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.
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.
Agapanthus Africanus Alba
Allium amplectens ‘Graceful Beauty’
Asplenium scolopendrium ‘Cristatum’
Betula uitilis Jacquemontii
Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’
Cornus kousa ‘Venus’
Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’
Heuchera ‘Lime Marmelade’
Hosta ‘A Touch of Class’
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Fireworks’
Photinia fraseri ‘Red Robin’
Salvia nemorosa ‘Bumblesnow’
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
Follow Karl Harrison Landscapes Ltd to get all the latest project updates and of course behind the scenes!