Garden Furniture History

The way society has used garden furniture has changed over the last several centuries. This garden furniture history article will discuss how the modifications in outdoor activities and garden landscapes have altered the way outdoor furniture is used.

Garden Furniture History – Greek Eras and Romans

The garden was first created in 43CE once the Claudian invasion ended. It was the first time people were exposed to fences and hedges with colonnaded verandas and orchards.

The initial appearances of outdoor furniture can be traced back to the Roman and Greek eras, where cumbersome stone seats and benches were used to fill up outdoor spaces. Supposedly the oldest surviving instances of garden furniture were found in Pompeii’s gardens.

The garden was a major staple in the lives of Pompeii’s citizens. Most of the things a Roman garden represented during this era still can be felt today through the evolution of garden furniture. Public and private gardens were both perceived as a place of elegance, worship, calamity, and entertainment.

Outdoor garden seats became prominent by Americans in the 18th century. Those seats were made from older trees, and then reinforced with a pergola, green arbor, or vine-clad summer house.

Garden Furniture History – Medieval Era

Gardening wasn’t an important issue for people during this period, and yet, several different types of furniture were introduced. One of them was turf benches, which turned into a distinctive factor in medieval gardens. This form of furniture surged in popularity at the start of the 15th century and was featured in numerous art pieces.

Gardens can be seen in those images, which showed turf benches that usually looked inwards to bypass warring outside the walls. Flowers and herbs enclosed this form of garden furniture, allowing people to enjoy themselves in an outdoor setting.

Garden Furniture History – Elizabethan Era

Urban planning was prominent in Europe during the 17th century, as several gardens were created in hopes of regulating nature. This theme was seen in most French gardens, as menageries, aviaries, and fountains were used to articulate one’s riches.

Seating popularity grew in these urban areas with the rising population, and as such, sitting outside became the norm. This was convenient as people would pull their furniture outdoors from inside to cool off. It wasn’t long before the Windsor chair was created. It became in demand because of how light it was.

During this period, gardens were modified to oversee landscapes. Seating was used to stimulate the change to contemplative from active. These garden seats were a place of comfort and offered a focal point to an exterior private atmosphere.

Public areas like gardens, parks, and piers that came about in the 19th century increased the demand for outdoor seating. This resulted in the rise of the ‘park bench,’ and new methods were developed to produce cast iron on a large-scale.

Australia’s squatter chairs and the American rocking chair are other examples of this era’s exterior garden furniture.

Garden Furniture History – Booming 21st Century

The idea of living outdoors has boomed in the 21st century. People can customize their exterior living areas with exterior electricity, ornaments, and furniture. A suitable piece of metal garden furniture offers an aesthetic focal point in an optimized garden.

We’ve since progressed from the benches used in 43CE with modern garden furniture made with quality materials, some of which come with numerous furniture accessories.


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