A deck, on its own, can improve your outdoor space in so many ways. However, adding landscaping around it makes it even better. But for many homeowners, it could be a challenge. More so if you are using a ground-level deck. Ground-level decks are more susceptible to weeds, moulds, and moisture damage, making it a slightly trickier to design. Fortunately, there are easy ways to up your design by following some of these ideas.
1. Consider Adding Edging – One of the main concerns with ground-level decks is that it is more prone to issues, such as mould and mildew growth, moisture damage, and rotting. For this reason, you will want to protect your deck from creeping weeds and insects. One way to do this is to border the ground-level decking with mulch. Not only does mulch protect the deck, but it also benefits plants if you choose to place them on the mulch. Depending on the design you are aiming for, you can choose from a wide variety of inorganic mulch that won’t affect your deck. Aside from mulch, you can also use decking boards made with composite and other materials to create edging.
2. Go For Low-Maintenance – When landscaping your ground-level deck, you may also want to go for low-maintenance plants and flowers over high-maintenance ones. Not only can you dedicate more of your time to relaxing, but choosing low-maintenance options also benefits your deck. As mentioned, since ground-level decks are more susceptible to issues, it’s best to prevent them. With high-maintenance trees and plants, you’ll often see a decking floor full of fallen leaves, pollen, and dirt. When they accumulate, they can cause mould growth, which can cause a lot more issues later on.
3. Pick a Theme – Before you start designing your landscape, it’s best to pick a theme first. Decide what look you are aiming for, whether it’s a bright and colourful garden space or a cool-toned and relaxing outdoor spot. Once you’ve decided, start plotting the landscape. Consider what plants you will want to place by choosing the larger shrubs and trees first. Then, pick smaller flowers and plants you’d like to fill in the rest of the space. The design choices are up to you. For inspiration, you can look at various magazines, articles, and videos of garden designs.
4. Use Planter Boxes – Using matching planters is an easy way to decorate a ground-level deck. With planter boxes, you can group up plants and minimize falling leaves. You can either buy them or make your own. If you have some skill or can follow a few DIY guides, creating your very own will save you some money and the freedom to come up with your designs. Many homeowners use the same material as their decking for their plant boxes. You can also use decking boards leftover from your deck construction. You can use or make planter boxes of various heights to produce a tiered look.
5. Add Privacy With Tall Plants – Another advantage of using plants for your ground-level deck is that it provides privacy. Select a few tall-growing plants or tree versions of various shrubs and place them around your ground-level decking to create a secluded and private space. Some of the plants you can choose are boxwood, bamboo, cypress, and hibiscus.
6. Leave a Gap for Maintenance – One crucial thing to remember when landscaping around ground-level decks is to give space allowance for maintenance and upkeep. Many homeowners mistakenly fill the area around a ground-level decking with plants and flowers. But when the time comes when you need to clean, inspect, or repair your deck, the plants may get in your way. If they are too close to the deck, you may damage them as you maintain your deck. Not only that, they can promote mildew and moulds on your ground-level deck. For this reason, you may want to create a wider gap if you plan to surround your decking with plants.
7. Create Focal Points – Creating focal points is the key to having a beautiful outdoor space. Without it, your deck and its surrounding area will look messy and chaotic. For focal points, you can use eye-catching and unique plants and flowers. You can use a single variety of flowers or group complimenting ones. Aside from foliage, fountains, rock piles, and even non-living elements can also act as focal points. You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot, as there are dozens of DIY projects that you can try on the internet.
8. Install Lighting – Lighting is a crucial element in landscaping. Without it, your efforts on building a beautiful design around your deck won’t matter when the sun’s out. Use decking lights on the edges to illuminate the area around your ground level deck. You can also place a few uplights to highlight your focal points better, and it goes well with tall plants. Not only will it make your outdoor space look better, but it can also add safety.