Posts Tagged ‘Decks’

A Small Deck for a Small Garden

A Smalll Deck

There are may aspects to a good garden. A nice deck can be one of those. This particular deck is a mere 8′ x 8′ but it’s hosted a diversity of pleasures that make its small size inconsequential. It’s just right to put a small table on, with 4 chairs for an intimate meal, or for a couple of lounge chairs when we want to sit out on it and read in the evenings. Or just to hang out and sit and listen to the nearby fountain and the birds all around. And it’s right in the middle of the back garden so when you’re there you feel enclosed on all sides by plants and you can see them up close and personal. It’s a special place.

I built this deck mostly by myself, which was a crazy thing to do given the severity of my back condition. But sometimes I get a little hypomanic and I do things I probably shouldn’t. But I was impatient and couldn’t wait for help so I decided to just go for it. It’s built on cement pier blocks with 3 to a side, one at each corner and one in the middle with a central one in the center of it all to support it evenly all around and underneath. I had to dig into the peaty soil quite a bit and then put down some driveway mix to form a secure base and had to dodge roots that came from the cherry trees and kept me from making it an easy job. But it’s there now forever and quite solid to stand or sit on.

The entry to it is from the lawn, the direction from which this picture was taken. It takes into account our aging bodies and we put in a wide path made of that same driveway mix that is wheelchair accessible and easy to stroll onto in all weathers. It does drop off at the back and requires a step of a stone I placed there but it’s an easy step and no one’s fallen off yet. It gives it the slight illusion of height which it really doesn’t have and at just a foot or so off the ground it feels like more. It’s made of that plastic board material that never needs staining and will out last us by centuries. All we did was to drill holes in it and screw it down to make it a solid place to sit and hang out.

And hanging out is the chief reason to have a deck in my opinion. It allows you to just Be there in the garden in a comfortable way and interact with it without even moving. I’ve planted a wide variety of plants that like to be seen close up around it, including Japanese maples, ferns, pieris and rhodies, a large viburnum rhitidophyllum, some dwarfs and miniatures, as well as the background plantings of Hemlock and Spruce and Podocarpus. There’s also a mountain laurel that blooms wonderfully in the spring and close by are other plants that are near enough to see easily and to enjoy at leisure. Leisure is an important aspect of this deck.

The benches have been around here for years and fit perfectly to define the edge and give a place to sit when the chairs are put away for bad weather. They’re not soft but are good enough to be able to just plop yourself down on and enjoy it all. We often go out here to read and enjoy the evenings, sometimes using the lamp we installed at the edge. It’s a nice place to be and it makes the garden feel so much more inviting to have a central spot to stand and observe the birds and the plants and feel the energy of it all. It’s a little sanctuary in the midst of a larger one. You don’t need a big deck to have it work well. A small one will do.

Happy Building,

Steve

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