With prime season for garden ornamentation here, a decision is needed. Advice and comments, please.
Spring arrived early this year and the entire town has been at peak ornamental shrub and tree color for about 10 days now. It’s distracting to drive as my eye is continually drawn from neon yellow forsythia to white pear trees, mottled magnolias, and the pale pink weeping cherry and flowering plum trees. You may not know this about me but I Hate Gardening and never gave a moment’s thought to any tree for three-quarters of my life. However, after the freakishly heavy February snowstorm in 2010 that broke almost every branch of our flowering plum in the front of the house, the trees got my attention. My posts on that Storm Damage Aftershock and the Repair showed the debris and how things were trimmed back on the bet they would rebound.
So when I saw the profuse pink blossoms in front and back this week, it seemed time to turn my attention to garden furniture. We don’t have any and it’s been a low priority because it’s basically an ornamental vs. a practical issue given our location in the heart of the Lyme disease belt and the evil bambis who regularly prowl the property. Then I made the mistake of browsing Barbara Israel’s site, one of my favorite places to drool over rare and beautiful garden antiques. And suddenly, there was this pair of English wrought iron, Regency style “tree seats,” ca. 1940, that fit around a medium-size tree [top]. Instant love.
I could really envision a circular bench around our flowering plum, in front of the house, even though it’s asymmetrical now.
Our weeping cherry — seen here through my kitchen window — is not a great candidate since it leans, though a bench would enhance the overall view.
Since the antique bench is out of the question, additional research turned up a small number of contemporary choices, all somewhat affordable (under $500). Each requires assembly and only two provide a critical dimension for a circular seat – the diameter of the donut hole.
The Toscano Roundabout, from Home Depot, fits a tree less than 30-inches in diameter. Check. It has three sections, is described as powder-coated 7/8-inch tubular steel and heavy duty.
Napco’s Tree Hugger and Plant Stand bench bears a glancing resemblance to the golden oldie but also is the most costly. A full 63-inches across, the interior section looks huge.
Longwood Gardens Wrought Iron Tree Surround is the least costly but comes in six pieces. Too many moving parts? The center measures 24-inches across, which would be a good fit for a medium-size tree. It’s modern and handsome though a trifle generic looking.
If I actually bought a bench I suppose it could be placed around each of the trees to see where it looks best although I can see how that strategy might lead to double trouble.