Every garden needs lots of places to sit. Park benches offer a place to relax and clear your mind. After a hectic day at work, Rachel and I can disconnect from the world and admire our garden together. Is there a difference between a park bench and a garden bench? Yes. A garden bench is the longer of the two. Park benches are intended to make people sit closer together which makes even the largest garden seem more intimate. A Victorian-style park bench with cast iron rails and wooden slats brings a touch of romance to any outdoor space. My morning routine is simple. Sit back. Relax. Enjoy a cup of coffee outdoors. The garden fragrances are most intense and the entire neighborhood is quiet. It’s 5 a.m. and Rachel won’t be up for a little while. With my feet up, I appreciate this brief moment before I head off to work.       

Park benches can evoke great ideas. Walt Disney came up with the idea for a family-friendly theme park while sitting on a park bench with his daughter. That inspiration gave rise to an entertainment empire. Bench sitting is not just a passive activity.    

There are 9,485 park benches in New York City’s Central Park. Imagine all the stories and inspirations behind each one. Countless ideas have been conceived in one of the world’s great gardens. Instead of people watching in a public space, Rachel and I enjoy bird watching in our rose garden. We have four benches, each with its own purpose. The classic wooden bench made for two is my favorite. 

Most benches are made of recycled plastic, metal or wood.  Some are made of concrete. Most weren’t designed with comfort in mind, and if that’s your main concern, opt for wood. The average cost is around $100 to $300. Plastic-coated metal benches are more expensive, but they’ll last a lot longer. The best time to purchase a bench is at the end of summer when they’re usually less than half price. Whichever style you choose, park benches make great garden seatings.   

Rachel and Ivan Minnis are avid gardeners. They live in Leavenworth. For more information, visit The Minnis Rose Garden on Facebook. Contact them at rnlyes@hotmail.com