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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Embrace Sitting In Your Garden For A Happier Life

Why do you garden, if not to create a garden?

I know for many of us, the gardening activities are enjoyable, regardless of the results, although we all want the results to be a nice garden.

We like to plant, to prune, to mow, to haul wheelbarrows of compost about the garden. We don’t mind getting a bit dirty, sweating, feeling physically tired after a good day of gardening. We even put up with the occasional stings, scrapes, and cuts that every gardener inevitably ends up with after a few hours, or a few minutes, in the garden.

But we are missing out if we don’t sit in our gardens and just enjoy them as we would someone else’s garden, without thinking about what we should be doing to make it a better garden.

Yes, here it comes…

Embrace sitting in your garden for a happier life.

But how do we get over the idea that we should be “doing” all the time, and embrace the idea of sitting and relaxing in our gardens. Well, we talk to other gardeners and find out how they do it.

Or read the comments on the Theory of Garden Seating for some ideas, including these five ideas to encourage sitting in your own garden.

Don’t plop the bench or seat right out in the open.

From Annie in Austin: “…benches are more likely to be used when they have something behind the back to give a sense of security - a building, a wall, a hedge or fence.”

Make sure the seating is comfortable to sit in.

From Lori: “…extra-comfy seating would keep me from leaping up and puttering, like, say, a hammock under a sturdy vine-covered pergola.”

Take something to do with you when you are out there sitting in your garden.

From Lisa at Greenbow: “...take your journal with you. I can actually sit there if I have my journal. That way I can make lists which makes me sit longer before I tackle the list”

Put the seating in the garden where there is other activity going on.

From MA: “One of my favorite seats is under a tree, in the middle of a garden, so you can watch all the birds and butterflies and bees being, all up close and personal. When done right, its magic!”

Put the seating where there is something to focus on besides the entire garden.

From MSS at Zanthan Gardens: “I can stare at the goldfish for hours. We have moved seats next to the pond and can actually sit there and read a book glancing up from time to time at the fish. As long as I don't extend my gaze to the larger garden, I have at last found a place of peace.”

Embrace sitting in your garden for a happier life.

16 comments:

EAL said...

I read my garden catalogs out there. And sometimes I do a little emailing and so on on the iphone. I have a pair of pruners and gloves sitting on the table in case I need to tweak something.

And recently Alan and I have started the habit of having an after-work glass of wine out there on a regular basis.

Ewa said...

Placing seats in few places in the garden - this is something we often forget. Why to have 1 bench? Lets have 5 or 6 of them in different areas. Some of them in the sunny spots, some in shadow or little hidden from anybody, including home windows. Let's make the garden seating friendly, not only walking friendly :)

Meems @HoeandShovel said...

Another great embrace, Carol!

Now that I'm "older" I can sit in the garden a little better than in the younger years with the kids around. We have a screened enclosure with a few seating areas for year round enjoyment. Annie made an excellent point about privacy. I really embrace privacy so I have a few groupings of seats/benches where I can read, have a cup of coffee, converse with friends,relax etc. There are also a couple of places out in the garden and those are nice for a chat as well.

The best way lately for me to keep my seat and not pop up every few seconds to pull a weed or tweak a plant is to take my laptop to the adirondacks, prop my feet up, and blog away. The beauty of Florida living... I can do it all year long.
I like your green bench... it's important to me to have potted plants as part of the seating arrangements.
Meems

garden girl said...

Sitting in the garden is most definitely my favorite pastime Carol, and I do it even in the winter, all bundled up.

Kat Wolfdancer said...

YUMMY!!! I have been working towards "rehabilitating" areas of enjoyment, allowing wee gardens of peace which serve no purpose except for the Purpose of Being. They aren't done yet, but this post assures me I am on the right track. THANK YOU!!! I give myself permission to rest beneath the cherry trees and let my gaze linger on the reflections of the pond, and the silly ducks at play. LOVELY reminder. Bless you.

>^,,^<

MA said...

There ya go! Embracing the garden bench. Perfect. Is that a new bench?

Jim/ArtofGardening said...

Sitting is my favorite thing to do. Outside makes it even better. A drink in hand makes it sublime. Having either a friend or something to read (not both) makes it heaven. The only thing better is to sit in someone else's garden.

Kathy said...

My goal is a bench a year until I get them in all the places I want them.

The Garden Faerie said...

It's fairly amazing--I have four amply-sized teak chairs tucked into various locations in my garden, plus a table and chairs on my deck, and I have sat ONCE in any of them this season. I always mean to...
~ Monica

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I have a couple of seats in the garden, but I don't really like where they are. I think after this that I need to move them. Thanks.~~Dee

vertie said...

Thanks, Carol. I needed that reminder and a new bench!

Mary said...

Carol,

Excellent responses here. My seat is out in the open as my garden hasn't had time to grow. My trees are young. But I do enjoy sitting at the pond, with camera around my neck, Boston Terriers wandering around me...sit, breathe, watch the garden grow or take a hit from the frost. And birds :o)

Sort of like Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Good, thoughtful post!

Mary

Cindy, MCOK said...

I have several lightweight resin Adirondack chairs placed around the garden ... they're easy to move from one spot to another and comfortable enough that I can loll in them for a while with a cup of coffee or a book. I think I need a laptop so I can sit in the garden and blog. I'd post more often if I had a laptop ... yeah, that's the ticket!

Sue said...

I mentioned in my comment on the other bench post that my grandson and I enjoyed our time this summer outside walking around the yard, looking at the flowers, butterflies, and bees, then sitting on the bench, just looking around. Sometimes our yellow lab would come up to be petted, or squirrels would run around and entertain.

Saturday, it was probably in the upper 40s or 50s, when GS and I opened the front door to get the mail. He didn't like it when I shut the door. He wanted to go out! He had his coat on, because we'd just gotten home. We did a little garden walk, but I got by with walking by the bench, because it was also windy, and I didn't want us to get too cold. The benches are all wrapped with tarps as of yesterday.

Willi said...

When I built my vegetable garden this summer I was so excited that I would go and just sit in the middle of the pathway and look at what we created! It wasn't the most comfortable spot in the world, but it made me happy!

Sky said...

oh, yes, benches are such a valuable part of the garden. we have several seating areas in our front and side gardens which are all used frequently. there is nothing more interesting in spring than getting comfy on a bench surrounded by evergreens and rhododendrons and watching the songbirds do their mating fly-abouts, chasing each other throughout the gardens while the squirrels play "hide the peanut" in the rock garden. nature restores us.