20 November 2014

Cheshire treats: The benches at Tatton Park

What finer pleasure can there be than sitting on a bench in a garden! 

The beautiful gardens at Tatton Park have some of the most charming benches I’ve ever seen in a garden. The diversity of their designs is exquisite and they have been perfectly situated. I guess that’s one of the benefits of a garden with over 200 years’ history. 

These are just some of the reasons I can think of to sit on a charming bench in a delightful garden: to admire the view; to rest your weary feet; to listen to the warbling of birds; to soak up the history and the atmosphere; to smell the flowers and the evocative scent of pine trees and flowering limes; to dream; to marvel at the various bench designs; to chat to friends; to imagine; to share gardening tips and advice; to appreciate the design and structure of the gardens; to lose yourself for a time; to glory in the sunshine; to escape from the outside world; to laugh at the antics of squirrels; to people watch; to smile at the fluttering of butterflies and the buzzing of bees; to feel refreshed by the delicate pitter patter of rain; to hear the rustling of the leaves in the wind; to read a book or write a poem; to take off your shoes and feel the soft grass beneath your feet tickling your toes… The people whose quotes I’ve featured below are rather more profound than me.

"Sitting in your garden is a feat to be worked at with unflagging determination and single-mindedness - for what gardener worth his salt sits down. I am deeply committed to sitting in the garden." Mirabel Osler

"Teach us to care and not to care. Teach us to sit still." T.S. Eliot

“I was just sittin’ here enjoyin’ the company. Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listen.” Eeyore

"To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment." Jane Austen

“Sitting in a garden and doing nothing is high art everywhere.” Michael P. Garofalo, Pulling Onions

“I don't generally like running. I believe in training by rising gently up and down from the bench.” Satchel Paige

“She was sitting in a garden more beautiful than even her rampaging imagination could ever have conjured up, and she was being serenaded by trees.” Lynn Kurland, Spellweaver

“Truly, the bench is a boon to idlers. Whoever first came up with the idea is a genius: free public resting places where you can take time out from the bustle and brouhaha of the city, and simply sit and watch and reflect.” Tom Hodgkinson

“A throne is only a bench covered with velvet.” Napoleon Bonaparte

“Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us. We need hours of aimless wandering or spates of time sitting on park benches, observing the mysterious world of ants and the canopy of treetops.” Maya Angelou

Read more about the gardens at Tatton Park on their website, then plan a visit. Whatever the season there is somewhere stunning to see and you can check out all these beautiful benches. And do let me know if you find some I've missed!

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