[Suzanne Rheinstein's garden designed in collaboration with Judy Horton, photographed by Tim Street-Porter and published in Veranda, July-August 2003.]
In the previous post I admitted that, while I consider myself a true garden enthusiast, I'm lacking when it comes to actual knowledge. What I am a little more familiar with is the evolution of garden furniture, including iconic pieces like architect Sir Edwin Lutyens' bench. Of course, it's pretty easy to be aware of this classic camel-back bench. More than a century-old, various interpretations are abundant in botanical gardens and, well, everywhere. But I never tire of it.
Recently, I spotted a pair of symmetrically placed Lutyens benches in a video tour of David Hicks' place, The Grove, and in the blogosphere Ruthie Chapman Sommers' fun turquoise-painted Lutyens chair (seen in 2005 in the premiere issue of domino) is very well known. Another 21st century sighting, by Suzanne Rheinstein's L.A. pool, is shown above. I'm guessing Getrude Jekyll might have approved of this image.
In Gertrude Jekyll and the Country House Garden, Judith Tankard quotes the landscape designer:
"It is a pleasant thing to catch sight of a comfortable bench at the end of some flower border or garden picture, [but] the seat should not be unduly evident."
Jekyll championed Lutyens' designs, and did not care for the stark contrast of white-painted furniture against evergreens. For English settings she especially preferred natural weathered wood, and muted greys and greens.
I love an array of gardens and styles of furniture. If you're interested in doing some exploring, here are a few suggestions:
Landscape designer Art Luna's reading list, encompassing gardens from the world of fashion, modern gardens and Asian-style gardens.
Highgrove on Flickr.
And a Lutyens reading list.