Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Friday 20 September 2013

Trees, patios and garden seating ideas

The Giveaway is now closed and I will draw the names out of a (clean) hen feeder later today

After the excitement in the last couple of weeks of the patio build, it is so good to think that soon I can get started on the garden redesign. I am itching to get digging! For now though, I have been looking around on line for more ideas and have pinned more products and ideas onto my Pinterest "Dream Gardens" board (a good use of Pinterest I think).

So far, my pinboard  seems to be mainly garden benches, ponds, greenhouses, cold frames and not much else - I suspect my veg growing habit is having an impact on my Internet searches! Or I just like to sit down a lot when out in the garden? Anyway, a few days ago I spent some time pruning this weeping silver birch tree near the house.

It has become a good place us to sit and have a coffee and a bit of a rest during the day as it is shady and also surprisingly dry when it rains.

After I had a good look at how my pruning efforts came out  I began to think about getting or maybe even making a rustic "round the tree trunk " bench for it. It is a lovely shady spot to sit and will have a good view of the new patio (am still so excited!) and all the new herbaceous flower beds I will be planting up really soon.  It is also near to where the new garden pond is going to be dug ( more excitement!) which we hope will end up looking a bit like this picture on my Pinterest board, only more wild. You can see a few images of "round the trunk" benches on there as well.
As the patio work is nearly complete I have also turned my thoughts to what sort of seating we want for it. As I discussed in a post a few months ago, our existing table and chairs are well past their prime, they are more than 10 years old, have had a hard life and have been chewed by Hornets (yes, really) .

So, time for a change. This time I have been looking at slightly more naturalistic/rustic seating. As always we insist that anything made of wood which we buy must be FSC Certified (Forest Stewardship Council and ideally made from fallen rather than felled timber. I have not seen many suppliers who use fallen timber, so I was really pleased and surprised to find that The Garden Furniture Centre makes FSC Certified Rustic Garden Benches from fallen rather than felled timber, wherever they can. I was also impressed that they sell furniture made from recycled plastic.

I was particularly taken with this rustic bench and if you go to the website you can see a selection of different locations and surroundings where they have sited the bench for the photo shoot. Some of them could be in our garden or wood!

Image copyright The Garden Furniture Centre

You can also have carving on the bench seat back and I  love the idea of something carved as a memorial or to commemorate a special occasion. You may, if you watch it, have seen one of these on a recent ITV gardening makeover show.

I know I said I was going to go for metal garden furniture because of the Hornet damage, but I just love wood so much! I will have to think hard about this as it IS quite a lot of money but our Wedding Anniversary is on the horizon so perhaps a bench with some commemorative message would be nice. I would justify spending the money on something so very special to commemorate that :).

Obviously I have not yet bought anything from The Garden Furniture Centre so I do not know how good they would actually be,  but the website is impressive

As regards the patio, we have to clean up the slabs this weekend (using a pressure washer and brush) and then, on the first dry day next week the builders will return to finish off the pointing :) I love pressure washing things :) I find it very satisfying, in a probably strange way.

I can't wait :)

Disclaimer - I am writing a series of posts about my plans and hopes for our garden redesign - this post features a paid link to a company I would be happy to order from. As always, the words I write are my own and are my honest opinions.

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