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March, 2019

Decking

Having a garden is a responsibility that needs both time and effort dedicated to it to keep it looking its best. But in today's fast-moving world, finding the time to do just that proves increasingly difficult. This in turn is making many of us opt for what's often referred to as a low-maintenance garden. Notice that's low- not no-maintenance! No real garden is without maintenance, unless of course all you have is a concrete forecourt. And it's not just plants and lawns that need looking after. What your garden is made of, the hard landscaping, will also dictate how much time will need to spend to keep it looking good. So, against this backdrop, it's perhaps not surprising that composite decking has become increasingly popular as a go-to material for our time-challenged gardens.

As an alternative to traditional timber decking, composite decking has quickly made it's mark in a new generation of low-maintenance landscaping materials (the other big one being porcelain pavers). As well as being extremely easy to maintain, it's also slip-resistant - another big tick. That's because it's made of a blend of wood fibres and plastics (hence the name composite) which makes it non-porous and resistant to moss growth and algae. So, you can pack the pressure washer away: most composite deck boards just need brushing down with soapy water before rinsing off with the hosepipe. They're also very durable, fade resistant and with a longer lifespan than the real thing (manufacturer warranties will vary though 15 to 25 years is not unusual with some even longer than that).

From a design perspective, it affords a great degree of creativity. The choice of boards available continues to expand. Many composite boards out there imitate the real thing, while others come in a range of colours, grains and finishes, such as aged driftwood or charred, allowing you to choose the one that stylistically suits the overall look of your project. It's not just for decking either: there's even composite boards that can be used to clad garden walls and raised beds. So what's the catch? Well, in short it's not cheap. Composite decking may come at a premium but the savings in maintenance and its longevity will, for many, make the initial outlay worthwhile in the longer term, and what price on giving you more time to simply relax and enjoy your garden.