Mother Earth Living

Best Outdoor Garden Furniture

Pick well-made outdoor furniture that complements your garden.
By Debra Lynn Dadd
March/April 2004
Add to My MSN

Iron is a sturdy, beautiful, and durable material for yard furniture. Enjoy al fresco dining on the Marquis wrought-iron patio chairs, available from Iron Accents.
Photo Courtesy Iron Accents
Slideshow


Content Tools

Related Content

Guerilla Gardening: Operation Slippery Slope Part Two

The Guerilla Gardener continues Operation Slippery Slope in downtown Kansas City.

The Yube Cube: Sustainable Modular Furniture and Storage

The Yube modular furniture system makes organizing simple and stylish for every room in the home.

Place a Time Lapse Camera in your Garden

Perhaps the more fitting expression would be, a watched seed never sprouts. But with this clever tim...

Feel Good About Your Hairbrush: FSC-Certified Wooden Widu Brushes

Assistant editor Kim Wallace learns that FSC certification isn't just for green building supplies.

“Gardens are not made by sitting in the shade,” wrote Rudyard Kipling in The Glory of the Garden. But when planting, weeding and watering are done, what better place to sit and relax than in your garden?

A good piece of garden furniture is worth the investment. You could certainly sit on an inexpensive plastic chair from your local discount warehouse, but a well-made, beautifully designed chair, chaise, bench, swing, or table will complement the beauty of your garden and bring pleasure for years to come. Decks and patios can be transformed into outdoor rooms with a few well-chosen pieces.

When designing your garden, consider furniture an integral part of the design. If you’re growing vegetables, include room for a table and benches so you can eat right where the food is grown. A shady spot under a favorite tree might be just the place for a chaise or a chair. A lovely bench can be the focal point that pulls a visitor down a garden path.

When choosing the type of furniture to buy, consider its environmental impacts. Wood, for example, is right at home in a garden and can last for years before it biodegrades, making it a sustainable choice. The problem is that much wood is grown and harvested in a way that doesn’t sustain our forests. These days, however, a lot of garden furniture is made from wood that leaves natural forests intact.

To seal, or not to seal?

That is the question when you choose wood furniture. Higher-quality woods such as teak, cedar, redwood, and cypress don’t require sealant, as they are extremely durable and weather beautifully. Softer woods such as pine do require a sealant. When choosing wooden furniture, consider the sealant, or finish, used. If you use sealant, go with a water-based variety.

Some outdoor furniture is finished with teak oil, which contains mineral spirits as a solvent. These products may have an odor when they are delivered but are safe once the solvent outgasses. If you’re chemically sensitive or concerned about chemical outgassing, choose unfinished wood, iron, aluminum, or recycled plastic that has a baked-on finish.








Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.