick cuppa. Pop in a few small surfaces around the garden rather than taking up space with a large bench or arbour. Here, the storage bench tucked beside the fence is the ideal place to take in a few of the first sunbeams of spring.
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How do you enjoy your garden in early spring? Do you like to sit outside, or do you prefer to look out from indoors? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.