Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bench 2.0

ProfessorRoush places a high value on permanence when selecting garden ornaments or furniture.  I like concrete or iron rather than plastic or wooden.  I want unpainted statuary versus stained or painted figures that need to be refinished every few years.  Heavy pieces are chosen so that I don't need to travel to Missouri to find them after every thunderstorm. Tasteful pieces appear when I can find them, although my tastes are subject to debate and questionable in many instances.

Consequently, when my old iron and wooden garden bench to the right of the front walkway started to deteriorate beyond the point where staining the wood was curative, and to the degree where sitting on it was a chancy proposition, I knew it was time to find a new one, but I couldn't part easily with the ironwork.  This old bench had stuck with me through wind and rain, snow and heat. Who wouldn't have a little interior rot when you spend each of 10 winters outside under a blanket of ice or snow? This bench deserved a second chance and I was just sentimental enough to give it one.

Enter Bench 2.0, my amateur remake using the original iron sides and back.  I used composite/permanent redwood-colored deck material for the seat and back.  The decking material didn't come in the right widths, but I overcame and adapted with selective use of the pre-drilled iron holes and bolts with lock washers.  I tend, when building something, to build crudely but to over engineer everything, so I assure you that six weight-challenged individuals and a dog could sit safely on the new bench.  The curved back iron piece would have required too much work to make it fit, but I reversed it and screwed it back onto the back to increase the weight of this piece and keep the floral print visible.  At this point, nothing short of a tornado is going to move this bench, which I've relocated to my growing "redbud grove" near the shade of a Cottonwood.  Not as formal, but still classy, eh?  It won't need to be redone again for like the next 6 million years and only then to repaint the iron.  And the cost to redo?  Less than a new bench (in fact less than the metal bench that replaced it out front).

You're wondering about the light blue sides aren't you?  That happens to be my "color" for the garden.  I paint almost all the iron in my garden that hue of rust-inhibiting paint, known variously as "wildflower blue," "brilliant blue," or "periwinkle blue" depending on the brand.  I think it looks nice when placed among almost anything in a garden, and it stands out just enough to call attention to itself without screaming at visitors.  Please don't tell Mrs. ProfessorRoush that my garden has a "color" though.  She'll laugh at me and call me strange. There is no accounting for taste is there?


  1. Your bench looks very nice. You did a good job bringing it back to life...I have a question about your old garden roses I saw on your rose tab. How do you go about finding the older roses to purchase?

    1. Ginney, most of the "unusual" varieties, old roses or otherwise, were purchased mail order as own-root roses from Rogue Valley Roses or Heirloom roses (see the tag above marked Favorite Garden Books and Links. Lately, I was pleased with a shipment from Roses Unlimited as well.

  2. Are those k state colors? Look more like rock chalk? He he.


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