The South West London Gardener

A Guide to Creating Great Seating Areas in a London Garden

seating area

London is a city known for its bustling streets, historic landmarks, and yes, its charming, albeit compact gardens.

In this concrete jungle, a well-designed garden seating area is not just a luxury; it’s a haven of relaxation and a lovely spot to socialise.

But how do you make the most of the limited space? How do you create a cosy corner that braves London’s unpredictable weather?

Here at The Southwest London Gardener, we have worked on many projects doing just this, and in this blog, we’re going to tell you more.

Let’s take a look.

Why You Should Consider Adding a Garden Seating Area

There are many benefits to incorporating a seating area in your garden, including:

  • Mental Health Benefits: A garden seating area provides a tranquil space for relaxation and contemplation. Being surrounded by greenery can significantly reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It’s a perfect spot for meditation, reading, or simply enjoying the serenity of nature.
  • Social and Entertainment Space: A garden with a seating area is ideal for social gatherings, family meals, or entertaining guests. It offers a comfortable and inviting atmosphere for barbecues, garden parties, or just casual conversations over coffee.
  • Enhances Aesthetic Appeal: A well-designed garden with a seating area adds to the aesthetic appeal of your home. It can be a focal point of your property, adding to its charm and potentially increasing its market value. For example, we added a patio area with seating to this garden in Clapham, and it added a lovely modern feel to the entire space.
  • Personalised Space: You can design and personalise the garden and seating area to reflect your tastes and preferences, creating a unique and personal retreat. Whether it’s a cosy nook for reading, a space for yoga, or a spot for your morning coffee, it can be tailored to your lifestyle.
  • Wildlife Watching: A garden attracts birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. A seating area provides a comfortable spot to observe and enjoy these natural visitors, offering a sense of peace and connection to the wider ecosystem.
  • Flexibility and Adaptability: The seating area in a garden can be adapted to suit different needs and occasions. From a quiet reading spot to a vibrant social gathering place, its versatility is one of its greatest strengths.

This is just a handful of the many reasons a seating area is a great addition, and next up we’ll tell you how this can become a reality in your outside space.

Understanding Your Space

Evaluating the Size and Shape of Your Garden

First things first, let’s look at the canvas we have.

London gardens are famously diverse in shape and size. Whether it’s a sprawling lawn or a quaint balcony space, the key is to understand its potential.

Measure your space and consider a layout that maximises its use.

Think circular tables for tight corners or elongated benches for narrow alleys. It’s all about working with what you’ve got.

Considering Sunlight and Weather

In London, the sun can be hard to find in a garden, but in the right spot, it can be a real pleasure.

When planning your seating area, think about its exposure to sunlight. A spot that catches the morning sun is perfect for early birds, while a west-facing area might be ideal for those who enjoy an evening relax.

And let’s not forget the rain!

Opt for a spot that’s naturally sheltered or consider adding a stylish parasol or gazebo for protection.

Choosing the Right Furniture

Durable and Weather-Resistant Options

Now, let’s talk furniture.

In a city where four seasons in a day is not unheard of, choosing weather-resistant furniture is crucial.

Go for materials like teak, stainless steel, or bamboo for a great sustainable choice. These are not just durable; they also add a stylish touch to your space.

Maximising Comfort and Style

Comfort is key.

After all, what’s the point of a beautiful garden if you can’t sit back and enjoy it?

Cushioned chairs and loungers, such as were added to this family garden in Earlsfield, are great but remember to store cushions away when not in use.

Style-wise, consider the overall look of your garden.

A rustic theme might call for wooden benches, while a modern space might benefit from sleek metal chairs. Making sure your seating area fits in with your garden design is key, and this project in Wimbledon shows how this can be done.

seating area in garden

Incorporating Greenery and Elements of Nature

Plant Selection

Your choice of plants can make or break the ambience of your seating area. In a London garden, opt for hardy plants like lavender, which adds a splash of colour and a delightful scent.

For smaller spaces, potted herbs or climbing ivy can create a lush backdrop without taking up too much room.

Creating Privacy and Shade

To create a sense of privacy and shade, tall plants like bamboo or ornamental grasses are excellent.

They grow quickly and add an element of seclusion, making your garden feel like a hidden oasis in the heart of the city.

Adding Personal Touches

Decorative Elements

Personalising your space is what makes it truly yours.

Add some decorative cushions, a colourful outdoor rug, or even some whimsical garden ornaments.

These small touches can make a big difference, giving your seating area a cosy and inviting feel.

Lighting for Evening Ambience

As the sun sets, lighting becomes the star of the show.

String lights or solar-powered lamps can create a magical atmosphere, perfect for those long summer evenings.

Not only do they provide illumination, but they also add a warm glow that enhances the overall charm of your garden.

Year-Round Maintenance Tips

Preserving Furniture and Décor

Maintaining your garden furniture is essential, especially in a city like London.

During the off-season, cover your furniture or store it in a shed to protect it from the elements.

Regular cleaning and the occasional fresh coat of paint or sealant will keep your furniture looking new for years.

Seasonal Gardening Tips

Gardening in London requires a bit of flexibility.

Be prepared to switch out plants as the seasons change. Spring bulbs, summer perennials, autumn foliage, and hardy winter plants will ensure your garden seating area remains vibrant and inviting all year round.

under the boardwalk case study

The Southwest London Gardener

Creating a great seating area in a London garden is about embracing its unique challenges and turning them into charming features.

It’s about making the most of every square inch of space, choosing the right furniture, and adding your personal touch to create a cosy retreat.

If you would like to add something like this to your garden, then you’re in the right place.

Our team know just what makes the perfect seating area and can work with you to incorporate it into your garden layout.

Want to know more? Then get in touch today.