Archive for rock garden seating

Natural Rock Garden Seating

Posted in garden to visit, How to, landscape design with tags , , on August 9, 2012 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

20120805-144035.jpgNatural rock seating in the Rose and Perennial Garden at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

As I mentioned in my previous post on hydrangeas, I visited the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (CMBG) in July with Donna from Garden Walk Garden Talk. This wasn’t my first visit, and if you want to read my original post click here. This visit was more focused because I came with a mission. I am designing an island in a public road and was looking for ideas for natural rock seating.

CMBG Lerner Garden of the Five Senses

If you are looking for ways to incorporate boulders and rocks into your garden, there is no better place to get design ideas than CMBG. The whole garden is full of gorgeous stones, most of them from Maine quarries and some found on the site. Finding stones on site is easy when you are on the Maine coast—the ground has more rocks than soil. But to create such unusual and well integrated garden seating takes talent. I want to share my photographs with you in case you are looking to create natural seating in your own garden.


Seating in both public and private gardens should be sited in a way that directs visitors to an important view or encourages them to enjoy a new perspective while they sit. When choosing rock, I am partial to rounded boulders, fully integrated into the landscape to the point where you almost can’t see them. However, this approach would not be appropriate in a public botanical garden where you want tired visitors to be able to easily locate a resting spot. The following photos were all taken at the CMBG and show a variety of ways to use rock as garden seating:









20120808-150327.jpgThis simple bench provides an overlook of the Slater Forest Pond, which was full of frogs and dragonflies.

20120808-150522.jpgThis is a full couch and chairs positioned along the beautiful Shoreland Trail.

All the seating shown above is quite beautiful and appropriate to the site, but I wanted to save some of my favorite designs for last:

20120808-150914.jpgThis single boulder is so well integrated into its site both by the other rocks and the sedum growing around it.

20120808-151144.jpgAgain a boulder that looks like the designers built the other hardscape around it in the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses.



20120808-151700.jpgWhat a wonderful place to sit and enjoy the water view along the Shoreland Trail.


20120808-152328.jpgThe rocks look like they could have just fallen into place to create this obviously comfortable “couch” in the Giles Rhododendron Garden.

20120808-152633.jpgA natural chaise lounge near the Cleaver Event Lawn and Garden.

I came away from my visit to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens with some great ideas for my road design project and with renewed respect for this wonderful Maine garden treasure.


Nursery Happenings: The nursery is closed until the fall. Thanks for a great spring season!

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

%d bloggers like this: