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Please be seated

Let’s take a minute to think about what you actually do in your garden. Mowing the lawn? Check. Hanging out laundry? Check. Trimming the hedges, battling weeds, watering, feeding, pruning shrubs…..tired yet? I’m tired just thinking about it. Which brings me nicely to what I’d like to talk to you about this week, which is sitting in your garden and doing – well, nothing very much.

If you have the space, you probably like to have friends and family over on summer weekends and the chances are you’ve invested in a table and chairs for outdoor dining and maybe a barbecue.

This is lovely and of course it’s good to get together and dine al fresco on sunny summer days. Lingering over perfectly grilled, delicious food, cool beer and good company….there’s nothing like it and in a good year you might even get two such days in the same summer if we’re lucky!

Enjoyable as it is though, there is still the preparation, cooking and tidying up to do, just as there is with any gathering.

I wonder how often you actually sit and relax in the garden, this space outside which actually is an extension of your home? Allow yourself to unwind, notice the growing things around you, hear the birdsong, the busy buzzing of bees, catch the scents drifting towards you on the summer breeze?

To my mind, it’s one of the most important things to do in your garden whatever its size. What’s the point of having beautiful borders and perfectly manicured lawns if you don’t take time to sit and look around you and let nature soothe and calm you? When designing gardens for my clients one of the first things I do is figure out the best places to sit. In all but the tiniest gardens, clever planning will allow you to fit in several areas that you can use for different purposes or at different times of the day.

A simple stone or timber seat in the right place invites you to venture further into the garden. How about a covered seat with scented climbing plants allowed to scramble up and around it? Tucked into a quiet corner, it’s the perfect place to curl up with a good book and a pot of tea.


In our changeable climate, you’re more likely to have an hour here and there to enjoy the outdoors, and a comfortable seat waiting for you makes it easier to grab those few minutes in the garden,  even if it’s just for a quick coffee break.

Even if your garden’s not as perfect as you’d like, you’re still outdoors, the air is fresh, things are growing and a host of little creatures are going about their daily business all around you. It’s a tonic for the mind, the body and the soul, and it’s waiting for you just outside. So please do take a seat – and let your garden work for you this summer!


Brighten up a boring timber seat with a few coats of weather proof colour in a shade you like – it will help protect against the elements and keep it looking good for longer.

Anne Byrne Garden Design provides easy to follow Garden Plans that you can implement right away or in

stages. Anne’s design flair and passion for plants brings a touch of magic to gardens of all sizes.

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