Branches Bench in the Secret Garden

– Posted in: Acquisitions, Hardscaping and Projects
19 comments

garden bench designed to look like it was made from branches

This bench has found a home in the Secret Garden

I have long wished to add some seating to the Secret Garden, but not any old bench would do. It had to be durable and it had to fit in with the whole idea of a Secret Garden. This branches bench from Lowes fit the bill.

It is made of aluminum, so it won’t rust and is relatively lightweight. It is designed and painted to look like it is made out of branches. While it’s obvious that they are not really branches, the design is more in keeping with a semi-wild area than a bench with a strictly utilitarian or modernist, abstract design that leaves no question it is a product of the civilized, man-made world.

View showing small water hole in the middle ground and hills in distance

This is what you see when you sit in the bench


The bench is at the top of a bank. Virginia bluebells grow on the bank. The water you see is a rock-lined pool of water that we think was the original water source for our house. It is actually not that deep, and in droughty years it has gone completely dry. Frogs live there. We know because just beyond the pool is a path going left and right, and when you walk on that path the frogs plop into the pool. Beyond the pool is a seasonal rivulet. (We call it the brook, but that might make you think it is more substantial than it is.) You can probably see the neighbor’s house and barn and the hills in the distance.

I was sitting on the bench earlier this evening, listening to the burbling water and the birds singing, idly wondering how it would all look when the trees leafed out, and what other spring ephemerals would do well here. The Secret Garden is an area of our property uphill from the chicken yard that is somewhat secluded. It was a little too wet and uneven to be mowed by tractor, and so was permitted by the previous owners to fend for itself, and became an especially wide hedgerow. I dubbed it the Secret Garden and have been trying to eliminate invasive plants and encourage and add plants native to this area, especially spring ephemerals.

The Secret Garden is far enough away from the house to feel like you are in a different place, yet close enough that you can hear the call to supper. The snowdrops that I planted along the path, before I decided to concentrate on native plants, provide a good reason to get out of the house during mud season, when the weather is still unsettled and not particularly tempting. Not too far from the bench is a hammock in a grove of locust trees, a nice place for a nap on a warm summer day. Each year I try to find some way to make the Secret Garden more of a haven for the family. This year the branches bench was my little bit.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

18 Comments… add one

Walt April 14, 2011, 10:33 am

Well believe it or not Lowes stopped selling this bench. I can not understand why they would stop selling a product they could not keep in stock. This bench has been sold out in the past before the 4th of July and now they discontinue it.

Kathy Purdy April 14, 2011, 10:44 am

It doesn’t surprise me. I have noticed they don’t carry the same benches from year to year.

Nan Ondra April 26, 2010, 1:00 pm

That’s a beautiful bench, Kathy, and a beautiful spot for it. I hope you get some time to enjoy the view!

Laura W April 25, 2010, 5:51 pm

My mom and I both fell in love with this great garden bench last season. It was such fun to surprise her with it as a birthday/Mother’s Day gift! When I saw it was being sold again this season I was tempted to gift one to myself too. I wish more stores stocked interesting/quality garden furniture. Has anyone seen anything else of note in the garden bench dept this spring?
.-= Laura W´s last blog ..Arbor Day Celebration, Orange County Arboretum =-.

Christine B. April 24, 2010, 3:43 am

I’ve been eyeing that bench since last year at our Lowe’s. I’m still shocked they stocked such a smart looking piece of garden furniture!

Christine in Alaska

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings April 22, 2010, 5:53 pm

Lovely bench. Beautiful view.

A.R.Wadoo April 22, 2010, 1:16 pm

The bench is beautiful . In your secret garden I would love to relax on a swing bench. This swing bench could be designed between big tree and the smaller on. Made of jute ropes ,given the shape of climbers to hold the sitting bench.

A Happy Gardener April 22, 2010, 8:43 am

Looks like a great place to sit and read a book and be surrounded by beauty!

Patsy Bell Hobson April 21, 2010, 9:55 pm

Finding this bench is like an invitation to sit down and relax. Secret gardens are a treasure and a bit of a gift to yourself, the gardener and designer. Very nice.
.-= Patsy Bell Hobson´s last blog ..Garden Bloggers Bloom Day April 2010 =-.

Nancy April 21, 2010, 9:43 pm

Lovely, and it does fit in with the area very well.
.-= Nancy´s last blog ..Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, April 15, 2010… a little late =-.

Helen at Toronto Gardens April 21, 2010, 9:36 pm

Wow, Kathy, Perfect bench, perfect location. Lowe’s is now in Canada, and if anything might tempt me to go in, it could just be that bench. Wonder if they stock rivulets and frogs… might need me some o’ those, too.

Lynn April 21, 2010, 9:21 pm

Wonderful! How did you go so long without one? I almost bought some of those plastic Adirondack chairs in bright colors that the drug stores sell. I’d like to drag one around in the yard & sit. We have one little Virginia bluebell in the back corner bed, and me & the chair could go keep it company.
.-= Lynn´s last blog ..Happy Monday from a little kid =-.

Carol April 21, 2010, 9:04 pm

That is a mighty fine bench you’ve got there!

Leslie April 21, 2010, 8:41 pm

That bench was made for that space! It’s so at home there. I like my neighbors but wish they were that far away!
.-= Leslie´s last blog ..Garden Blogger Bloom Day April 2010 =-.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter April 21, 2010, 8:26 pm

It’s perfect! What a great place to sit and enjoy nature.

Helen Yoest @ Gardening With Confidence April 21, 2010, 8:25 pm

I love your bench Kathy. You will indeed enjoy it.

Cindy, MCOK April 21, 2010, 8:13 pm

I really, REALLY like that bench. There’s a Lowe’s close to me so don’t be surprised if one of those benches shows up on my corner of Katy, too!

Kathy Purdy April 21, 2010, 8:49 pm

If you do get that bench, make sure you bring your truck. It is all one piece, so the box is huge!

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