Deck and Patio Blog

3 Ways to Incorporate Plants into Your Deck Design

May 28, 2015


A large deck can easily end up looking empty and ill-fitting if it’s not designed with nature in mind. Your deck is supposed to be a bridge between the indoors and the outdoors. It ties to the indoors with its shape, texture and style, but how is it merging with your back yard? One of the best ways to ensure your deck doesn’t look like it belongs in a concrete jungle is to add vegetation. A lot of it is disturbed and moved during the deck construction, so it may need to be added back to ensure a smooth transition. As Maryland deck builders, we have worked with many clients to come up with creative ideas to incorporate plants into the deck design, and here are a few of them.

Use Natural Features

Is there a tree growing right next to your home and interfering with your deck plans? Instead of looking at it as an obstacle, think of it as an opportunity. You can easily turn this tree into a deck feature by keeping it and building your deck around it. This approach won’t work with just any tree: it has to be a tall enough, mature tree that branches out at the top. It’s best if it’s evergreen, so that your new deck doesn’t get covered in leaves every fall. This concept can also be implemented on platform ground-level decks, but it’s usually not as visually appealing unless you have a smaller tree.

Add Built-in Planters

To truly integrate your deck and the nature, build planter casings out of the same material that your deck is made of. This will be very easy for your Maryland deck contractor to do and will create beautiful splashes of green throughout your deck. Having built-in planters is also convenient because you don’t have to purchase planters separately, at least not the decorative kind. There is no dilemma whether you should buy all of the same variety or different ones, which also helps keep your deck design consistent.

Create Cutouts for Plants

Similar to the tree enclosure, you can create cutouts for plants if you are building a platform deck. In fact, you can even plant your own herb garden right in the middle of your deck. This approach is great because you don’t need either individual planters or built-in casings. And you will avoid the risk of water damage to your deck in places where moisture accumulates underneath the planters. For a greater visual impact, plant bushy and/or flowering plants that catch the eye and become conversation pieces.

Don’t Forget About the Landscaping

When the deck is being constructed, the landscaping gets disturbed and you end up with a dug-up lawn. Of course, deck builders clean it up and patch it at the end of the project, but don’t stop there. Instead of having grass throughout, add visual interest around the deck by planting shrubs or flower beds. This is especially useful for platform decks, as the vegetation planted along the edge helps cover up any seams, making for a smooth transition.

If you need help implementing these or any other deck ideas, feel free to get in touch with our experts at North American Deck and Patio.

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