Tidewater bench

davisgardJune 9, 2008

I'm interested in buying a small garden bench. I'd like something sturdy and long lasting, and something I can leave out all year--but I really don't want to spend $500. I've seen some links to Tidewater benches. They are made of white cedar, and the company claims they last. They are affordable, and there is a good selection. Does anybody have any experience with this brand?

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I bought one about 12 years ago and it still looks good. Definitely not the quality of an expensive teak bench, but serviceable. At the time of the purchase, they were 100.00/bench. I have no idea what they are priced at now. If I recall correctly, my husband did not have any problems assembling the bench, but did use sturdier hardware and wood glue rather than the hardware that it came with.

We've cleaned it once or twice over the years with a pressure washer.

Here's a picture of my bench:

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 11:05AM
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Thanks so much for the reply--and the picture! The bench looks beautiful (so does the garden). I know teak will last forever, but it is very expensive--and your bench looks very good for twelve years! I'm assuming you just leave it out all year and that you power washed it recently (it hasn't weathered to the gray). The benches still cost about $100. I'm also considering an eucalyptus bench from Plow and Hearth (they are having a sale).

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 12:15AM
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butterbeanbaby(z5 MO)

Davisgard, here is my honest opinion based on my experience with this company... they suck (yes, I know, very blunt) and I would strongly advise you to NOT make a purchase from them. The first bench I ordered took a while to get (couple of months). It was nice, but it disintegrated after about four years. To be honest, I never sealed or cleaned it and it sat out in my garden year round. I ordered a second bench and it took them over a YEAR AND A HALF to send it. They ignored my letters, phone calls, and emails. When they finally DID get back to me, they kept telling me "well, we have this huge backlog but it'll be there in xxx weeks" which was a load of baloney. They also charged the order to my credit card immediately, instead of when they'd filled the order. I would suggest you -- and everybody else you know! -- stay away from them.

Plow and Hearth is a GREAT company, my mom used to love them (probably still does, she's gardening in heaven now) and everything I've ordered from them has been sent in a timely manner and of very good quality, and their order department is very friendly and helpful. The garden swing I bought from them is still in great condition and it's about 10 years old (I just got around to painting it LOL, but it was cleaned once at about four years). When I received it, it had a cracked slat. I called and told them and they immediately sent a replacement.

That's just my two cents!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 11:41AM
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Thanks for the feedback! I did decide against Tidewater--there were just a few too many negative reviews on Amazon. I went ahead and ordered from Plow and Hearth--like you, I have been happy with their quality in the past. (And, like you, I'm planning on doing NO maintenance on this furniture!)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 3:03PM
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butterbeanbaby(z5 MO)

LOL Davisgard, no maintenance my personal favorite.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 4:51PM
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