The structure of a garden is not defined only by its annual plants, perennials, shrubs and trees. Architecture and the various elements built in or around a garden often provide the strongest elements of space, and at the same time serve as a backdrop, also define the garden and the space itself. The wooden structures in the garden vary widely and are often some of the easiest and most fun elements to include in the design of your garden or garden.
In recent years, the found and aged elements have resurfaced as focal points and now it is fashionable to mix older materials with modern elements.
same (D.I.Y.) that incorporate simple designs or found elements. One of our favorite projects is the easy conversion of a leftover wooden platform into a modern looking vertical garden for annuals, herbs or even a variety of vegetables. By using the slat spaces to create hanging pouches, the plants can be set horizontally and then the platform is lifted and secured vertically.
We use this as an example mainly because it is a creative and remarkably unique way, as well as a simple way to reuse a wooden element and incorporate it into the garden. Our desire in writing this article is to open your mind and encourage your creative spirit so that you think innovatively in relation to your own garden and create a design for wooden structures and focal points in your garden.
You can use these three main traditional forms as your starting point for more creative wood elements:
sculptures in the garden and many creative designs have been made with metal that go far beyond what can be achieved with wood. Many simple designs can be easily made by an owner. Use a trellis to create a vertical shape on a bed of lower floors as a focal point. Look at how a wonderful vine grows fast and then is rewarded with fresh produce in the middle of your annual or perennial bed! Living and edible sculptures await you this year with a trellis!
The arbors form a door and an arch so that their climbing plants cross a path or mark an entrance or exit to a garden. The project and the traditional rounded arbors require a lot of skill to create wood, but the straight curbs are a little simpler. Some nice designs incorporate benches between the two sides in their design. The basic arbors have only two poles, while the wider designs have four poles with sides and latticework between them.
The gazebos are ideal for making rooms in a garden, to hang doors to integrate with fences, and to create a heavenly corridor of flowers and aroma to walk when your climber is in bloom. You can build a simple and creative tree by combining two unique curved branches or trunks of a small tree (securing them together at the top and digging the bases on the ground at the base). It has a rustic feel and will last a few seasons, giving your flower vine a unique place to expand in your bed!
The pergolas They usually have four poles and are large enough to create seating spaces for some people below them. There is a variety of designs ranging from curved faces and arcs to multiple layers stacked with wooden slats or trellis work. All the pergola designs are open format so that some light filters pass through and, depending on what is planted in them, they become a single mass of vines that creates a total shadow or can be pruned and maintained to create a light tone. Now there are systems available to install in or under the pergolas to protect you and your outdoor furniture from rain and sun with outdoor fabrics. The systems are relatively expensive, but they give more functionality to the space as a real refuge. Adding a pergola to your garden is usually an important investment. Preconstructed kits or assemblies are generally in the range of more than one thousand euros, and custom installed pergolas often cost several thousand euros, if not more, for elaborate designs. A pergola will launch a complete area of a garden and will make it more welcoming as a space to socialize or relax.
Occasionally they ask us what is the difference between a ramada and a pergola. Although the term ramada is less used in our region, it is more common in the southwest, and historically it was a simple, roofed structure with no walls created for shade during harvest times. Now the term is generally used for a roofed structure but open in the garden, and sometimes it is confused or used as a pergola replacement, but technically a pergola is an open lattice design and a ramada is a completely covered roofed design. Both structures generally have posts and at least three sides open. This is the right place to mention the gazebo, which is a fully covered and walled structure, usually with a door or set of doors that serves as your own totally outdoor room in the garden.
Whether you simply create an interesting line and a simple trellis in your garden by planting a series of rustic branches or poles, or you decide to build an entire room outdoors to enjoy with your friends in your garden, you will not be disappointed by the dynamics that the structure of the garden brings to your landscape. You can play with the shapes that wood structures bring to your beds in many unique ways. The wooden lines will set framed views and unleash the delicate and wildly organic shapes of your plantations!
Pressure treated wood, generally labeled as CCAC, is chemically treated pine or spruce. It is suitable for posts but, in general, it should not be used for lattices or slats, since it bends a lot (this can be overcome in rigid designs with many fixing points). The useful life ranges between 15 and 25 years.
Cedar (there are many varieties of this material with different price levels) is the most common and affordable natural rot resistant wood used in garden structures. It comes dried in the oven and keeps its shape very well. It is not deformed like pressure treated wood, which is why it is preferable for lattices, pergolas and pergolas that have mostly open designs. Do not use cedar for posts sunk into the ground unless you cover them above ground level (a roof tar is the best option for this), the cedar rots quickly in contact with the ground. For the posts, it is better to use pressure treated wood and wrap them with a set of cedar boards. In this way it obtains the resistance to putrefaction underground with the beauty of the cedar on the ground. The useful life is generally between 8 and 15 years.
Tropical hardwoods such as Ipe and Teak are also used quite frequently for taller and more permanent outdoor jobs. The useful life of these materials is more than 25 years with proper maintenance.
The raised planters are quite easy to build, even easier to maintain, and offer countless benefits for your garden! Below, we show you how to build a raised garden bed in your backyard, as well as tips on how to use the right wood and soil. Whether you buy a kit or build your own, there are some good reasons for raised bed gardening, which we highlight below.
What is a raised garden bed?
An elevated garden bed is a large plantation container that sits on the ground and is filled with soil and plants . It is a box without a bottom or top, in reality, a frame that is placed in a sunny place and full of good quality land, to become a centerpiece of the garden.
The raised beds in the garden have many benefits. Here are some reasons why you should consider using one:
The productivity of the plants is improved due to better drainage and deeper rooting.
The raised beds are ideal for small spaces where a conventional row garden can be too wild and difficult to manage.
Planting in a raised bed gives you total control over the quality and content of the soil, which is especially important in areas where existing soil is rocky or nutrient-poor.
Raised beds allow for a longer growing season, as it can work the soil more quickly in the spring in regions hardened by freezing, or convert the bed into a cold frame in the fall.
Less weeds are seen in raised beds thanks to the bed moving away from the surrounding weeds and filling with soil free of diseases and weeds.
The raised beds allow for easier square planting and a complementary plantation.
Better wood for raised beds
Many people are concerned about the safety of their wooden frame. First, be assured that wood treated with CCA pressure is prohibited, since it is known to leach arsenic. To guarantee that the wood lasts, there are several options:
The wood treated with regular pressure that is sold today has a mixture of chemical products applied to prevent the damp earth and the climate from rotting it. Although pressure treated wood is certified as safe for organic farming, some people have reservations about its use and there are several ecological alternatives.
Choosing thicker boards can make the wood last longer. For example, the 2-inch-thick local larch should last 10 years, even without treatment. Avoid the use of railway sleepers, as they can be treated with creosote, which is toxic.
Size of the beds
First, you need a level location and get the right amount of sunlight (6 to 8 hours per day).
In terms of bed size, 4 feet is a common width. Wood is often cut in 4-foot increments, and you also want to be able to access the garden without getting into bed. Making the bed too wide will make it difficult to get to the center, which makes weeding and harvesting a pain.
The length is not that important. Typical plots are usually 4 feet wide by 8 feet long or 4 feet wide by 12 feet long.
The depth of the bed can vary, but six inches of floor are minimal. Plants need at least a rooting zone of 6-12 inches, so 12 inches is ideal.
Before setting the bed, break and loosen the soil underneath with a garden fork so that it does not become compacted. Go 6 to 8 inches deep. For an improved rooting, some gardeners like to remove the top layer (around the depth of a shovel), dig another layer, and then return the top layer and mix the soil layers.
Steps for construction
To support the wooden beds, place wooden stakes at each corner (and every few feet for the longest beds). Place inside the bed so that the stakes are less visible.
Drive the stakes about 60% (2 feet) on the ground and leave the rest of the stakes exposed on the ground.
Make sure the stakes are level so they are on the ground at the same height, or you will have uneven beds.
Set the lowest tables a couple of inches below ground level. Verify that they are level.
Use galvanized nails (or screws) to fix the boards to the stakes.
Add additional rows of boards, fixing them to the stakes as well.