Garden Chair Building - Inspiration and Dreaming for Our Backyard

Photo of a pair of Wave Hill Garden Chairs from Wave Hill's official site here.  This is not my photo above. 
Back earlier this year - after a trip to Paris with Nat - I went on and on and on about our visit(s) to Luxembourg Gardens.  It was really the highlight of our trip together.  I posted about how they were (as the French do!) using cocoa bean hull mulch, their tree boxes, growing vines between mature trees, their special metal path edging, how they have enormous stands of Chestnut trees that they prune in a special way, and their pretty spectacular espalier garden. addition to swooning over all of those items, I posted about the chairs at the gardens.  Those chairs.  Really quite special.  There are a couple of worthwhile 'histories of the Luxembourg Garden Chairs' posts on the web, but this one from Fermob - the distributor of the chairs - is the one I'd spend my time on.

It is interesting to me to think about how a garden like Luxembourg Gardens really sets their *place* with their chairs.  But, they're not the only garden to do so.

Wave Hill Gardens - in the Bronx, NY - is a public garden and cultural center and it, too, has a chair.  Called (of course) the Wave Hill Chair, it has inspired countless gardeners to copy the design and bring it to their own home gardens.  You can see a pair of the chairs at the top of this post and the details on the chair from Wave Hill's site:
The Wave Hill Chair, a signature product offered through The Shop, is based on a chair designed by the acclaimed Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld in 1918 and now part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Compatible with virtually any architectural form, the Wave Hill Chair provides a welcome alternative to the Adirondack chair and its various redwood counterparts.
I found the chair via the Christmas gift guide on Garden Design, where they included the chair amongst other garden-friendly gift ideas.  Check it out.  But, they didn't point to the original chair at Wave Hill, instead they pointed to a Horticulturist named Dan Benarcik.  Dan's story starts with the original Wave Hill chair, but is about the journey he's been on for two decades.

From Dan Benarcik's site:
"This chair ruined me. My very first visit to the garden Mecca that is Wave Hill was supposed to be the best thing that ever happened to me as a young horticulturist. But I saw the chair first, and it ruined me for all others." Drawn by its austere lines, lured by the simplicity and elegance of its construction, and more than pleasantly surprised by the comfort in which it embraced me. I must build this chair I thought, and so it began.

For nearly twenty years I have been building, refining and enjoying this chair. Constructed by hand, this chair will provide years of enjoyment in your garden. I have shared it with hundreds of others, now I would like to share it with you."
Dan has made his own plans and sells them - along with finished chairs and kits - on his site.  The 'Garden Chair Plans...updated' cost $35 and seem like a deal.

As we continue to grow and change our garden, one of the things that I know we're going to think about is seating and finding places to sit and enjoy the garden.  These chairs seem like a good push to come up with small seating area in our garden next Spring.  I'm thinking that I'm going to buy the plans and see if I can put together a couple of chairs.  Then work to find a place to position them.

"The work in the garden is never done."



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