Discovering the History of Garden Furniture

Discovering the History of Garden Furniture

As we head into a new decade, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at the history of garden furniture and how it has become the modern-day garden staple that it is today.

In modern times we can enjoy a wide variety of garden furniture from wood, to rattan, to outdoor fabric, metal and everything in between. But where did the idea for garden furniture start and what led us to have so much choice in modern life?

Garden Furniture

The First Gardens

Before garden furniture had to come the garden. Historians can trace the first gardens all the way back to AD 43. Back then, gardens had hedges, fences, fruitful orchards and verandas – not far from our modern-day gardens – however they also had impressive Roman and Greek columns.

This is where we would have seen the first examples of garden furniture. These gardens would have had quite uncomfortable stone benches and seats to allow people to enjoy the outdoor spaces they had created.

Garden Furniture

Garden Furniture Throughout the Middle Ages

Whilst gardening became of less importance to people during the Middle Ages, garden furniture still continued to evolve. Before this historical period came to an end, turf benches had become an important aspect of the garden.

In many art pieces, turf benches can be seen facing inwards so that people would avoid having to face the warring that would be going on beyond the garden walls.

The Renaissance of Garden Furniture

The 17th Century saw the beginning of urban gardens as we know them. The best example of this would be the evolution of French gardens which included fountains, menageries and aviaries which often showed a great sign of wealth. However, with the increasing population, more people took an interest in the garden and therefore the demand for garden furniture increased also.

Garden Furniture

During the hot months it is thought that many people would take their indoor furniture outdoors in order to avoid the stuffy heat of indoors. This led to the idea of new outdoor furniture ideas that would have previously been reserved for indoor use and also led to the idea of the garden being a place to entertain rather than just to sit.

Public gardens and parks then began to pop up with some speed throughout the 19th century which again increased the demand for garden furniture. In turn, this led to the invention of the cast iron bench and was followed by more adventurous designs such as rocking chairs and squatter chairs.

Garden Furniture in the Modern Day

Modern Day Garden Furniture

Now, in present day, outdoor living has become an integral part of day to day life, with the majority of homes having a garden and a garden being a key factor when it comes to buying a home. Not only is garden furniture a place to sit but it is now a place to entertain and relax. Modern day adaptations of garden furniture such as sun loungers have made outdoor spaces at hotels just as popular as an outdoor space at home.

Plus, with outdoor electricity, people can now enjoy their outdoor spaces around the clock with outdoor garden lights, garden heaters and more.

Now, instead of waiting another century to enjoy a new idea for garden furniture, year on year new ideas are coming forward to keep the garden an important area of the home and allow you to enjoy it for longer periods of the year.

If you’re looking for garden furniture, we’ve recently revealed our predicted trends for the first year of the new decade. Plus, if you need help deciding what is right for your garden, a visit to one of our showrooms will allow you to see the most modern and practical garden furniture pieces, ideal for your outdoor space.