After the first round, I decided to continue. The back yard is rocky, and the houses shadow plunges most of the area in shade by mid afternoon. By moving one bench close to the back fence, it will increase the full sun exposure by a couple hours. Good for pines and junipers. Before:
I used the same materials for this build: 6×6 posts, 2×6 joists, and Terex 1×6 composite deck boards. I’m a bit concerned about the tensile strength of the deck boards. We’ll see over time if they begin to sag. I hope not, because they were very expensive, compared to wood. I stained the posts and joists.
The bench above is 8′ long, and after setting it, I decided to add a single pedestal stand for a bit of an offset. From a distance, this post provides a good background of rock and fence, against which the tree photographs well.
Here is a shot of both benches, loaded up to see how many trees will fit.
Over the next few days, I pulled up what remained of the 21 monkey posts that were in the semi-circle area between the patio and the rocky part of the yard.
Laying out the new benches. I decided to place two more 8′ long benches in the semi circle; one parallel to the back bench, and one perpendicular. And to break things up, and with a nod to the past, I added 3 monkey poles between the two benches.
Some considerations made while situating the benches included:
- View from the deck above (should be squared off well, and evenly-spaced)
- View from below: what is visible from the windows overlooking the area?
- Height of benches for viewing, accessibility, irrigation
- Ease of photographing; is the background clean, or are the benches too low and include ground, or too high and protrude over the fence line?
Stained, and set in concrete:
For a bit of variety, I used 2x8s, cut to 24″ long, and stained with a diluted ebony stain for the tops of the monkey posts. I will likely need to seal them to preserve the color.
And a few shots with trees placed.
The new monkey posts, loaded:
We have some landscaping work ahead of us now, but the bonsai display benches should be good for the next 6 years…hopefully longer!