This is a very workaday one. It is just a slab of slate on concrete blocks with an old plank behind it for the larger bottom. It is in the kitchen garden, just outside the largest of the old stone pigsties. This is not a place for relaxation It's too narrow, too hard and doesn't have a back on it. It is more somewhere to have a break from weeding.
The best thing about this bench is that, if you sit still for long enough, the swallows that nest in the pigsty will decide to ignore you and will come whizzing over your head into the pigsty through the hole above the doorway.
Come out of the kitchen garden and there is another bench which might not be for lounging on but which does have the best view in the garden. This is the bench for a cup of tea on sunny day or for a glass or wine with friends in the evening.
Maybe it vies for best view with this one. This is on the sunny bank in front of the holiday cottage and looks out over the hawthorn hedge across the valley.
On a clear day like today you can see all the little fields and farms all the way up to Moel Arthur, the rounded peak in the distance. This is, obviously, where King Arthur is buried. Glastonbury? Just another pretender!
This is the most sheltered bench in the garden, right by the door of the holiday cottage and tucked down away from any wind. You can often sit here even in winter on a sunny day. These last two benches belong to the holiday cottage so we only use them when we don't have guests. That is not a hardship because there are so many other places to sit! For someone who loves to walk I am very fond of sitting still.
This is a private one, one of my favourites, tucked away in the side garden and the nearest one to the house. This is the one where I might sit to eat my breakfast or to have a cup of coffee mid morning if it is windy elsewhere. It doesn't have the big view of the valley, just a small intimate one across the garden, but sometimes that is what I want.
So that is five so far. Go out through the gate into the field garden and we are back with large spaces and big views.
This is another home made one, using one of the pieces of slate which were taken out of the holiday cottage when it was converted from a stable over ten years ago. It is right by the swing so a useful place to perch while children swing until they shout to be pushed.
This bench looks down towards the fruit trees and the cutting garden. At this distance it is not possible to see the weeds! Result.
This is another workaday bench, battered and elderly and demoted from use in the garden proper. It hides in the corner where it is a good place to sit and watch the hens. Hen watching is very therapeutic.
Two more to go! Here is the bench by the shepherd's hut.
This is another one of my favourites but because it is in the far corner of the field it doesn't tend to be used when I stop for five minutes. It is more of a place to walk over to with a book and a cushion and the intention to stay for half an hour.
And this is the newest addition. It sits down in the far corner of the garden where it catches the last of the sun. This is another, like the side garden bench, which does not look out to our big view, but inwards, across towards the mulberry tree and up to where the grasses echo the line of the native hedge.
It will in time become another hidden place to sit when the grasses thicken, the new hedge on the left of the mulberry, currently about ten inches high and invisible in this photo, grows up and, best of all, when Ian builds a summer house to shelter it, open at the front to the evening sun with sides of woven hazel.
We haven't spent much money on any of these and they are a motley collection I suppose but I love them. They make the garden a place of refuge and calm as well as a place of labour. Do you have a place to sit in the garden? I would love to know.