Edwardian (Horti)culture 5: Beware the Iron Bench

Queen Victoria in the Garden, c.1898

Queen Victoria in the Garden, c.1898

‘It is with real sorrow that we see so many survivals of an era of not particularly good taste, in the shape of iron benches. It is their undoubted durability which has preserved them, and we who try to rest upon them are the sufferers, not only for their unpleasing appearance, but from the ill-chosen formation of the back. […] They are shaped so that neither by stooping forward nor by reclining absolutely at full length can comfort be obtained. Let us stretch our limbs again in freedom […]’ (Viscountess Frances Wolseley, Gardens, Their Form and Design, 1919).

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