Garden Design

  1. Adding Arbours, Pergolas and Gazebos to Your Garden

    Adding Arbours, Pergolas and Gazebos to Your Garden

    As children, building dens in the garden was an instinct – blankets across the washing line, cardboard boxes upended and filled with cushions, and hollowed out hideaways under bushes. As grown-ups, have much better ways to create those special places from which to make the most of our garden. When it comes to truly maximising enjoyment of our outdoor space, a permanent garden shelter is simply a must. Easy to erect and near maintenance-free, these shelters offer a beautiful standout garden feature, without significantly increasing our workload.

    So, which sort of shelter is right for your garden?

    The chances are that it will either be an arbour, pergola or gazebo but, to make an informed choice about which one to purchase, it’s important to consider exactly what you intend to use it for and to understand their different characteristics. Without further ado, let’s take a look at them.

    Arbours

    Garden arbours are the smallest of the three and come in two distinct forms. Firstly, they can simply be a decorative archway, designed to provide a link between different areas of the garden, for example the main pathway and the vegetable patch. They usually come with trellis sides or roofs to support climbers.

    Alternatively, an arbour can be a small, standalone sheltered area with seating, which makes a wonderfully intimate place to relax with a loved one, or even just a good book. These types of arbour also tend to incorporate a trellis design, as sitting down surrounded by climbers provides a magical feeling of seclusion.

    Click here to select your ideal garden arbour from our superb range. Once you’ve done that, why not read our article about how to install a garden arbour too?

    Garden Arbours from Buy Fencing Direct

    Pergolas

    Pergolas are usually square or rectangular and are normally erected on decks and patios. They can either link two different structures or stand alone. Instead of a conventional roof, the upper section is constructed from cross beams, often with a trellis design, which are perfect for supporting climbers. Pergolas provide a shaded area, where one can enjoy fresh air whilst being sheltered from the full glare of the sun or the worst of the rain. This makes them an ideal place for barbecues, dining alfresco, hot tubs, and social gatherings.

    Click here to browse through Buy Fencing Direct’s superb range of pergolas for sale.

    Garden Pergolas from Buy Fencing Direct

    Gazebos

    Gazebos are the ultimate outdoor building, offering you the opportunity to extend your living space into the garden. Separate from any other feature, they enjoy their own roof and are usually round, hexagonal or octagonal in shape. This provides an enclosed feel, making them suitable for positioning deeper into the garden than a pergola. A garden gazebo is a wonderful place to enjoy hobbies, dine alfresco, for the kids to play, or for you to entertain guests – all completely sheltered from the elements.

    Click here to choose from our superb range of gazebos for sale.

    Gazebos from Buy Fencing Direct  

    Whichever shelter you buy, there’s one thing that we can guarantee: you will be investing in an attractive and effective way to shelter from the unpredictable British weather, which will ensure that you spend more time in your garden all year round. What could possibly be better than that?      



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  2. Concrete vs Wooden Posts

    Concrete vs Wooden Posts

    Imagine being an outcast on a desert island. All you can take are eight songs, a book and a luxury. Now the songs part is easy, the book simple, but the luxury? Hmmm, obviously (obviously!) it’s between a concrete or a wooden post. Now there’s a dilemma.

    Concrete will weigh in heavier. A six-foot fence panel requires a heavy frame of concrete and they do need a couple of people to handle, manoeuvre and get in place. And once in place there is absolutely no tweaking or phrases like ‘don’t worry, the screws will bring it all together.’ Once in place that is the place. Forever. Wood, however, is slightly lighter, still heavy mind you, and - as with all posts and fencing - a helper is still a great idea. There is a bit of tweak-room with wood as it is a natural material and will be slightly more forgiving of a millimetre tolerance or two.

    Forest Lightweight Concrete Fence Post

    Concrete lasts for a long time. How about a lifetime? No need to worry about upkeep there. Wooden posts can carry a 15-year guarantee against rot so can be relied upon without the need for any maintenance. Just make sure you check before you buy.

    Concrete is white. Of course, you can paint it but they usually flake after a few years. Algae will tone the colour down but fundamentally your posts will remain white. Some consider this a clean, modern look (it is!) or too brash for some gardens (again, it is!). I guess it depends on your style of garden. Wooden posts start either orangey brown or light green depending on the pressure treatment. But both quickly tone down to the colour of ash. They then blend into most garden designs. And you can easily paint or stain wooden posts using a rainbow of colours.

    Forest Planed Fence Post  

    Concrete posts require little or no maintenance. A wash down with warm soapy water will dislodge algae and moss and a pressure washer will remove stubborn colonies. Wear safety goggles if doing this. And that’s it. Wooden posts will also benefit from a yearly check over, even with that guarantee, and preservative, stain or paint re-applied where necessary.

    To get fixings into a concrete post you need a drill and fixing plugs along with screws and screwdriver. And eye protectors just in case shards of concrete go flying. Of course, the actual fence panels slide in easily but wires, hanging basket brackets and pot holders all need secure fixings. When fixing these same items to a wooden post, it’s as simple as a screw and screwdriver. For heavier items such as planting mangers you may need to plug holes, but tensioned wires for training fruit or climbers across fence panels are a doddle to sort.

    Concrete vs Wooden Fence Posts

    Concrete or wooden posts? It’s a tricky call to make. Both are the right choice depending on your garden circumstances. But if I had to choose one as my desert island luxury I reckon I’d go for …wood. I can lift it on my own, and I can always fashion it into a flagpole to attract attention. Or maybe concrete? If I’m on the island for a long time it will provide support for whatever I build around it. It’s also bright and may attract attention. But I could burn the wood if it gets cold. Concrete could be used to start building a more permanent house, yet wood could be the beginnings of a boat. Oh, I don’t know. When do I go to this island anyway? I’ve got some garden fencing to finish putting up before I leave. (And don't forget, before you leave, have a browse through our superb range of fence posts.)  

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  3. How to make a trellis for your garden fence

    There are lots of situations where you need a little bit of extra height for your fence. But rather than taking a whole panel out and replacing with something taller, it may be more cost effective to add a little bit of trellis to the top of an existing fence. It will afford some added privacy and allow you to grow taller climbing plants. You should only fix trellis to sound fence panels - so always check for any signs of rot in panels and posts before attempting trellis projects.

    The first thing you have to consider is the weight of the trellis. Plonking trellis on top, screwing down and expecting it to stay put in even the slightest of breezes is optimistic, to say the least. You need to fix battens to the existing posts (easy if they are wooden – drilling is required if they are concrete) to provide an upright structure to which the trellis can be attached. This is because existing posts will no doubt be cut to the size of the fence panel. Once battens are in place the trellis can be easily attached using clips and screws. Always use galvanised screws as they will not rust and therefore will not cause run marks down any wood.

    The additional trellis itself can be made from any spare wood – run strips horizontally to create height without any solid blocks – great for filtering light and the wind yet still allowing plants to grow. This is good if you are happy with straight lines. If, however, you prefer a flowing wave effect off the shelf trellis is readily available and easily fitted.

    As with all fencing projects you can do it all by yourself. It is, without a doubt, easier with two!

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  4. The best trellis ideas

    Trellis has an important job to do in the garden and has to look great at the same time. A trellis can extend the height of an existing fence panel or can be a standalone feature. Either way, it allows light to filter through and plants to grow up it. A simple square or diamond patterned trellis is popular but ever increasingly people are creating wave formations on top of their fences with decorative panels.

    Whatever you choose, do ensure it's a quality panel as you really don't want to be fixing it more than once in fifteen years (pressure treated wood carries that kind of guarantee against rot) and do ensure all fixings are galvanised so that rust marks won't ruin the look. With that sorted, you can get planning.

    A trellis can be fitted to improve the look and practicality of a fence panel. Wires can easily be fixed to the solid posts between panels, a climber planted and trained up. When the growth reaches the top, it will soon spread along the trellis. If you choose your plants carefully, you can expect blooms for many months of the year (roses and clematis are a superb combination; jasmine is great for scent or small leafed ivy for graceful evergreen cover).

    It's a simple job to break up any expanse of brickwork with a beautiful wooden trellis. Many garden designers don’t even bother planting against the wall, allowing the panel itself to be the statement. It can also be difficult to help a plant establish at the foot of a wall. The soil is dry and usually (hopefully!) there are substantial footings roots cannot penetrate.

    A trellis can also be used to create a garden room. Three large panels instantly create an enclosed area perfect for decking out with your favourite garden furniture, a chimenea, fire pit and of course lighting. Fix a roof to the whole lot and you've got a secret hideaway - but not so secret you can't find it. Decorative trellis is in itself the perfect focal point for a garden design and shouldn't be hidden away.

    Trellis is also the perfect choice for disguising the more utilitarian aspects of the garden or home. I am, of course, thinking 'bins'. A discrete arrangement of trellis can obscure bins and their like.

    Trellis is the choice when you want to simply break a view rather than block it fully. It distracts the eye rather than dominates. It is invaluable in the garden.

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  5. Choosing the right decking for your needs

    Whilst it is always great to have the inside of your home just how you want it, there will come a time when you will also want to start to make the most of the outdoor space that you have. One great way to do this is to have some decking installed so that you can relax in the sun, have friends over for parties and barbeques or simply just revel in the envy that your friends show when they have seen it.

    Having decking installed will not only allow you to make the most of your outdoor space but it will also add to the value of your home when you one day decide to move on to pastures new.

    However, once you have made the decision to get your hands dirty and install some great looking decking, you will realise that it is not as simple as just picking a colour and deciding where to put it. You will first have to decide on what sort of decking material you are going to use.

    This decision should be based on where you want to put it, what your budget is, how much use it is going to see and just how much time you will have to spend maintaining your decking.

    Simply ask yourself:

    • Do I need something durable due to being used frequently?
    • How much time will I be able to spare for cleaning and maintenance?
    • Do I want a material that can sustain the changing weather conditions?
    • Would I prefer affordability to aesthetic beauty?

    The answers to each of those questions will depend on your own situation and once you have them, you will be able to choose the ideal decking material for your home. There are a number of different materials that can be used, with each of them offering their own advantages and disadvantages.

    Different types of decking

    Natural wood

    Wood has always been the most popular choice of material for decking. This is simply because it not only looks great and is one of the more affordable options, but it is also supremely durable if it is well maintained and looked after.

    Maintenance is a big consideration with this material as it can start to weather over time when exposed to the elements. You will need to stain and seal the wood regularly if you want to prevent cracks or rotting.

    Among the other benefits to using natural wood are the facts that it stays cooler in the heat than some of the other materials and is great next to a pool compared to other materials as the surface works better as non-slip.

    Composite

    Composite decking has become increasingly popular over the past few years due to its being lightweight, easy to maintain and because it is resistant to the weather.

    It is comprised of a combination of wood fibres and recycled plastics, making it a more environmental friendly option. These materials also ensure that the decking will not crack or rot like natural wood decking, allowing for far less time needed at maintaining it.

    Additionally, there is no need to seal or stain composite decking as it will keep its colour and look pretty much the same throughout its lifetime.

    Plastic

    If you are looking for a material that requires an extremely low level of maintenance, does not scratch or stain and is resistant to mould, then PVC or plastic decking could be the material for you. Plastic may cost a little more per board but what you get is a durable decking that will be able to handle even the most extreme forms of entertainment and is easily cleaned.

    Though it obviously has some great advantages, plastic decking will in most cases not last quite as long as some of the other materials.

    Aluminium

    There are also a number of metal decking alternatives such as aluminium that provide another great option for your decking. The best parts about these types of materials are that they are fire resistant, weather resistant, and very affordable requiring pretty much no maintenance at all.

    It might not look as aesthetically pleasing as some of the other decking types but it ticks pretty much all of the other boxes. Other downsides include the fact that it can get hot when in direct sunlight and can be slippery when it is wet.

    Summary

    From the information above you should be able to make a decision based on what you need. If you want something that looks great but requires a good amount of maintenance, then wood would be for you. On the other hand, if you are after something that is cheap and low maintenance, aluminium could be the ideal material for you.
    Just take your time to consider what you feel is more important in your decking and will soon make the right choice.

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  6. Water features for the garden

    Many homeowners dream of having a water feature in their garden; this can be a fountain, pond, waterfall, or even a stream. No matter the type of feature, water is a beautiful and striking addition to any garden. There are a number of DIY water feature kits on the market to choose from, as well as any number of other DIY water feature ideas to create from scratch.

    The DIY water feature can range from a very simple project to a very elaborate scheme. No matter their simplicity or their extravagance, DIY water features can be quite soothing and eye-catching, especially when they have some form of running water. DIY water features can be relatively inexpensive and require just a bit of elbow grease or they can be quite expensive and require a lot more sweat equity. Below are two examples of DIY water features that are both practical and intermediate in difficulty. They do take a bit of elbow grease but will produce a water feature that will be the envy of the neighbours.

    DIY water features to try out

    The soothing garden pond

    Materials needed

    • Flagstone
    • Plants
    • Water
    • Plastic Liner
    • Water Pump Kit
    • Blue Tumbled Glass

    Tools needed

    • Shovel
    • Measuring Tape
    • Garden Hose

    Step 1: Dig the hole

    It is always important to check to see if there are power lines or pipes located in the area before digging. The hole should be dug to the size of the desired pond.

    Step 2: Lay the plastic liner

    The plastic liner should be laid in the hole and it should extend up and around the sides. The plastic liner should also extend the surrounding area to make sure the water will stay in the pond. This will prevent the water from seeping into the ground.

    Step 3: Lay the flagstone

    Flagstone or some other type of rock can be used to lay over the liner that surrounds the hole. The bottom of the hole, as well as any exposed liner, should be covered with stone to hold the liner down. Trim away any liner that may be left exposed.

    Step 4: Adding a fountain

    This is a step which can involve creatively adding a water fountain feature or by the creative arrangement of the stones surrounding the pond. At one end of the pond, stones can be stacked in a sloping mound. Tubing can be run underneath with a pump placed inside the pond that attaches to the tubing. Not only does this feature add interest to the pond it will also keep the water moving, which helps to keep the pond healthy.

    Step 5: Filling the pond with water

    At this point, everything should be in place. Before filling with water make sure all remaining gaps are filled with small stones. With the goal of completely hiding the plastic liner, more stones can be added to the inside wall of the pond.

    Step 6: Adding plants and rocks

    Creating a tropical oasis can be accomplished by adding aquatic plants to the pond. Tumbled blue glass rocks can be added at the bottom to create a shimmering effect.

    Stock Tank Container Pond

    Materials needed

    • Stock Tank
    • Decomposed Granite or Pavers
    • Water
    • Plants
    • Plastic Pots
    • Pea Gravel
    • Filtered Bubbler Pump
    • Stones

    Tools needed

    • Shovel
    • Measuring Tape
    • Garden Hose

    Step 1

    Purchase stock tank.

    Step 2

    Measure and dig an area a few feet larger than the stock tank to the depth of about three inches. Fill in with a decomposed granite or paver base and pat it down and make sure it is level.

    Step 3

    Fill the tank with clean water from the garden hose. Let the water sit in the tank for three or four days before adding plants so any chlorine from the water can evaporate.

    Step 4

    Choose three types of plants for the stock tank pond. They should include oxygenators (submerged plants), marginals (water's edge plants), and deep-water aquatics (plants that sit on the bottom but have leaves on the surface). Put the plants in a bucket of water once home, or plant them immediately. Use a few old plastic pots filled with clean pea gravel, placing the stems of the oxygenator plants about an inch into the pea gravel. Place these potted oxygenator plants on the bottom of the tank. The marginal plants will need to be placed on platforms such as stack stones, bricks, etc. Water lilies are the ideal deep aquatic plants to utilise. Place water lilies on the bottom of the pond if their leaves can reach the surface. Otherwise, place them on stacked stones so the leaves reach the surface. As they grow, remove the stones until the plants can be placed on the bottom of the pond and the leaves reach the surface.

    Step 5

    Install a Filtered Bubbler Pump. This can be a nice addition to the pond, creating that soothing running water sound. It will also help the water maintain its clarity, control insects, and keep plants healthy.

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  7. Growing a garden on your decking

    There are many reasons that people shop farmer’s markets or grow their own vegetables in backyard gardens. While the various products offered may, and usually do, look less attractive than the ones found in the grocer’s, they more than make up for it in taste and freshness. Farmer’s market fare and back yard vegetables aren’t waxed, are usually picked at the perfect time, and are frequently organic (especially the ones you grow yourself).

    While many people enjoy the taste of fresh home grown vegetables, not everyone has an area large enough for a garden plot. At least that is the common misconception. In truth, growing your own vegetables is easy to do even in very small spaces, like decking, patios and balconies.

    The advantages of small gardens

    Of course the most obvious reason is that you have a steady source of fresh vegetables and herbs at your disposal during the entire growing season. Plus with only a few exceptions you can grow almost any vegetable you desire.

    Patio gardens are visually interesting. As the plants grow and ripen they add a colourful dimension to the patio or balcony.

    Patio garden plants are relatively immune from many of the diseases and pests common in regular outdoor gardens.

    Your growing season is longer. Some plants require the soil to be fairly warm before planting. The containers and planters warm up far faster than the ground and allow you to start planting far earlier.

    You save money and cut down on food waste. Your home grown herbs and vegetables are less expensive than buying at the grocers. You will also cut down on food waste since you can simple harvest the amount you need for a meal.

    Different types of gardens

    For small garden areas there are four main types.

    1. Container gardens which use regular pots
    2. Table gardens which use small tables with a sunken planting area. Table planters are especially handy as they don’t require you to bend over to tend your garden.
    3. Planters which are usually long and fairly narrow
    4. Reusable Bags

    Reusable bags

    The first three are relatively common but many people have not tried patio gardening with reusable bags. The bags offer a lot of advantages; they are inexpensive, easy to move, and deep enough for plants that require a lot of depth to grow, like tomatoes, horseradish, and potatoes. One thing to remember when using reusable bag is the colour. Dark colours absorb heat while light colours reflect it. Use dark bags for plants that love the heat, but be aware that the soil will dry out quicker.

    Choosing which method to use for your patio garden is basically one of personal preference. You want your patio garden to fit in with the surroundings, be attractive, and fit your personal style. You also want to still be able to use your patio other activities as well.

    Planning your garden

    Once you have decided on the type of container you are going to use, it’s time to plan your garden.

    Maximise the sun

    Vegetables need at least six hours of sun per day. If you aren’t sure of which areas get the most sun, just make notes throughout the day and select the sunniest area for your garden.

    Protecting your plants

    High winds can damage your plants. Select an area that is somewhat protected if you are unable to move your plants during high winds.

    Weight considerations

    This is rarely an issue, but if your garden is on a balcony, be aware of how much weight you are adding. A large planter full of potatoes can be very heavy.

    Which plants to choose

    Almost any plant you can plant in a regular outdoor garden will thrive in your patio garden, with the exception of pumpkin, asparagus, and surprisingly, rhubarb.

    Herbs are one of the easiest plants to have in your patio garden and you will frequently find that you have more than enough for your needs with only a few plants. Additionally herbs such as basil and lemongrass help repel insects. Select any herb your regularly use like basil, dill, coriander, parsley and oregano.

    Plants that thrive in patio gardens include tomatoes, beets, scallions, peppers, chillies, beans, cucumbers, squash, spinach, lettuces, and radishes. The smaller varieties of corn also grow exceptionally well.

    Some plants actually do better when planted in the same container as other plants. This makes it possible to be more creative with your garden and to create "theme" pots. Some good examples of combination gardening include.

    • Beans, squash, carrots
    • Basil, onions, tomatoes
    • Lettuce, herbs
    • Beans, aubergine
    • Spinach, onions

    After planting

    Other than the benefit of fresh herbs and vegetables throughout the season, patio gardens offer another major benefit; they are amazingly easy to care for. Simply make sure that they stay properly watered and get enough nutrients which are easily accomplished with compost or natural organic plant food.

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  8. How to make the most of your outdoor space in winter

    You do not have to seal yourself into the home for months awaiting a warmer climate, you can get out in the garden, enjoy it despite the cold and dark and even enjoy a little bit of gardening.

    So if you are of the type of person that does not want to say goodbye to the garden just yet, take a look at what you could be doing on the other side of the curtains.

    What to do in your garden during winter

    It might be on the chilly side over the winter months but this does not mean that you cannot still enjoy your outside space. There are a number of things you can do in your garden over the winter including planting certain crops and vegetables, hosting barbeques and even a party or two.

    To make any outside activity that little bit more comfortable during winter, you can simply bring some heat and light to the occasion.

    Purchase patio heaters

    These are a great way of making it much cosier when you are sitting on your patio or decking. They will allow you to keep warm whether you are having a little get-together or just fancy a little bit of reading. These can either be the electric type or a fire pit type, with the latter offering a bit more oomph in the heat department.

    Add some outdoor lighting

    Not only do we have the cold to battle during winter but also the light. Winter brings shorter days where it starts to get dark far earlier than in summer. Simply purchase some outdoor lighting to not only bring a bit more light but also add some extra character to your outdoor space.

    Winter gardening – what to plant during winter

    Whilst you might think that your garden will become pretty worthless for growing vegetables and herbs, you would be completely wrong. You can start growing everything from garlic and lettuce to radish, spinach and cabbage out in the open just a few months before Christmas and have them ready to pick by February.

    Make sure you do your research to discover just when it is a good time to plant certain crops and plants. Your options may be more limited but you can still get your fingers a little green during winter nonetheless. You might as well have your garden growing something as it’s better than growing nothing at all.

    Preparing your garden for the warmer months

    When the colder months are coming to an end you will probably already be looking forward to getting your garden producing optimal amounts of vegetables and herbs once more. However, you should not be waiting for the weather to change and in fact its best getting into your garden as early as possible in order to prepare it for spring.

    Your garden might actually look quite tired by now but you will soon start to see the blossoming plants and flowers come the start of spring.

    • If you have a greenhouse, winter is the perfect time to get it tidied out. Have a good clean out and check for any damage.
    • Check your watering system to see if it is still in good working order. This could be either the over the ground or under the ground type, with each needing to checked for leaks or blocked up nozzles.
    • Prepare your soil by adding compost to any open planting beds that you have. Simply throw in ample amounts of compost before leaving them completely exposed to the winter weather.
    • Get ready for your new vegetable garden by deciding what you are going to plant. When it is close to the end of winter it is the perfect time to start planting again.

    So as you can see, there is still so much you can do in the garden throughout winter. You can enjoy a bit of planting, prepare it for spring and even have a few little parties or social gatherings through the help of some added heat.

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  9. How to make your decking more homely

    As the weather begins to change and spring turns into summer, more and more people leave the confines of their homes to enjoy their outdoor spaces. Many people have garden areas with decking and the key is making the outdoor decking more inviting for parties, dinners, other activities, or just for relaxing in the peace and quiet. There are a number of ways to make a homely decking space, including with cosy seating, added lighting, the creation of more privacy, adding ambiance, and by using other tools and accessories to turn the outdoor decking area into a true living space. Decking can be made into an oasis; a place to get some down time with the following enhancements.

    Making your decking homely

    Comfortable furniture

    While outdoor plastic furniture may be inexpensive it certainly lacks the versatility and comfort necessary for spending long periods of time outside on the decking. Folding lawn chairs is simply not the best choice for designing a dining and/or living area in an outdoor space. Decking decor like comfortable outdoor sofas and chairs are what is needed, especially to pull up next to a nice fire pot or outdoor fireplace.

    Choose pieces that will create comfort like those that have plush cushions, plenty of back support, and maybe even a chaise longue or small daybed that will allow for a bit of relaxation on a lazy afternoon. Investing in comfortable furniture will allow family and friends to enjoy the decking and the garden. If the decking is going to be used by children and grownups alike, it may be a good idea to invest in separate outfits of furniture, some that is more child-friendly and some that is more elegant for adults.

    Shading

    Outdoor screens and patio covers can be used to add shaded areas to the decking. While sitting out in the sun and enjoying the weather is part of the outdoor experience, it is never a good idea to sit in the direct sunlight for long periods of time. Furthermore, it can get relatively hot as it gets deeper into summer. Limiting exposure to the harmful rays of the sun or to keep from getting too hot can be accomplished by adding certain shading accessories like a canopy, awning, umbrella, or outdoor drop screens.

    Screens can be custom fit to existing structures and are generally made of weather resistant materials. This may be an easy add on to the decking, while a more permanent solution may be a sort of patio cover, like a lattice covered structure that will act as a semi-enclosure for the decking. Vine foliage like ivy can be planted in such a way it grows throughout the lattice, creating cool and tranquil areas on the decking. Shading can reduce the temperature on the decking quite significantly, making it more comfortable to spend time on when the summer temperature rises.

    While the lattice, or pergola, idea is quite traditional, there are modern options for covering the decking such as a louvered roof cover. This type of cover is adjustable; it can be changed as the outdoor conditions change. The louvers on such a structure can be closed to block out pouring rain or the heat of the sun, making it comfortable and practical to use the decking in just about any condition. The louvers can even be adjusted in such a way to create partial shade and to allow for air circulation. On more comfortable days, or perfect days, the louvers can be opened all the way to welcome in all the wonderful sunshine.

    Privacy

    Some of these same accessories like screens, outdoor curtains, a wall, planting strategically placed plants, shrubs, or trees, and even planters can create a sense of privacy. This is especially important when living near other homes where people can see into the gardens of their neighbours. Privacy can be created, while also maintaining an open and airy feel. These types of accessories or structures can create an obstructed view, but without having to completely enclose the decking on all sides.

    Lighting

    The decking area may be used most often during daylight hours, but lighting can be added to extend the usefulness of the decking to make it like a real living space. The lighting does not have to be extremely bright to be functional, but just bright enough to illuminate the area to make it safe to use. Good lighting options include string outdoor lights, portable exterior fixtures, a fire pit, lanterns, or even Tiki torches.

    Ambiance

    Adding elements of decking decor that will create a sense of ambiance will make the decking feel much more comfortable. This can be done by adding chimes, water features, fragrant plants and flowers, bird houses, bird feeders, and the like. Consider the features and functions of decor that will fill create comfort for family and friends; use colour to help create the desired feel. The time devoted to making the selections for a homely decking area should be in line with the amount of time the area is expected to be used. It is not enough to just add a table and a few chairs on a plain wooden decking to make the space inviting and comfortable. View the decking and garden as an extension of the home and choose furnishings that can be enjoyed and will feel a part of the home.

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  10. The best time to install garden decking

    The popularity of decking continues largely thanks to the fact that it provides such an attractive and functional focal point, yet can be installed by those with only basic DIY carpentry skills. With a wide range of components allowing for complete bespoke designs to simple to install pre-manufactured deck kits that just need screwing together for an instant deck area, the choices available in the marketplace today are vast.

    Decking can easily make your garden a more useable area throughout the year as an open-air extension of your living space! Whilst on a design note, decking can look absolutely beautiful, on a functional level, garden decking offers a host of practical solutions for those areas of your garden where conventional remedies are either costly, impractical or would fail to blend into your garden-scape, examples of this could be from shady areas where grass fails to grow leaving unsightly bare patches to more complex requirements where sloping ground needs levelling for better access to your outdoor space.

    But when is the best time to get your decking installed? Many people only start to think about it in the spring, but it is better to start thinking about it earlier so you can properly plan the area.

    Why would I build a decking area in winter?

    By building your decking area during Winter you can take your time and enjoy it fully once the weather improves in spring and into summer. You will also save your garden from mess and disruption, right when you want to use it most.

    In Winter, your timbers will also dry out and stabilise in slower and more controlled fashion. During summer, the warmth of the sun can cause timbers to expand and contract excessively, which could lead to warping or even damage to the deck.

    Decking tiles

    Our decking tile options are easy to lay directly on the ground, concrete or onto a deck base. The simple clip design makes them incredibly easy to lay and they feature an integral frame structure. Create a striking garden path with ease or add decking to a roof terrace.

    Decking kits

    Want to make life easy for yourself? Our decking kits are ideal if you don't have time to have to measure out and plan your decking area. Each has railings and some even feature attractive pergolas to complete the look. Easily create a great area for al fresco dining or entertaining friends and family.

    We also have everything you need to add railings of a pergola to your existing deck area, all to your own specifications.

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