Timber Garden Features
Timber is ideal for all your garden and landscaping projects as it is extremely versatile and can blend in with the natural landscape to enhance its beauty, or it can be used to create a real focal point. Timber garden features such as decks, screens, bench seats, pergolas and retaining walls can be as attractive as they are functional.
Combining hardwood and softwood species for a natural look and feel create great effects, and add texture along with warmth to your outdoor spaces. Timber structures in your garden allow outdoor rooms to blend with existing architecture, becoming a functional and beautiful part of your home.
Here are a few ideas from us at Fresh Perspective Landscapes, to use timber structures to bring your landscaping vision to fruition and enhance your outdoor living spaces:
As any garden designer will tell you, zoning is the key to a successful backyard and a deck is a feature that never fails to invite people outdoors.
The great Aussie deck is a quintessential part of the Australian way of life and provides an extension to our inside living areas. Whether it’s the place you choose to read, enjoy outdoor entertaining and parties, or even use it to relax by the pool – a deck is a practical place to make the most of our outdoor lifestyle.
Sunken decks provide a seating area that is built lower than the level of the surrounding outdoor space. The use of various platform heights adds character to the garden and creates cosy, outdoor living spaces, adding depth and interest to modern landscaping ideas. Outdoor rooms with sunken and raised areas bring interest into backyard designs, whilst looking impressive and inviting and offering a retreat for anyone who enjoys spending time outside.
An outdoor screen is the ultimate concealer or the perfect way to create a separate space in your outdoor area. You may want to hide something in your garden, add some privacy to an area or create an eye-catching feature.
Outdoor timber screens make a great feature and can transform any space. Screens can be used as a backdrop to highlight a plant or water feature in your garden, or they can be used to hide a fence or bin area. Screens are also a great way to create privacy within your outdoor space or from your neighbours.
Timber bench seating is not only functional but can become a visual design feature in your garden. Outdoor benches are excellent seating options to expand your alfresco areas and deck spaces. Many outdoor benches offer the added functionality of storage, providing space to store seat cushions, blankets and more. Bench seating is available in many configurations, designs and colours, allowing a selection to fit with your current design aesthetic.
Timber sleepers or round poles and logs can be used to create effective and relatively inexpensive retaining walls. Built for strength, a retaining wall holds back earth and prevents it from moving. Recycled timber sleepers used in this way, add a rustic character along with structural texture to your garden.
Australia offers a unique bush lifestyle in many areas we love to live, however, the threat of bushfires is always present and this needs to be considered when building timber structures in our outdoor spaces.
In many parts of Australia, the construction of new buildings and additions to existing buildings will be assessed as being in a Bushfire Prone Area. The relevant Australian Standard — AS 3959 — provides for a range of Bushfire Attack Levels for proposed construction.
Restrictions What you Need to Know:
- Your Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) is key to what building restrictions your land is subject to. Your Council should have a bushfire zone map and you can apply for an s149 certificate which will provide you with further information. But double check with an accredited bushfire consultant, preferably before you buy.
- Criteria for assessing the bushfire risk include the area you live in, the vegetation type and the slope of your land, which can considerably speed up a fire’s progress.
- You will need to consider your landscaping as well as the construction of your home to reduce fire spread and deflect and filter embers. However, a well-designed garden can be wasted if it is not maintained and prepared for fire season.
The following timber species have been tested and found to meet the required parameters without having to be subjected to fire retardant treatment:
- Merbau Red Ironbark
- River Red Gum
- Silvertop Ash
- Spotted Gum
If in any doubt, contact your local fire authority for more information.
Timber garden features in your outdoor spaces add great contrast in texture to soft plants and lawn. Timber provides warmth against other concrete or brick materials. The degree of protection that timber requires differs with the type of wood, and the situation it is being used in. Where timber is being used for structural purposes, such as decking, then safety takes precedence and it would be wise to use pre-treated wood for longevity.
If you are wanting to add timber garden features in your outdoor areas, call Luke 0434 355 066 for expert landscape design advice.