The purpose of seating includes bringing people together for dining al fresco, gathering around a fire pit, or having a conversation. A bench or pair of chairs can also serve as a focal point or destination in the garden, sometimes more to draw the eye than the sitter. A well-placed bench can allow one to take in a view, admire the sunset or an area of the garden that is especially picturesque. Seating placed in a hidden nook can lead visitors to enjoy a special feeling of seclusion or a lovely moment of holding hands with one another. Two simple benches placed in such a spot, directly across from each other, invite two couples to share an intimate conversation, their knees almost touching.
|Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times|
Seating areas are another occasion to bring color and elements of style into the garden. An abundance of opportunities present themselves when we design and augment our gardens. We should never underestimate the effects an inspiring outdoor space can have on our psyches!
Planning a seating area is an opportunity to create a magical space where people want to be. Different forms of seating in various settings can influence what people actually do in the space, how they experience it, and what they see, smell, and hear. Senses come into play when we place a fountain near a seating area, or plant fragrant plants, or place seating in such a way to frame a pleasing view. Emotions and moods can even be affected. Finding oneself seated in a quiet nook, for instance, can be calming, and invite reflection or the revelation of secrets. Diversely, seated in front of an expansive view of the horizon, one can feel open and rejuvenated, able to breathe deeply and let small matters fall away, literally gaining a new perspective.
|From "Eichler for Sale"|
|Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times|