Finishing the Garden with a Painted Pastel Bench
I've been wanting a bench for the back garden ever since we began to slowwwly build it two years ago. First, we put in a patio and bought a big (by UK standards, so not so big) barbecue with a table and chairs, then built a shed and playhouse. But it was all a bit barren, it needed some life. So this spring we finally tried our hand at gardening and planted some veg, fruit, herbs and flowers in a bed and in some pots and in some hanging baskets, all of it a bit random just to see what would grow well. So far, most of it is doing well while the peppers and tomatoes are keeping us guessing, and I never thought I would be so excited to see salad growing in a pot ('speedy' salad is living up to its name!), but there is something thrilling about being able to go into your garden and pull half your dinner out of the ground. Most of the fruit and veg plants were bought with vouchers given to me by Groupon, to apply to anything that struck my fancy and then share my shopping experience with you. New deals come up daily with many befitting the season, so there was a lot of choice in the way of gardening, from potted plants to mini greenhouses to bird feeders for making your space more lively. And then there was a deal on garden furniture and that was a no-brainer, we would finally have our bench!
There was a choice of two styles, one of wood and iron, and the other all wood. I decided to go for the all-wood at £49 (a 62% savings off the RRP). Like the plants, it was supplied by the online retailer within the time specified and arrived in good form. I couldn't wait to pull it out of the box and paint it, but the skies had other plans and it would be weeks before I could complete it, put it together and take a few shots through a dry lens. It came in a few pieces, so little by little I worked at it, and then last Thursday as you may have heard, there came the flood. Some parts of the bench were inside, others were at the side of the house, and as I watched transfixed on our lawn which within minutes turned into a lake, thinking that the relentless rain and winds would surely kill everything we'd planted (a month's rainfall in two hours!), it never even occurred to me that those painted pieces hiding around the corner might be destroyed. Luckily they weren't, but they sure needed a touch up. When it was clear we wouldn't be needing to build an ark and gather up the animals in pairs, I put the bench together which was easy-peasy, and set it against the fence with my mint green watering can to keep it from looking lonely.
As for the painting, I used the stains I'd bought to do our shed and playhouse (yes, it's a very pastel-y garden) which are Cuprinol Garden Shades, in Beaumont Blue (the darker, slate blue), Coastal Blue and Sweetpea, which is the pale pink I used on the front and back pieces of the seat. Originally, I'd tried to stripe the back rest, but it was a lot harder than I'd thought to get it looking neat, even with a small brush, so I painted over all of it with the Beaumont Blue and I think it looked better for it. It's amazing what a little colour can do!