Finding the perfect garden hammock

by Jack Gardener on September 4, 2009 · 2 comments

in Garden Furniture

Picture a warm summers afternoon, imagine yourself gently drifting into a lovely sleep in your own back garden as you sway from side to side in a comfortable luxurious hammock.

More and more people are choosing hammocks over conventional sun loungers for the ultimate relaxation in their garden.

As well as using your hammock in the garden some can also be taken away on holiday if you are camping or staying somewhere with outdoor space.

Here is some information on the different hammock types available to you:

Camping Hammocks

These hammocks are lightweight and easy to assemble. Camping hammocks are fully portable so you can take them where ever you may go. I would recommend choosing a portable hammock with longer ropes so that you have more pitching options available in each new location.

Hammock Chairs

A great alternative to the conventional hammock. These chairs take up less space in your garden and only require one point of contact for support meaning they are more suitable for most gardens (especially smaller ones!). They are more stable and difficult to fall out of …  if you have small children who wish to use the hammock also this will be better for them. The only drawback with this type of hammock is that because of the shape you cannot lie back with your feet up. The different sitting positions in this hammock range from sitting upright with your feet on the ground through to drawing your feet up and sit cross-legged in the hammock.

The Traditional Hammock

This is the type of hammock you picture swaying in the wind on a tropical island. You can recreate this scene in your own back garden today with one of the many hammocks on the market. The fabrics differ a lot,  I will explain more about fabrics shortly. The most significant difference between each hammock is that some will come with spread bars where as others don’t. The spread bars stop the hammock cocooning around you and help to keep it open. It is purely down to personal preference as to which kind you opt for. Once you have decided then you will be able to purchase the accompanying stand which is dependent on the type of hammock you buy. Or garden permitting you can simply tie your hammock securely between two trees. If you do not have two suitable trees, make sure you choose something that is able to support your weight easily. Washing lines are not recommended!

Portable Hammock

These are easy to move, are lightweight and can be erected in seconds. They are great for your garden and can also be taken to the beach or out to the park. The portable hammock is simply fabric stretched over a collapsible frame. Do check the strength of the fabric used as flimsy materials are not very durable.

Once you have chosen the style of hammock best suited to your garden you need to decide which material you want, rope or fabric.

Fabric

Fabric hammocks come in many different qualities with the most luxurious being quilted. Fabric hammocks are suitable for sleeping. You can choose cotton, nylon and polyester. Cotton is the best for comfort where as nylon and polyester are far more durable and less likely to fade over time in the sun. Cotton is not waterproof and if left in the garden over a prolonged period of time you will notice mould and mildew forming. Man made fabrics such as nylon and polyester are far more resilient and less likely to suffer from mould or mildew.

Rope

This is by far the cheaper option. In hot weather rope hammocks allow far more ventilation than a fabric hammock. Air passes between the rope cooling you down. The drawback of a rope hammock is that prolonged use can result in marks on your skin and the rope is far more likely to rub than fabric; they are not as comfortable as their fabric counterparts. If you really want an authentic rope hammock, in order to maximise its comfort look for a hammock with smaller holes. Choose one made of cotton instead of polyester.

Hammock Stands

Very few of us will have trees in the perfect location for a hammock. Stands are now available and offer superb advantages. A stand enables you to put your hammock anywhere.

You must ensure that you buy the right stand for your choice of hammock, a chair hammock for instance would require a very different stand from a traditional hammock.

You must also consider things like whether your hammock has spread bars and if so it will require a specific type of attachment onto a stand. Many hammocks and stands can be purchased as a package.

You can choose either to have your stand in metal or wood. Metal is currently the most popular choice as it is light-weight and easy to assemble. Do bear in mind that without treating most metal stands will rust if left for prolonged periods in the garden. Stainless Steel stands which are slightly more expensive can be purchased and these do not rust.
Wooden stands are more pleasing on the eye and are available in a wide variety of beautiful designs. These are expensive, harder to assemble and heavier than metal stands but if you are looking for something elegant in your garden this is definitely a worthwhile purchase. Make sure the wood is suitably treated and comes with a guarantee against rot.

Whether you decide to purchase a wooden or metal stand one top tip is to add wheels to your stand. This will enable you to move your hammock freely around your garden.

Happy swinging!!

Gardener Jack

About The Author

Jack Gardener has been gardening all his life, and is passionate about passing on his experience to the next generation of gardeners.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Patryk September 6, 2009 at 2:35 am

Excellent article! It's great to see somebody actually put some effort and information into an article about purchasing a garden hammock

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bissersuanish October 15, 2009 at 10:25 am

Hello, it really interesting, thanks

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