Garden Furniture: 6 Unbelievably Wonderful Outdoor Furniture Pieces

Gardens are much more than merely a place for plants. Gardens are spaces for the enjoyment of nature, reflection, rejuvenation, remembrance…the list goes on. Our master furniture members have had the opportunity to make many special pieces for gardens.

Read on for a “garden tour” of five unique furniture items. Then, contact one of our furniture makers to commission your very own special garden furniture.

1. Garden Boxes by Charles Ogg

These garden boxes with dovetail corners for raised beds are made of fresh-cut local Vermont Hemlock. Typically, they are about 30 inches wide and 8 feet in length. They can be sized for your location. Charles has found that they will last six to eight years or more in a wet setting.


Garden boxes handmade by furniture maker Charles Ogg.











The simple dove tail joinery locks the corners tight. His method of installing flashing into the ground within the box keeps the garden soils from migrating out under the box should the box heave in the winter.

2. Garden Memorial Bench by John Lomas

This is a memorial bench that John made for a client whose husband had died. He loved the lake and sunsets. The back represents the sun going down over the lake. Just under the sunburst there’s a rail with waves carved into it. It’s made of teak with copper feet and sun.


Sunset bench handmade by John Lomas.

3. Garden Bench as Retirement Gift by David Boynton 

A retirement gift for an avid gardener from a group of his long-time friends, who got together and commissioned this piece. It features an Arts & Craft-inspired design, quarter-sawn white oak, and salvaged Ipe. Last David heard, it was still gracing the gentleman’s garden and being enjoyed!

garden bench

A garden bench handcrafted by David Boynton.

4. Waltham Side Chair by Timothy Clark

This Waltham Side Chair was built to double size for a promotional event for the Town Hall Theater in Middlebury, Vermont, in 2014. Tim explains: “It was a very strange experience working on shapes that I know so well at this scale. A bit of an Alice in Wonderland feeling.”

Waltham side chair

A Waltham side chair handcrafted by Timothy Clark.

5. Outdoor Bench by David Hurwitz

Here’s an outdoor bench that David made from locally-grown white oak. It was commissioned by the Montshire Museum of Science, in Norwich, Vermont, for their Woodland Garden Trail, which showcases native and medicinal plants. The texture on the legs is hand-carved. Wow!

Outdoor bench

An outdoor bench commissioned by the Montshire Museum of Science and handcrafted by David Hurwitz.

5. Chicago Garden Bench by Charles Shackleton

In 1987, in the first year of his business, Charles Shackleton’s mother was visiting from Ireland and happened to answer the phone at his shop. “There’s a man on the phone looking for 300 garden benches,” she reported to Charles. He had won a competition with the design of this bench, and since that time, over the past 32 years, has made at least that number. It has become one of his iconic designs!

Chicago garden bench

Chicago garden bench, one of Charles Shackleton’s most iconic pieces.

Click here to view work by all the members of the Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers. 


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