There have been many different gardening trends over the years – the ‘70s rockery, Japanese gardens, Mediterranean gardens – but decking has an enduring appeal. It is practical, popular and often the most frequented part of a garden. Decking can be much more than just a place to put outdoor furniture, though – it also offers incredible versatility as a design tool.
Different decking colours can be combined to create patterns or create a distinctive edge...
The lines of decking can be used to create different effects in a garden. Boards oriented vertically will lead the eye down the garden and towards an intended focal point. Horizontal boards give the impression of width and space – ideal for a seating area. Boards placed diagonally add interest and a new dynamic within an overall design.
Different decking colours can be combined to create patterns or create a distinctive edge. ‘Picture framing’ your decking in this way adds a formal feel, whilst choosing alternating step colours adds a fresh, contemporary look. When edges are highlighted in these ways, it also adds the practical benefit of making slips and trips less likely.
At RHS Chelsea this year there was a definite trend toward the wild and natural with curved pathways and organic shapes. Decking can be built to almost any shape in such a scheme and softened with planting – the tone and texture of wood together with lush foliage is a winning combination.
Choosing a decking material that matches the flooring inside the room leading to the garden creates a sense of flow and a seamless transition between inside and out...
Using the same flooring across several rooms in a house can make the space seem larger and encourage flow from room to room. Increasingly the same rules are being applied to outside spaces. Choosing a decking material that matches the flooring inside the room leading to the garden creates a sense of flow and a seamless transition between inside and out.
Composite decking, such as Millboard, comes in a range of different tones offering a great deal of freedom to create whatever look is desired. For instance, the dark boards of Burnt Cedar can give an ultra-modern urban vibe, whereas Weathered Oak boards in the Driftwood shade can create a bohemian coastal feel.
Built-in seating using the same material can create a pared back aesthetic giving the illusion of more space...
One material, many uses
Decking is incredibly useful when designing landscaping because one material can be used for a number of purposes, helping the designer to achieve a unified look without having to switch materials.
Built-in seating using the same material can create a pared back aesthetic giving the illusion of more space – very useful for smaller urban gardens. Millboard is often used to create built-in seating, planters and even dining tables and pergolas.
Bullnose edging and fascia's in the same material are also available to add a beautiful finishing touch and allow easy incorporation of under-lip lighting for a really professional finish to entertaining spaces.
Solutions in tricky gardens
There are often very specific design challenges to overcome, such as finding a way to create spaces for relaxing in sloping gardens. While one solution is to do lots of earth moving and hard construction, decking often offers an easier – and often more economical – solution.
Millboard decking is highly slip resistant, which has led to it often being installed in public spaces with heavy footfall...
Wet gardens have limitations of their own because materials such as stone, concrete and wood can become very slippery when wet. Millboard, however, is a good choice for wet gardens because, unlike other composite decking, it contains no wood.
Consequently, it isn’t susceptible to rotting or warping in the same way as natural timber. As an added bonus, it is also highly slip resistant (which has led to it often being installed in public spaces with heavy footfall).
It has many applications and is well loved by designers and homeowners alike for its beauty and its versatility...
The durable appeal of decking
Decking has graced our outdoor dining areas for many decades, and for good reason. It has many applications and is well loved by designers and homeowners alike for its beauty and its versatility.
Modern composite materials like Millboard, with their authentic wood-look appeal and multiple colour options and finishing accessories, have opened up a whole new range of possibilities that will help keep decking as an integral element within all the best gardens.