I must admit, my only contribution to the hard work was to paint the fence. Which does go all the way round the garden by the way, and did take absolutely forever. I love the ‘smokey slate’ colour and it has toned down the red brick of the garage and the surrounding houses. If anyone has any doubts about doing this, or is worried that it will bleed through and upset the neighbours, don’t be. I used a smallish brush, was careful about not loading the paint on too thickly, and didn’t paint the posts (you’ll see what I mean in later pictures) so that none of the colour is visible from the other side. It was worth it.
The decking we have used is hardwood (we did think about composite but it’s so expensive!), and had been left outside, so it was about to be thrown away. I like the fact that it is already discoloring, and we did get it for a song. Eventually it will weather down to a grey colour. We left a cut-away flower bed against the fence where we have planted a climber and some shrubs (hydrangeas if you’re interested), and covered the soil with pea shingle to give it a neater contemporary look. The pea shingle and underlying membrane will also prevent weeds and help to keep in the moisture.
The little lanterns I’ve had for a while, and I think they look great hanging from the trellis. We haven’t been out there in the dark yet, but I know they will look really pretty when lit and they add interest until the climber starts to grow upwards.
The table and benches, and the barbecue are all new from Ikea. I think having two long benches will not only seat more people when there is a crowd, but also looks neater than lots of individual chairs. I’ll get some cushions eventually to add more comfort, or maybe I’ll do as the Scandinavians do and add some sheepskins. And I have to admit I chose the barbecue for its looks above function. The matching stainless steel topped trolley is great for keeping food, utensils, and herbs handy for the cook and makes a good surface for plants at other times.
Most of the plants I already had (some still need to be re potted into something more attractive I must admit), and all of the other accessories were also from my old garden.
We’ve been eating out every night since it was finished and it’s such a treat to have somewhere finally to sit and enjoy the good weather.
The next job on the to-do list is a pergola which will be positioned across the back of the garden adjacent to this deck. Our garden is in full sun all day and has no trees, so we are going to create some welcome shade. This will no doubt be dubbed The Sitting Deck as I’m intending to position a sofa, armchairs and a coffee table beneath the (hopefully) climber strewn roof.
Watch this space.
Original article and pictures take http://deardesigner.co.uk/the-new-garden-dining-deck/ site