How to answer that age old question: which came first—the deck or the landscaping? Ok, maybe the question doesn’t date back that far, but I’ll bet I’m not the only one who’s asking it! Whether you have a clean slate with a new deck on bare land or you’re building a new deck around established vegetation, your options are wide open when it comes to blending your deck with your landscape.
Considering that your deck just might be the most important connection between your house and your property (whew, talk about pressure!), you ideally want your landscaping and deck to work together rather than compete with one another. No matter if you’re building around existing landscaping or starting from scratch, here are some landscape suggestions to make sure your deck looks like it’s a natural part of your property.
Build your deck around existing landscaping. What do you do when you want to build a new deck and there’s a magnificent 200-year-old oak tree right in the middle of your back yard? Build your deck around it of course, making the tree the focal point of your outdoor space.
Incorporate flower boxes and planters. Maybe your deck overlooks a beautiful English garden with sweeps of color like black-eyed Susans, pink climbing roses, or lush purple lavender. You have a moral imperative to plant some of those flowers on your deck too! Carrying through the theme of your garden onto your deck in flower boxers or planters is a great way to blend the property with the deck.
Transition with concrete edging. If your deck abruptly ends in a grass yard, consider using concrete curb edging to easily blend the edge of the grass with the deck platform. You can also use river rocks, pea gravel, or mulch to help define the area.
When your backyard is water. Not all homes have a backyard to step out into. And that’s a good thing! You can incorporate some plants and flower boxes on your deck for some vegetation options. A crisp white railing adds an extra nautical flavor to your design to appropriately blend with your water view.
During the deck and landscape design phase, always keep in mind the view from your deck, and make sure you position the deck so you can look at your landscaping from all sides—be it water or land! Thanks for reading!
Hi all, Martin here again with what I think is a most awesome, if not the most awesomest (if that’s not a word, it should be) project for gardeners, landscapers, homeowners, and business owners of all types. Really, it’s for everyone because we should all be stewards of the earth. It’s a compost bin. Did you know that nearly one-third of landfill waste is made up of compostable materials? What is compostable you ask? Compostable materials are a mixture of decaying organic matter like yard debris, grass clippings, leaves, and vegetable peels that become nutrient-rich matter for fertilizing soil. This compost bin project uses Inteplast Building Products PVC decking material, which is perfect because it’s rot- and insect-resistant. So let’s get started.
Materials You’ll Need:
First, pre-drill the 2-in. screws on the 24-in. long Inteplast deck board about a ½-in. from the edge of the board. Do the same thing for the 22-in. long Inteplast deck board.
Next, join create a rectangle using the two 24-in. pieces and the two 22-in. pieces by joining them at the corners.
Then, cut a 1-1/2-in. wide Inteplast Corner Board to use as a jig. Place the 1-1/2-in. wide corner board jig at the corner, and then place a deck board underneath to ensure that it’s level with the deck frame.
Now, place the 7-in. Inteplast Corner Board on top of the jig and attach each corner with 1-1/2-in. screws.
That’s it. Now just stack the finished tiers to create your compost bin. This unit is 24-in. x 22-in. x 28-in., but you can make more tiers to increase the height of the bin to suit your needs.
The best thing about this bin is that you don’t have to physically turn the compost, which can be a real chore. You only have to lift off the top tier and set it on the ground next to the bin fill it with compost. As the compost pile gets lower, move over the next tier, and put more compost in it. Just repeat.
Composting is a great way to condition your soil, recycle your kitchen and yard waste (which reduces land fill waste), introduce beneficial organisms to your yard, and eliminate the need for alternative chemical fertilizers. To find Inteplast Building Products in your area, visit our store locator here. Catch you next time.
Martin (and Harley)
It’s Martin again, with another doable DIY project for your backyard or your deck. Even though we are half past summer and most of us finished our landscape projects earlier in the spring, it’s time to think about fall planting. This planter box I’m going to demonstrate this week is made from Inteplast Building Products Fascia Board and Corner Board. Last month I showed you how to make an end table out of Inteplast’s products, so this is very similar in construction - a no brainer for you DIY pros out there, and a great beginner project for you folks who are just getting started. You can place this in your yard without worrying about rotting, splitting, cracking, or pests because Inteplast’s products are moisture resistant. So, let’s get started.
Materials you'll need:
For the deck fascia material, Inteplast has 12 colors to choose from and solid, variegated colors all with wood-grain patterns. I used their Terra Cotta material to build mine, but choose a color and style to suit your tastes, or compliment your existing deck or trim at home.
The first step is to cut the necessary pieces. Start with the 4x4 Inteplast PVC “J” Channel trim to and cut four 12” pieces. Next, pre-install the screws at the ¾” square notch ends on each “J” Channel. Place the screws 3/8” from edge to ensure the holding capacity.
Next, trim the Inteplast Deck Fascia Board to 4 pcs to 2’ long each. Now, align the bottom of the Deck Fascia and “J” Channel, then attach them together with the screws at the four corners. You’ll want to use proper blocking to level the joint before you apply the screws. I enlisted the help of my friend Eric to press the corner board against the fascia for a tighter hold. But if you don’t have a friend in sight, you can use a grip to help add pressure. Next, join the pieces at the corners.
Continue until all corners are joined and you have a square. Finish up by adding the 4” x 4” end caps on the top of the remaining ½” tip of Inteplast PVC “J” Channel. If you use PVC end caps, apply PVC cement to bond the cap. That’s it!
You can make your box any size you like. The diagram below is for a rectangular 2’ x 4’ planter box.
To find Inteplast’s fascia and corner board in your area, check out the Inteplast Building Products product locator tool. What do you think of what I planted in mine? Let me know what you’re gonna plant. Thanks for reading.
Martin (and Harley)