The value of the seat as a garden feature has long been recognized. A seat affords a comfortable and delightful resting place to those who would walk or work within the garden.
Where practicable, seats should be placed where they will command a good view of the garden (Fig. 145) or of some portion of the garden or its surroundings.
A novel seat (Fig. 146) is sometimes built on the axis of intersecting walks, consisting of two walls seven feet high, built in the shape of a cross, with the seats placed in each corner formed by the walls. With such a resting place one may always select a retreat sheltered from sun or wind, as desired, regardless of time of day or the quarter in which the wind happens to be.
For greatest comfort wooden seats are best. They may be had in great variety and to suit any taste or need.
Stone or artificial stone seats are more ornamental, but for real use are not as practical as those of wood. Stone seats should have a stone or concrete foundation, otherwise they will soon get out of level.
When purchasing artificial stone seats it is advisable to select those of simple design rather than those overlaid with ornament.
The location and placing of garden houses and pergolas should always be considered when planning the garden and not as an after consideration.
Fig. 144.-WELL PLACED GARDEN SEAT WITH COVERING.
See page 181.
Fig. 145. - Garden seat commanding a good view of the garden. - See page 181.
Fig. 146. - A unique design for a sheltered garden seat to be placed on the axis of walks or in an isolated position commanding a pleasing vista. It is always possible to find a section . sheltered from sun or wind. - See page 181.
Although space is not usually available in a small garden for a garden or tea house, yet quite often a space can be found sufficient to make a little break outside the line;here it may be set in a niche, thus providing ease of access and possibly greater seclusion.
It is essential that such features be placed on the most dominant axis of the garden, as a terminal feature, or at one corner with a balancing feature in the opposite corner. In this location a covered house is more desirable and affords more protection. In open topped houses of pergola construction twigs and leaves are constantly falling from the overhanging vines so that, where it is desired to serve tea occasionally in the garden house, the closed top construction is preferable.
If the garden adjoins the residence the garden house should be built to conform with the architecture of the house; if isolated from the house the design may be one that will suit the individual taste and requirement (Figs. 147 and 147A). The rustic house, built of Red Cedar, lends itself to the greatest diversity.
Garden houses with but one open side should have a southern exposure, pre-eminently when there is a pretty outlook in that direction. Such a house will be found a delightful retreat in Autumn, where one may be sheltered from the cold winds and enjoy the view under most delightful conditions.
The floor of the garden house should be of enduring material, such as flagstone, slate, brick, or tile; and, for permanency of construction, should be set on a concrete base four inches deep with a sub-base of stone or cinders. An inch of bar sand should be placed over the concrete as a cushion.
Plan and elevation for Fig. 147. - See pages 184, 185.
The old Dutch tile size, eight inches by eight inches by two inches, with a brick texture, makes a very satisfactory floor with a border of brick on the outside.
Garden houses should be set close to the ground and should not be more than twelve inches above the garden grade. A six-inch elevation, requiring a single step, is most hospitable in appearance.
Fig. 147A. - Plan for a garden house, shingle or tile roof. Woodwork of aged Oak, oil finish and flooring of flat stones. - See page 184.