Using timber for beautiful landscape gardening

Landscaping adds structure, character and texture to your garden or outside space. It can allow you to create an area where you can sit and relax and enjoy your garden – your own little paradise nestled away from the busy-ness of the world. It might allow you to create a beautiful area in your garden for you to entertain your friends and family, and therefore be an area that you want to both enjoy and impress people with. It might even be a carefully created area for children to play in. Or it might just be that you want the area in which you grow plants to look nicer and be laid out in a more practical way to make the best use of your garden for growing. Here, we look at some of the ways that you can use timber for landscaping your garden, and also explain the benefits of doing so.

Timber Decking
When it comes to garden landscaping, one of the first things that often comes to mind is timber decking. The most common reason for having timber decking in the garden is to make a beautiful seating area where you can put your garden furniture and sit and relax, especially at weekends and on pleasant summer evenings, perhaps with a glass of wine or beer and something to eat. Timber decking can also have a variety of other landscaping uses as well, for example, it can look beautiful around the edge of a swimming pool rather than tiles, or even around the edge of a pond.

Garden Structures
When it comes to timber structures in the garden, then you probably immediately think of the old garden shed – perhaps a rather battered looking structure at the bottom of the garden, used to house the lawn mower, a few tools, some empty plant pots, some compost, and probably a lot of spider webs! And yes, whilst timber is great for building garden sheds from, it can also be used to create so many more lovely structures that can really enhance the look of your garden as well as having a practical use. So, summerhouses, gazebos, pavilions and sheds are timber structures that aren’t just ideal for storage but are buildings that you can actually sit in, relax, entertain and enjoy your garden from. Other structures such as arches, arbours and pergolas are also great for sitting in or under, but are also ideal features for showcasing some of your most beautiful plants as they grow over them. Using trellis on garden structures is another fantastic way to add colour to your buildings by allowing your plants to grow up and over them.

Garden Gates and Fences
Quality timber fencing and gates can make a huge difference to a garden – not just in terms of appearance, but also in terms of security. Strong timber fencing and gates around the perimeter of a garden is a good deterrent for potential burglars, showing that you take seriously the protection of your property. If you have a large enough garden, then using gates and fences to separate it off into distinct areas, e.g. herb garden, flower garden, vegetable garden, etc. or to provide shelter from the wind in seating areas, can be a nice feature.

Edging or Retaining Wall
Edging is ideal for separating your flower beds or vegetable gardens from your lawns, paths and walkways, keeping the soil contained on one side, and your grass, stones, slabs or whatever else you might have on the other side. Timber is a more cost effective, and we think more attractive, alternative than brick edging, and is also safer, particularly if you have little ones running around in the garden. They are less likely to hurt themselves on some timber edging than on the denser corners of bricks.

Retaining walls are like edging, but taken to the next level. Retaining walls can be used if you have a sloping garden, and want to create steps going up from one level to the next and want to keep that soil and grass contained behind it. They are also ideal to make stepped gardens, perhaps rockery gardens, to take your garden up a bit at a time. Either way, if you want to have something different than just a flat garden, then retaining walls may be the solution for you.

Planters and raised beds
Timber sleepers are ideal for creating raised beds with, which can be particularly ideal for growing vegetables, or if you are not wanting to or not able to bend down so low to tend to your garden. They can even be used to make raised ponds, so that you can sit on the edge and look at a beautifully floodlit pond and watch the fish, as well as adding an element of safety to prevent little ones falling in to a pond that is at ground level. Sleepers are usually sold in Oak (rustic grade) as well as Pine. Although Pine is cheaper, as a non-durable species it tends to be available treated with chemical preservatives.

Benches and garden furniture
Finally, timber is ideal for garden furniture, and if you are serious about your garden, then you want somewhere where you can actually sit down, relax and appreciate it, whether that be on a bench or on a set of tables and chairs. There are plenty of options for garden furniture – plastic, metal, rattan, but as with everything else, there are a huge number of benefits to using wood, which we will highlight below.

Benefits of using timber for landscaping
Many of the benefits of using timber for landscaping in gardens are the same as the benefits of using timber in general. These are some of the key ones.

So, right at the top of the list is the appearance of timber. Timber is a beautiful, natural product, and therefore is an ideal material to use outdoors in a garden, where beauty and nature are key. It is also warm to the touch, making us feel immediately at ease with it.

Flowing on nicely from that, timber is a natural product. Part of a tree that has grown in the ground, each piece of timber is unique just as each tree is unique, and what better place to make use of an organic, natural product (as opposed to an unnatural product like plastic) than in the garden. Also, if you use hardwood timber, or products such as OrganoWood or thermally modified wood, then your timber will not be preserved with potentially harmful chemicals, giving you a safer, more natural product in your garden. As we explained in this article, nobody wants a sponge full of chemicals in their garden.

As highlighted above in the list of landscaping uses for timber, it is an incredibly versatile material. There isn’t just one type or size of timber, there are a whole range of different softwoods and hardwoods that are ideal for different uses. Just talk to us about what you want to accomplish, and we can source the right type of timber for your landscaping needs. 

Durability and strength
Timber is incredibly strong and durable. Because it is made of strands of fibre, it can withstand a lot of pressure, so is perfect for walking over, sitting on, for holding the weight of plants and trees, or for making structures out of and for holding the weight of the roof of that structure.   

It sounds too good to be true, but alongside all of the other great benefits of using timber for landscaping, there is the fact that timber can be cheaper than other landscaping materials such as bricks, concrete or metal, so not only are you getting (in our opinion) a superior product, but you are also paying less for it! It is also a lot easier to build with and can be an entertaining use of all your DIY power tools.

Environmental benefits
Finally, it has the huge benefit of being environmentally friendly, which is incredibly important to us here at EcoChoice – hence the name! So, for a start, timber is a renewable material. When a tree is cut down to create your garden timber products, a new one (or two) can be planted to replace it. The same cannot be said with many other materials, such as metal, where there is only a finite amount of it. Timber also has, in general, a much smaller carbon footprint that materials such as steel or concrete, where a lot more energy is used to create these than is used in producing timber.  

When is the best time to redesign a garden?
The best time to redesign your garden is in the winter months when the plants aren’t growing. However, you are best thinking about how you want to redesign your garden in the summer, when your plants, trees, bushes and flowers are in full bloom and you can picture exactly how your redesigned garden will look when it is at its most beautiful and most full.  

Who are EcoChoice?
EcoChoice are specialist suppliers of certified timber and recycled plastic products for exterior works, including cladding and decking. We were formed in 2005 with the aim of promoting FSC certified timbers to the UK construction industry, helping customers to engage in a sustainable way instead of turning away from both the deforestation and plastic waste problems. We offer products from a wide range of different timber species.

We are passionate about supplying our clients with independently certified timber products while encouraging responsible and sustainable practices at the source level. To find out how we can help you and to get a quick, no-obligation quote, please call us on 0345 638 1340, email us on or for more information about our sustainable timber products, please visit our website


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