|Family meal at restaurant Bello Vista, Gassin, France|
Looking at it now, I am fairly pleased but not totally pleased. What do you think of the green plastic table and chairs? Yes, I thought so. There is no doubt about it: they are a bit naff! They are all rather flimsy, and the table has a habit of collecting rainwater:
I have mixed feelings about garden furniture. Part of me says I ought to go and buy some more upmarket stuff (probably made of hardwood). But another part of me says: "Hang on. Because of our dismal weather last year we only ate a meal in the garden twice. Is it worth buying what might be some pretty expensive furniture just for that?"
I also like to use my garden table as a place to put my young seedlings out of harm's way when I'm hardening them off, and I might have some reservations about doing this if I had a posh table.
I also have no hesitation about leaving the plastic furniture outside over the Winter. If it were to be damaged, it would not cost me a lot to replace it. Actually, it's so lightweight that there's a strong likelihood that it might be blown away in a gale! If I had more substantial wooden furniture I would feel obliged to move it under cover (where, exactly? The garage is already full) during the Winter, or at least provide it with waterproof covers (at additional expense).
It's a dilemma, isn't it? What would you do?
P.S. I'm still having problems leaving comments on many blogs, so if you don't see a comment from me you'll know why. But that doesn't mean to say that I'm not reading what you write (Laura; Alison, Neesie, etc etc)
I have the same mixed fillings as you do about patio furniture, Mark. Although, I've seen lately something made of iron, that has a mash-like table top and chairs. I would go for this one probably: doesn't collect the water, easy to maintain, and I can still use it for my gardening needs.ReplyDelete
Are those cucumber seedlings, Mark? I heard they don't like to be transplanted, is that so? Thanks!
What a beautiful garden. My garden area is covered in lots of snow as well. We just have to dream about that first vine ripe tomato this summer.ReplyDelete
Hehe! Honestly, I didn't notice the plastic as I was far too busy looking at how neat and green and lovely everything else was. Personally I think it's fine - I wouldn't get the wood considering all the cons you've given. You can always throw a tablecloth over it and get some seat cushions to jazz up the chairs!ReplyDelete
We keep debating the same thing. We have a nice little patio area for the table. Right now we are using my townhouse mates old table and chairs. I love the chairs, but don't like the table. But ours at least gets used. The odds are is that we will keep using it until one of us stumbles across one we like. So far that hasn't happened.ReplyDelete
The table looks fine to me all you need is a table cloth and if you take the plastic bit out where the umbrella goes won't the water drain.ReplyDelete
I must be the only one then who prefers wooden furniture to plastic. You might be surprised how hardy and sturdy they can be (ie teak) they can stay out all year, just give them a coating of teak oil once a year.ReplyDelete
Your courtyard garden looks stunning and wooden furniture would be the icing on the cake :)
Marina: I always transplant cucumber seedlings. I think most people do - simply because here in the UK we have to start them indoors and only put them outside later on when the weather warms up. If you sowed them direct after the danger of frost had passed they wouldn't have long enough to mature.ReplyDelete
its a tricky one because the furniture has to be practical to sit your family around but practical is dull and the other stuff is very expensive... how about getting something second-hand and going a bit shabby-chic... something that already looks weathered and worn... I would go for a nice old wooden table that's already weathered, even something that was once an indoor farmhouse table... and then i'd get two long benches to go either side... benches are so sociable and you can squeeze those late-comers onto them... then I would find 2 'armchair' type wooden chairs. Make it all mix-matched but paint it all white, with an outdoor paint... try ebay first but I bet you have an old 'antique' store nearby that sells this kind of thing... and that's the end of my lesson for the day xReplyDelete
Now, why didn't I write that ? ;)Delete
I used to have an iron(I think it was iron - it was metal anyway)table that I absolutely loved but I left it in the UK when we came back to Australia - I wish I'd brought it with us - It resisted the weather, didn't collect water, looked great and I'd happily put seedlings on it as well as dinner.ReplyDelete
I would invest in a large market umbrella...they are cream canvas and wood...and look great popped in the middle of your table...and you know, once the table is covered with food and plates etc...it dosnt matter what you are sitting on or at...........plus, you could always get an oilskin tablecloth to cover it, so no one knows whats underneath....I think 'outdoor' furniture is never meant to be left out in the elements, I think 'outdoor' , but 'undercover' is what keeps them nice.ReplyDelete
I'm with Dom about the shabby chic idea. But I'm pretty sure that won't appeal to you! I too was admiring your neat garden. I like wooden furniture but you do have to give them an annual oil which is annoying when you're lazy like me. I have those plastic chairs the same as you and what I hate about them is that red back spiders love to live under them! Luckily in England you wouldn't have to worry about that but if I go out and turn my chairs over I am certain to spot some living in a nasty messy nest underneath. So I try not to turn them over too often. And try not to think about what's living underneath my bottom when I'm sitting at the table.ReplyDelete
Well, I think your garden is absolutely lovely even with the plastic chairs and table (which are still a lot nicer than my plastic chairs and table but then I seen to only use mine when I am butchering chickens. We hardly ever sit outside because it is so darn hot in the summer.ReplyDelete
I will say this, your garden does inspire me to do more with my backyard at least.
Love your backyard. I kind of feel like once you find something you simply can't live without that's when you get your new furniture.ReplyDelete
Love the garden! I would upgrade the furniture--you might find you will eat dinner there more often too.ReplyDelete
Ahh Mark and here I was thinking you didn't like my blog anymore. I missed you! But now I know why...but at the same time I don't know why? I wonder if I've done something to cause this problem???ReplyDelete
In the past I've had a white plastic six seater table set, but handed them on to my sister when we travelled overseas...the set is still going strong many years later, even though she's demoted it to the category of extra table and chairs when needed.
We currently have a solid teak six seater set with huge umbrella, which we originally bought from Macro in the UK. It was expensive at the time I suppose, therefore when we moved to the Middle East we transported it with us, where it lived for over six years in the searing heat, used for many different purposes from dinner settings to sowing seedling. It then travelled to Australia and went through quarantine and although it looks a little tired and worn, I like the effect. It looks like it's having a good life being appreciated, used numerous times a week and living the dream! Well for an outdoor table that is...
I think it's a difficult choice to make but I personally love anything wood. Good Luck!
I think the birds would possibly miss your water collecting device ~ I can imagine it's very popular :D
I must say I never really make much of an effort with our wooden garden furniture. It gets washed down each spring, but apart from that I just leave it to age gracefully. The metal furniture got a good going-over with a metal brush on the power drill last summer, and then a coat of dark-green paint, and that should mean they're sorted for the next many years.ReplyDelete
I could easily imagine some weathered hardwood furniture in your garden.
I like Dom's idea (or a version of this). I'm always amazed at your tidy garden and the amount of fruit and veg you produce! I would move the green table to the side somewhere (if you have room) so you can continue to use it for seed trays (ditch the chairs / charity shop). I would get a nice looking wood and/or metal table and chairs or benches as Dom suggested. It would look lovely. From March to October I love siting outside in my garden on one of my benches - I spend ALOT of time out there sipping tea and reflecting on my garden. Maybe you won't be eating meals outside but it's just a great place to sit and enjoy your garden. Let us know what you decide. I'd definitely make the change!ReplyDelete
Mark - the plastic is at least durable and easy to clean, and if you pop the umbrella plug you won't have the water pooling issue. I have both steel, and wood. We don't eat in the back very often, but I love the way the wood looks. It does need maintenance every few years with sanding/oiling. I do store it in the garage over winter. The metal sits on the deck and has not required any maintenance though I might need to do a little touch up this year. I’ve had both sets for about 10 years.ReplyDelete
Bit of a dilemma - if you want my two pennorth I would go for metal - you know those lovely ornate sets - heavy, won't rot and nice to look at - or there is aluminium - contemporary, not so nice to look at and pretty light - you could keep the nasty plastic one somewhere for your plants - go on, get rid of it - you know it makes sense!ReplyDelete
I was lucky that I got a lovely hardwood outdoor dining set as a freebie when I bought my lounge furniture (3+2 sofas). It was supposed to be an eight seater set, but if we'd taken that we wouldn't have had any more room in the garden, so we asked if we could change it to a four seater set which they were offering with a different style lounge set and they agreed. It came with a lovely parasol too. It's so heavy and sturdy, and we leave it out all winter as we don't have a garage in which to store it. I still put seed trays on it and it does it no harm. I think wood is much nicer than plastic, but it does usually come at a price. As for commenting, have you tried Google Chrome? I was having problems with IE, but so far I've been fine with Chrome.ReplyDelete
I had the same dilemma when I got first to buy my garden furniture. I have one plastic set which I dislike, one wooden set which I adore and a few metal seats which I also love very much. Plastic is good when new whereas metal and wood look always good - if weathered, even better to me. From the point of good look, plastic is really on the last place on my choice list.ReplyDelete
And, you can always buy furniture in winter - here in Croatia the prices are considerably lower than in gardening season. Or, I find some good staff in second hand shops or even junk yard. That's where I found my metal seats for free.
Hmm, I'm a huge fan of hardwood furniture, and wouldn't be without it. I remember we watched the sales for the best part of a year until a good compromise appeared within our budget... perhaps worth just keeping your eyes peeled for a while.ReplyDelete
I love my hardwood table and benches, we got them at a bargain price from one of the shows on the last day. We also have a shabby ppainted set closer to the house.ReplyDelete
Love your garden, we have very similar raised beds and love them.
Hoping for a great outdoor year.
These days, the big stores like B&Q have very reasonably priced excellent hardwood tables and chairs which are supposedly harvested from sustainable sources. Living in the UK, hardwood furniture takes on a beautiful silver grey weathered look, which is different but no less attractive, in my view, from the golden brown of new wood. If you prefer the more well-tended look, an annual application of teak oil will bring the wood back to it's former glory. I don't think they need to be stored or covered during the winter. I have to disagree with the comment that metal doesn't rot. I have a beautiful iron set, which was very expensive and in a French lattice style. Living close to the sea, this set has rather quickly degenerated into a corroded, flaking and rusting mess and although I'm a huge fan of the "shabby chic" look, it's now not practical to use these as one is liable to get metal spinters or rust-stained clothes. Seems I will have to give in and spray them. Good luck with your hunt, I'm sure the likes of B&Q will be getting their new ranges anytime now.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure if this comment is too late or whether you would even find this to your taste. But I found this link on recycled rubber tire patio furniture and I thought it was worth sharing it with you.ReplyDelete
I like the idea of rubber tire furniture and matching planters. I don't know how easy it is to acquire such pieces, though.