Antiques Magazine - May 2023, Antique garden furniture and vintage ornaments you must have in your garden this summer - ANTIQUES.CO.UK
 

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    Antique garden furniture and vintage ornaments you must have in your garden this summer

    Posted by Chris on 12/05/2023

    Antique garden furniture and vintage ornaments you must have in your garden this summer

    "Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language." - Henry James

    As the weather slowly improves, those of us lucky enough to have a garden or outside space are likely to be thinking of preparing it in one way or another, so that we too are able to enjoy all the sunny summer afternoons ahead.

    It’s perfectly reasonable these days to head to your local superstore or online retailer and purchase all manner of cheap, poorly made garden furniture. Come next spring, it’ll be discarded out onto the street with a leg or two missing, or a split in the seating fabric – until the refuse lorry collects it. What a waste.

    What’s much more interesting, long-lasting - and environmentally-friendly - is to dig a little deeper and build a collection of attractive antique pieces which will actually add some proper class.

    What could be better than a 120 year old garden urn, or a stylish 1930s bamboo garden sofa? These pieces are sturdy, well crafted, and exude history and charm. They have stood the test of time (and weather) and will remain in good shape for years to come.

    Here are some must-have types of antique and vintage garden furniture to really zhuzh up your garden this summer.

     


    Antique garden furniture and vintage ornaments you must have in your garden this summer

    Antique garden urns, planters & jardinieres

    Garden urns can be used to plant pretty much anything in your garden, from small trees (we’re thinking mini firs and acers) to summer flowering perennials, shrubs like lavender, trailing plants and flowers like calibrachoa, bedding plants and even succulents. Often you’ll find urns available in pairs, which would work perfectly either side of an entrance, doorway or path, adding symmetry.

    This beautiful three part stone garden urn would make a lovely centrepiece to a parterre, or lawn – and is the sort of thing you’d find adorning an Edwardian summer garden, like Hestercombe’s stunning Gertrude Jekyll & Edwin Lutyens design.

    This slightly later 20th century stone urn could look magnificent too.

    View all antique garden urns, planters and jardinieres

    Antique planters (or jardinieres) are readily available, their shape – usually rectangular – lending themselves to borders. They fit well around the edges of your beds and patio, and can be used to help section off different areas of your garden.

    This pair of cast iron planters have a terrific patina – the oxidised red would on their own add a lovely pop against a garden’s green tones.

    Terracotta has always been a popular material for planters, given its porous nature. This highly unusual piece might not be for everyone, but shows what can be done with a Victorian chimney!

    We also love this pair of early Victorian copper windowsill planters which would look fantastic planted up with some lavender or something blue.

    > View all antique garden planters

     


    Antique garden furniture and vintage ornaments you must have in your garden this summer

    Antique garden benches and seats

    We beg you – please don’t rush out and buy a brand new garden bench or rattan chair from a hardware store. There are plenty of lovely antique benches and chairs right here.

    This lovely 1930s bamboo garden sofa would be a unique addition to a seating area.

    Or for something a little more traditional, how about a recently restored 3-4 seater cast iron bench, dated 1866, repainted in a delectable green. We love the nasturtium pattern on the ironwork.

    This simple 1920s bench is after the Chinese Chippendale style, and is as seen in a 1918 garden ornament book by Gertrude Jekyll.

    For some alternative seating, you should take a look at this pair of antique teak patio chairs, with a delightful patination and wrought iron frames. We also adore this heavy vintage garden chair.

    > View all garden benches & garden chairs

     


    Antique garden furniture and vintage ornaments you must have in your garden this summer

    Antique garden ornaments and sculptures

    Sadly, you won’t see antique sculptures or ornaments in most gardens these days, but there are some highly distinctive pieces on offer.

    This tall vintage stone statue features two lovers on a pedestal; another mid-20th century four foot statue could add some mythological Greek-ness to an uninspired corner.

    It’s widely believed that adding a water feature to your garden is beneficial to wildlife and insects – so this vintage style sold bronze, three-tiered bird bath would serve more than one purpose. It’s beautifully decorated with acanthus leaves, anthemion and fluting in high relief.

    Some alternative garden ornaments include this pair of antique recumbent stone lions, an attractive terracotta wall relief, an impressive bronze statue of two crocodiles and a fine Edwardian stone bird bath.

    > View all antique and vintage garden ornaments

     


    Antique garden furniture and vintage ornaments you must have in your garden this summer

    Unique vintage garden pieces and gardening equipment

    There is something entirely charming about this vintage 1960s folk art bird house; this large marble dish which could be used as a stylish bird feeder, and for a really rather remarkable garden ornament, a vintage larger than life size bronze of Albert Einstein on a garden bench.

    Unless you have a gardener to look after your beds and lawn, you’ll be in the market for some gardening equipment. But why settle for the plastic stuff from the garden centre when you could have your pick of antique gardening tools?

    This delightful and sturdy late Victorian gardener’s trug also comes with a removable bulb tray; whilst this late Georgian oak carrying box, with its attractive rich caramel hues, would be ideal for carrying produce in from the garden.

    > View all garden antiques

     


    BONUS ITEM

    This is truly a one of a kind piece: made from natural linen, and featuring vintage advertising for ‘Fun Tea’, this garden parasol is fashioned in the shape of a 20th century boater and could not be more summery. 

     


    A brief history of antique garden sculpture and furniture

     

    A brief history of antique garden sculpture and furniture

    It’s widely accepted that the first link between gardens and ornamental sculpture was established by classical civilisations in the Mediterranean – one which still exists to this day.

    We look at a brief history of antique garden sculpture, ornaments and furniture from Emperor Hadrian, to the Renaissance and Georgian and Victorian gardens - and how exactly we ended up with such a varied range of pieces and styles. > Read now

     


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