Many of us are on the look out for increased outdoor comfort. Better ways to relax in the garden when the weather permits, ways to take maximum advantage of those rare days of sunshine. Well this year the trendsetters out there will be buying swing seats and hammocks for their gardens.
First we saw the outdoor sofa hit the market, and now its the turn of the Hammock and Swing Seat. And there’s no better way to take a break and relax in your garden than with a super comfy Garden Hammock. But where did the hammock come from?
History of the Garden Hammock
The first historical reference to a hammock is to the one invented by Athenian general, Alcibiades. A student of Socrates, Alcibiades is said to have invented what was known as a swinging bed around 450BC.
However, his swinging bed didn’t seem to take off and it took until Christopher Columbus returned from his voyages to the New World that the hammock was introduced to Europe.
In the late 15th century Columbus discovered that Hammocks were being used by the Taino tribe in Haiti, and that they’d been popular in Central and South America for a good century or two before his arrival.
The general belief among experts is that they were most likely invented by the natives of the Amazon Basin as a way of sleeping off the jungle floor. Hammocks were the ideal way of getting a nights sleep in the jungle as they elevated you above the wet ground and kept you away from anything that might be crawling along it.
You could also wrap the hammock around you for a little extra protection against insects. Plus they allowed air to move around you, keeping you cooler at the same time.
The word hammock itself comes from the Spanish word hamaca, which in turn is derived from the Haitian word for a fishing net. And while hammocks were basically seen as a bit of a novelty when first introduced in Europe, by the late 16th century they’d found they were the perfect solution for cramped sleeping quarters on naval ships.
By 1597 hammock’s were formally adopted by the Royal Navy for use on their vessels, due to the fact they were safer than a fixed bed. A Hammock is much harder to fall out of in rough sea, plus they work better with the motion of the sea, and they significantly saved on space.
In the 19th century, us Brits found another use for the hammock in our overcrowded prisons. The thinking was that like on a ship, they would save on space, but they were fitted with large brass fixings… Crafty lags soon realised that they could be removed and fashioned into weapons, so they were removed.
Over the years, the obvious advantages of hammocks made them a natural choice for explorers too, particularly in tropical regions. Light and easy to carry, they protected you from insects etc, and kept you cool and dry.
So there you have it… Practical and comfortable, the hammock has a long and rich history. However, it has to be the fact they are so comfortable that has helped such a simple form endure. It is just the perfect way of relaxing in the sun. That feeling of floating!
The Hannah Garden Hammock by Lazy Susan Garden Furniture
And with such a rich history of providing outdoor relaxation, it made sense for Lazy Susan to get in on the action!
Which is why at Lazy Susan, 2014 will see us launch our new Hannah Hammock. The picture above is just a little sneak preview, full photography is in progress, and full details will be coming soon.
However, what I can tell you is that Hannah features a 4 point safety stand, which gives you all the comfort of the traditional hammock, but significantly reduces the risk of tipping out. Plus it removes the need to find a couple of trees for you to use as support. It is all self-supported by a sturdy cast aluminium frame.