A well-designed and covered decking space or roof terrace may give an all-year-round option if you’re looking to carve out an area for al-fresco dining. It is very on-trend right now to take your living room into the outdoors, so statement garden furniture coupled with cushions and throws will make the outside as cozy and personalized as indoors.
To suit your lifestyle, budget and taste, there is a wealth of garden decking choices. With plastic- and wood-waste blends, you might opt for attractive wood, make creative designs, or go environmentally friendly. With our often-damp British weather, too, slip-resistant finishes are important.
Think of the lines of your garden, the amount of space you will need to make your garden a very useful addition to the decking and how you will lay it. For the ideal decked garden that will work well into the evening, don’t forget to complete the effect with dramatic lighting touches.
Garden decking ideas
1.Create a rustic look with weathered decking
Image credit: Polly Eltes
The dark weathered decking contributes to this garden’s rustic attractiveness. In selecting a material that will weather well and surrounding the raised decking with perennials, re-create a similar look. If you have rooms, consider building a truly striking garden in a shallow pond below the deck.
2. Build-in an easy care succulent garden
Keep your decking new and sleek looking by swapping a cluster of plant pots for a built-in succulent patch on the decking. It will not only make your garden a striking centrepiece, but it is also extremely easy to look after. All they will need is a little irrigation during the hotter months as long as they are planted in a lightweight succulent soil mix.
3. Cover your decking with a glazed pergola
A glazed pergola on the deck offers an entertaining alfresco area that can be used regardless of the weather. When you hear the calming sound of rain drops hitting the glass, we find spaces like this particularly welcoming in the rain. Train pot-friendly climbers such as honeysuckle and magnolia to mask the scent of heady uprights.
4. Make your decking weatherproof with an anti-slip treatment
Decking plus rain can be equivalent to the risk, so treating yours with an anti-slip decking stain is smart. A sail canopy can also keep your wood from raining.
5. Lay a boardwalk
Use decking to build a path, maybe to a stronger deck area, through your garden. Even more of a seaside feel with white pebbles is given to this boardwalk-style route, which helps to keep weeds at bay.
6. Build a decked bar area
The star of the show in this garden is this tiki bar, taking pride of place on a raised decked platform. Laying a rug under bar stools is a smart idea, because after a few drinks, there is a grippy surface to walk on!
7. Try a darker woodstain on your decking boards
Decking is always fairly light or in warm natural woody shades, which will give your terrace a more unusual, contemporary look. Dark, subdued decking also helps the colorful surroundings to steal the show, so it’s the way to go if you want people to concentrate on your garden’s lushness.
8. Level uneven ground
When your garden is rocky or on a hill, decking is completely perfect. Since it is built on a structure, it’s perfect for levelling out uncomfortable spaces. It can also have stages that are divided and involve steps. At the far end, a small shelter was built, which means that the great outdoors can be enjoyed even on the drizzliest of days.
9. Be bold with colour
Offer some special treatment to a small decking area. Block-coloured brights are sure to make an impression in different complementary hues. A coat of paint will give it a fresh look and repurpose it for the garden if you have wooden furniture that you’re thinking of getting rid of. Do make sure to select a finish that is weather-resistant, though.
10. Mix decking with flagstones
Get an ultra-modern look by combining wooden decking with stone paving for your garden. The mixture of materials gives appeal and a comparison between the shades of light and dark. The wood decking would look fairly heavy in such a large garden without the lightening effect of the stone. In the centre, architectural beds inject some greenery.
11. Aim high
And when the cloud descends, this breathtaking mountain chalet enjoys stunning views. Decking is suitable since it can be designed off the ground for all sorts of outdoor spaces, from gardens to roof terraces. Here, one color of wood was used to tone the all-wood chalet. Raised beds add uplifting greenery flashes.
12. Border decking with decked seating
This urban rooftop has a lot of great design elements to it, from the pale-coloured decking to the carved Buddha-style statues. A 19th-century advertisement on the wall adds character to the space, too. Raised flower beds have been cleverly designed to include beautiful greenery, while providing seating at the same time.
13. Section off your decking with railings
Adding railings can help if you’re using decking to section off a corner of the garden. A water-resistant rattan sofa and plenty of soft cushions in a patchwork of colorful patterns are included for a truly indoor-meets-outdoor approach. In nature, there is a lot of bright colour to be found, so they won’t look out of place against the surrounding trees’ vibrant greens.
14. Provide cover with plants on a trellis
Make your decking garden an expansion of your house. With your internal board, decking can be levelled conveniently so that the distinctions between inside and outside are almost blurred. Some cover and shade are added by a trellis overhead, and plants can be trained up and above it to add interest. Outdoor kitchen cupboards make it a cinch to prepare outdoor meals.
15. Paint raised beds white in contrast
To add excitement to the center of your decking, plant raised flower beds. It prevents making a wide open decking area and also lifts the plants so that everything is not at the level of the earth. The beds here have been painted white, which gives the dark wood and the greenery a striking contrast. To create an architectural look, pick plants with interesting shapes.
16. Build matching floating stairs
With an abundance of pretty flowers and herbs that creep right up to the entrance, soften the rough edges of your decking. By bridging the water feature below, floating steps made from the same material as the decking establish continuity between the two levels and add a note of fun.
Need to know: Decking reflections Can I even fit a deck?
Yes, it should be possible for qualified DIYers who are comfortable using power tools to build a plain, ground-level deck. If you intend to deck a wide area, having a second pair of hands is sensible.
Where’s the right place to build a deck?
Think about house access, anonymity, how much sun or shade you want, and whether you need to work around any existing posts or trees. Before you begin, mark out the site with pegs and strings.
Where is the safest place to lie down?
You need a flat, level surface, so the easiest way is to lay it on an existing patio or concrete foundation. Dig down to a depth of 5cm to create a deck into the soil or grass and cover it with weed-suppressing cloth and gravel. To protect the deck’s structure and avoid rot, paving slabs are then laid on top.
How do I lay the decking when my garden is not level?
You will need to lift the deck. This is a more complicated work involving squaring off the site before installing the frame and concreting joist support posts into the ground. A raised deck should have security balustrades and would need to be safely attached if it’s adjacent to a structure or house.
How do you lay boards on the deck?
Boards are laid on top, horizontally at right angles to the joists, and fastened with a screw until the sub-frame is in place. A distance between each board means that they can grow and contract and allows the drainage of rainwater. Before staining or oiling, leave the new deck to weather for around six months.
How am I going to stop my deck from getting slippery?