A side view of the new bench shows how simple it is -- two rocks and two planks.

The Skating Pond, August 2018

Sometimes small changes make a huge difference, or as I wrote last fall, Little Things Mean a Lot.  I was writing then about some small changes I’d made at the Skating Pond at Glen Villa, my garden in Quebec. Later in the fall, after I wrote about the changes, I made one more. I added a bench.

 

The slate under the bench was left over from a previous project.
The slate under the bench was left over from a previous project.

 

My sister immediately said the bench looked wrong — and she was right.

 

Looking up at the first bench from the boardwalk told me that my sister was right. I needed to change the bench.
Looking up at the first bench from the boardwalk told me that my sister was right. I needed to change the bench.

 

It took me almost a year to replace that bench. The new one does everything I wanted it to do. Unlike its predecessor, it almost disappears into the landscape.

 

From the far side of the Skating Pond, the bench almost disappears.
From the far side of the Skating Pond, the line of the bench echoes the line of the boardwalk.

 

The materials are simple and appropriate for the setting.

 

A side view of the new bench shows how simple it is -- two rocks and two planks.
A side view of the new bench shows how simple it is — two rocks and two planks.

 

From the boardwalk looking up, the bench appears like a natural element, not a decorative seat as the previous one was.

 

This view from the boardwalk shows
This view from the boardwalk shows how  comfortably this bench fits the landscape.

 

I’m happy with this modest change. As small as it was, it re-affirms for me how important it is to keep looking and to make changes when you need to.

What about you? Have you made a small change in your garden that has made a big difference?

 

 

  • That’s better, the turtle doesn’t need all the back rest etc!

  • Yes, the new bench is more appropriate to the site. The first bench says “civilization” when in fact you’re not that close to the house (if I understand the layout correctly). I’ve been learning to listen to that inner voice that says, “No, that’s not quite right” or “This will be perfect for the garden”–even if I don’t know where at the moment.

    • siteandinsight

      The inner voice is worth listening to. You are right about the layout — and about the first bench saying ‘civilization’ That’s a good way of thinking of it, Kathy. Thanks for te comment.

  • annewareham

    Yes, that’s right. Though it annoys me no end that I find it is so much easier to have an elegant, beautiful backless bench than a beautiful restful seat with back…. If anyone satisfactorily sorts that problem. let me know. My little changes have recently all been planting – I have been planting a small hydrangea corner.. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6f61c79ca11243b9a5fb8961520f544dd48624a90b812b5eed714b2bf947cb90.jpg (poor photo but all I have to hand) Xxx

    • siteandinsight

      I originally planned to put a back on the bench for comfort but decided that the clean line was preferable. I LOVE your benches — at the entry to Veddw and by the reflecting pond. They are stunning, and add immensely to the setting.

      • annewareham

        Thank you Xxx And you are right not to add a back. If I have managed to make it work, it wouldn’t work as elegantly as your bench in that place of yours.
        I felt silly telling you what has been preoccupying me – such a small thing and your project so big. And I realised lots of people must feel that way about Veddw too, if they have a smaller plot. I hope it doesn’t shut them up.

  • Tammy Winters-Schmitt

    I love it! I’m making huge changes in the garden! A massive retaining wall and terraces are being built.

    • siteandinsight

      I’ve been following your changes. They are HUGE — the terracing will be fabulous. If I get to the Washington area, may I come for a visit?

      • Tammy Winters-Schmitt

        Absolutely!!!

        • siteandinsight

          Oh-h-h, excitement! Thanks.

  • Lisa Wagner

    Love the new bench — enjoy!

    • siteandinsight

      Thanks, Lisa. Lots of rain recently = not much fun to sit on the bench. But that, too, will change.

  • Glad to have found your blog and website! Yes, I prefer the simpler, backless bench over the traditional bench, and how it lets the natural background through. My guess is I would not be that way if it were in a formal, more “urban” garden.

    • siteandinsight

      I agree, David. Different environments need different treatments.

  • PlantPostings

    Yes, the new bench fits the location better. I really like the first bench, though, too–in the appropriate spot. It’s nice to have a bench of any sort for garden viewing and decoration. :)

    • siteandinsight

      Visiting gardens is one of my top favourite things to do. Taking time to really look at the garden is so much more pleasant when there’s a comfortable bench.

      I also like the old bench, and thankfully have found a good spot for it… for a new post that I’ll put up soon.