Concrete Garden Furniture

The most common form of garden furniture made from concrete is the garden bench, but other types of furniture, statuary and pots can also be made from this durable material. Because concrete, or cast stone as it is sometimes called, will weather beautifully and last a lifetime, items made from this material can give an ordinary garden look like a park.

Concrete is poured into a mold to create planters, chairs, tables, benches, stepping stones, and even trash receptacles. The material can also be used to create sundials and birdbaths.

Because these items all start out with a  mold, they can reflect any architectural style to compliment the house and garden. Making molds for large, heavy concrete furniture is a true art in itself. Once the mold is created, it can almost always be used to make a large number of items, and all of them will look exactly like the designer intended. Custom-designed furniture will tend to be fairly expensive because the mold will still need to be made, but it will be used only once.

A variation on regular concrete is “hypertufa.” This material is somewhat lighter than regular concrete because it usually contains peat moss in addition to the usual sand, gravel and Portland cement. It can be made even lighter with the addition of vermiculite.  The addition of organic material allows the artificial stone to weather more naturally, and moss can be encouraged to develop on the sides of planters, garden troughs, and other garden decor. It is occasionally used to make legs for garden benches, but this material is not usually strong enough to be used for the bench top.

Mass-produced garden decor made from concrete is available at large garden centers and through landscaping companies. Purchasing locally is almost always less expensive than having these heavy items shipped – sometimes an inexpensive mass-produced bench can cost more to ship than the item’s purchase price.

If no local craftsmen make the type of furniture you have your heart set on, you may want to learn to make them yourself. If you’ve n ever made a large mold before, you will probably want to use a small project to get you started, perhaps with a set of stepping stones you design yourself.