Garden benches are made from many different types of wood, such as softwoods like redwood or hardwoods like teak. Hardwoods can withstand unpredictable weather slightly better than softwoods, and can fade naturally for a rustic look. Softwoods fare better when treated and some types of softwood are less prone to cracking. Softwoods are generally a more cost effective option and can be more sustainable.
Consider what kind of garden you have and what kind of bench would fit in well. Metal, with its sleek minimalist finish can look great in contemporary gardens. Wooden benches often look beautiful in traditional gardens, especially when worn down a little. You will also need to think about how many people will sit on it and whether you want to finish it with cushions or leave it as it is.
How you care for your garden bench will come down to the type of material it is, and how much time you want to spend on it. Low maintenance options may only need a wash with soap and water every so often. For wooden benches that need treating, you may need to scrub them with a stiff brush to clean them off before applying treatments. Metal benches with any chips can be touched up with some nail varnish or car spray paint for a quick fix.
Garden benches are often perfect for small spaces, particularly yards or gardens where an outdoor table isn’t an option. Having a small two seater bench gives you somewhere to sit, and adding a side table provides just the right place to pop a drink on. Some garden benches can seat up to six people, and can be curved to fit round a tree and make a stunning feature.
Many garden benches now come pre-treated which takes the hassle out of doing it yourself. Hardwoods like teak or oak need less care and can stand up to rain and wind better than softwoods like acacia. Cast aluminium garden furniture isn't as susceptible to rust as some other metals. Treatments are available to prevent steel furniture from rusting and you can always buy a cover for your bench which can be quickly and easily placed over it with little effort.