garden chairs

A chair is a very difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier. That is why Chippendale is famous.” – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Continuing my monomaniacal, object-specific tour of Portland gardens, which brings us around to chairs. Because I’ve always coveted chairs, all shapes, all sizes. Just ask my family. Found at flea markets, thrift shops and, yes, even curbside, we have way more than necessary indoors, so of course the obsession spills outdoors. Sculptural, practical, evocative of humankind at our very best. An unoccupied chair always strikes me as breathtakingly poignant. A single chair occupied speaks to contemplative moments, gathering strength for rejoining the fray. A group of chairs occupied, animated in conversation, is arguably the best civilization has to offer. High, low, rustic, elegant, I want them all.

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Ernst/Fuller gardens

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At chair mecca, Bella Madrona, I was momentarily distracted from my chair survey by Alan’s great mop of curls.

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The garden maker at Bella Madrona has a kindred, chair-mad spirit and five acres in which to indulge it.

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Bent plywood for the garden.

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The feathery santolina contrasted against stone is what caught my eye, but there’s always a fabulous chair in the background at Bella Madrona.

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Crazy cloud hedges and towering peachy phygelius.

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Okay, technically an indoor chair but buzzing with outdoor themes. Floramagoria

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Ernst/Fuller gardens

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A carpet of carex in the foreground, with in-ground bogs of sarracenia flanking entry to the fire pit at Floramagoria.

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Westwind Farm Studio

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Bend chairs outside a coffeehouse in Portland.

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Pomarius Nursery

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Elementary school chair at Pomarius Nursery

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If it’s orange, we’re in JJ Sousa’s garden

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Potted sempervivums, orange Acapulco chairs

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Chairs surrounded by Stipa gigantea. Ah, summertime.

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JJ Sousa’s shady entry to the front garden, with benches and potted hostas.

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Clean, modern benches in the Danger Garden.

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Classic teak chair and table at Westwind Farm Studio.

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Classic marmalade cat lounging chairless on gravel.

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12 Responses to garden chairs

  1. Kris P says:

    This post is wonderful on multiple levels. I enjoyed your chair-centric overview of the fling.

  2. Mark and Gaz says:

    Another great way to showcase the gardens we have seen, via their chairs! I must confess to have a liking for chairs too, and the design that goes in them and the materials that were used. Each garden, their furniture reflects the character of the owners.

  3. Deanne says:

    Marvelous! a creative and thoughtful post with superb photos, what more could one ask for.

  4. Lisa says:

    Incredible pictures Denise! Oh no…I didn’t pay so much attention to the chairs and now you have me wanting to see them again!! I can´t wait to see your new planter planted with beautiful plants!!

  5. Keep these wonderful posts coming Denise!

  6. HB says:

    And how many minutes a day do you actually sit down in a garden, lady? Two? Great post.

  7. Denise says:

    @Kris, I wish I was a big-picture kind of blogger…thankfully, there’s lots of posts coming out giving an overview of these wonderful gardens.
    @M&G, and I love what you guys did with the new conservatory and the chairs you chose for it.
    @thanks, Deanne! I enjoyed seeing your garden through Allison’s eyes.
    @Lisa, I still haven’t chosen the plants for it yet, but soon!
    Loree, there’s a few more in the pipeline.
    Hoov, I’m a sitter! Truly! Unlike you, I don’t have any hillsides to conquer…

  8. Heather says:

    I love this post. So much.

  9. Love the photos! I’m a furniture nut too (not limited to just chairs), but I tend to focus on “how can I make something like that?” when I see something cool.

    I didn’t notice the curved-arm chairs, but now I’m thinking about bending plywood…

  10. I loved this post, I have a closet chair obsession, and this sent me off on an hour of blissful musing and internet exploration as I – yet again -thought about how chairs and benches could add a sculptural yet practical element to my still a new garden.

  11. Pam/Digging says:

    I’m a chair freak too. No one need sit in one, in my opinion — they make wonderful focal points and whisper of lazy, conversational moments in the garden that probably rarely occur — but I do love your take on their influence on civilizational greatness!

  12. Grosfillex says:

    Absolutely beautiful chairs! Your camera takes amazing photos too, these all look like professional magazine images!!!

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