Duke Gardens has two magnificent examples of training a tree over a bench using magnolia and weeping bald cypress. I'm fortunate to have a home that came with some mature plantings. One of these is a weeping cherry tree. We found an artistic bench at Center Fest several years ago, which now sits below the Cherry and looks over the garden pond. The tree gives me shelter from the sun and even small rain showers. The Duke Garden trees have a canopy behind the bench and to the sides. My Cherry tree's canopy is high and in the front of the bench. Consider these ideas when you create your "secret" space.
Weeping Bald Cypress
Another view of the Weeping Bald Cypress
Bench under Weeping Cherry
Full view of Weeping Cherry