Millboard Composite Decking in Chorleywood


A Millboard composite deck in Chorleywood started as a simple decking project which became a whole garden design. Inspirational and realistic decking design leads from the property across several transition changes into a natural garden. An abundance of insect and pollinator plants, winding paths, and a circular lawn.  An exciting landscape in a relatively small garden.

Cantilevered Millboard Decking

For this Chorleywood-based client, the deck was the most important aspect of the garden so it had to be something special.  Fortunately, the natural slope of the garden gave Karl the opportunity to design a cantilevered deck.  This design makes the leading edge appear to float – something Karl emphasised by painting the substructure black.  This illusion is further enhanced with lighting; an LED strip creates a warm glow from underneath the deck. 

As well as the cantilever the deck is comprised of multiple levels.  The architectural nature of these reflects the contemporary architecture of the extension to the house.  These levels also aid the transition from the house to the garden while making use of the natural slope.

Bespoke Bronze Balustrade

Changes in elevation between the various levels of the deck meant Karl was mindful of Part K building regulations.  The bronze effect balustrade Karl created to comply with these regulations both contrasts and complements the Millboard Limed Oak decking.  The design, which incorporates thin strips of metal, also allows the client to enjoy a view of the garden from the inside.

Multizonal Planting

When the client asked Karl if he could add the remainder of the garden to the design Karl was delighted.  As much of the garden was overgrown and inaccessible Karl designed a scheme to open up the garden.  This not only utilises all of the space available, but it also makes the garden feel bigger.

Amongst the overgrowth, Karl found some established shrubs which he used to create shape at the back of the garden.  To complement these, new shrubs were planted to give the client the ‘wall of green’ they requested.  For the remaining plants, the client asked for a scheme in green and white.  The result is a garden with a variety of ferns, grasses, and predominantly white flowering perennials and shrubs.

The planting around the deck emphasises the cantilever design with evergreen ferns, Tiarella, and Pachysandra planted immediately under the leading edge.  The green of the plants also offers a contrast to the colour of the Limed Oak Millboard decking.

The circular lawn, so designed because the client loves Swingball, determines the shape of the remainder of the garden.  This organic shape, and the planting around it, accentuates the difference between the deck and the remainder of the garden.

Plant List

Agapanthus Africanus Alba

Alchemilla mollis

Allium amplectens ‘Graceful Beauty’

Asplenium scolopendrium ‘Cristatum’

Betula uitilis Jacquemontii

Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’

Cornus kousa ‘Venus’

Dicksonia Antarctica

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’

Euonymus alatus

Fatsia japonica

Heuchera ‘Lime Marmelade’

Hosta ‘A Touch of Class’

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Fireworks’

Osmunda regalis

Photinia fraseri ‘Red Robin’

Salvia nemorosa ‘Bumblesnow’

Trachelospermum jasminoides

Viburnum davidii

Viburnum plicatum ‘Mariesii’

Natural Garden Walkways

Weaving through the different planting zones is a self-bound gravel path.  This path flows through the garden bringing each zone into the scheme making the garden feel as one.

Part of this path is extended into one corner of the garden to provide an area for a fire pit. Karl says of this area, “I love this garden. In particular I quite like sitting here because you can look back at the architecture of the decking and all the layers.”

Credits and Further information

Location – Chorleywood

Completed – 2021

Materials – Millboard, Country Supplies, CED, Babylon Plants, Joseph Rochford Gardens, Riverside Nursery

Client – Private

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About Karl

Karl Harrison designs, builds and delivers high end residential and commercial landscaping projects.

He brings clarity to unusual situations, new materials and understands how to apply them with current technology. He is a professional Engineer and demands attention to detail that ensures impeccable results.

We absolutely love the space that Karl & his team created for us.

See how we can help you...

We adapt to the needs of every client, fluent in a combination of traditional techniques ensuring the hard landscaping works in harmony with the soft planting, garden art and style in your garden.

We hope you like what you see.

We’d love to meet you in your garden to see how we can turn your outdoor space into a work of art.