Despite below-average spring temperatures here in Southern Ontario, the big box hardware stores are busily stacking patio furniture to the rafters–always a heartening sign. But I’m not feeling the love for tastefully modern, ebony-coloured plicker side tables or neon-bright recycled-plastic faux Adirondacks. After one crazy-long winter, I’m thinking big and bad. Huge and heavy. I’m thinking Cro-Magnon style patio chairs and tables so monumental you could leave them outside even if glaciers from a new Ice Age were pushing up against the back fence.
You’re not going to see a lot of this kind of outdoor decor at your favourite Costco or Canadian Tire. Yet. But I’m betting it’s the next hot garden decor trend. I noticed hints of this, um, throwback sensibility, at Canada Blooms 2014. The stone patio table with mini creek and waterfall (shown at left) could be considered the most elegant example of this new look. The chairs carved from giant logs by Bienenstock Playgrounds (shown below) engulfed anyone brave enough to sit on/in one. You put a couple of those babies in your garden and they ain’t going anywhere, ever again.
Cro-Magnon style patio furniture goes beyond traditional design. It’s pre-historic. In a good way. And yet, this style can look so modern. Take the stunning stone bench embedded in a dry stone wall designed by Scotland-based Stone Inspired Ltd. The turf-fringed wall curves around you like a big bear hug. And the slab table Peter Mayle writes so eloquently about in his popular book A Year in Provence makes rock seem, well, romantic.
Wait and see. When Cro-Magnon style finally explodes on the Canadian garden scene you can say you heard about it here, first.