Structures for the Garden
Our structures for the garden range between easy to build and complex garden trelliage. Some of our structures for the garden are DIY plans and others are things our local builders will craft and install for you. All our structures are tastefully designed and appeal to designers and landscape architects. Some of these structures for the garden were created from sketched concepts supplied by others, “commissions” if you will. Creating inspired and long-lasting details for concepts by artistically inclined homeowners and professional designers alike are something we do very well.
Our unique structures for the garden are a blend of tradition and modern techniques to give durability. We typically design for 15-20 years in the elements. If you follow our stain guide you will extend the life of your structure. Staining these structures properly involves much more labor than just slapping them up. You will be sanding and staining all the parts on all 6 faces prior to assembling your masterpiece structures.
Our Garden Structure Designer
Let’s talk about what sets our structures for the garden apart?
The designer is Lawrence Winterburn, and he has been designing unique woodwork projects for 30 years. He is one of the most emulated garden woodwork designers worldwide. He is a craftsman that has experience in framing, trim, cabinetry and millwork design as well as building. This is not a handyman cranking out pretty things in a backyard out of used pallets. Many of these unique outdoor woodwork details have been tested over a period of 30 years. We know what works and what does not.
When it comes to designing structures for the garden, Lawrence knows more than any landscape architect about outdoor wood. Our designer knows how to make it last, what is traditional and Avant-garde. He knows his proportions well. Landscape Architects and Designers often approach us to design beautiful things for their clients.
Designing Woodwork for the garden
When designing woodwork for the garden there are many factors at play that do not affect interior woodwork. We water our gardens to the extreme, which means rot sets into lesser structures. It’s like designing woodwork for the rainforest. This is why we use timber from rainy climates or even the rainforest for our structures. Red Cedar, Redwood, Mahogany, Kayu Bhatu and Ipe are commonly used in the garden for their rot resistance.
Woodwork for the garden needs to resist freeze-thaw cycles in northern climates. Coupled with the added moisture, freeze-thaw cycles act to blow off any stain from wood that absorbs moisture. This is why we recommend pre-finishing the parts before construction.
Extreme wind is also a factor that needs to be considered when designing woodwork for the garden. Gardens that are unsheltered from the wind will need to resist extreme winds. Our woodwork for the garden is robust enough to resist extreme winds and comes with instructions for anchoring to unique footings. We also give rot resistant details in many cases and even tell you where to source the coatings.
What are Garden Arbors? A garden arbor is a square or arched entry to a yard or garden. Garden arbors can be simple or ornate. Proportions are difficult to get right when it comes to garden arbors, but if you follow our plans and details, you will get proportions perfect! These robust garden arbors resist frost and the wind and are designed to last 15 years or more. Our garden arbor clients range from homeowners to professional landscape designers and architects.
Some of the garden arbors you see in the above photos involve laminated wood, which is a specialty. If plans are available for the garden arbor with laminations, you will find the instructions step by step and complete. Laminations are a great way of adding style and form to a garden arbor. It takes a regular arbor from mediocre to spectacular works of art!
Building a Garden Trellis
An inspired garden trellis is something that draws the eye while helping the star of the show grow to eye level. Garden trellises are a functional ladder for flowering plants to grow towards the sun. We will be releasing a number of garden trellis plans in the next few months, so please, bookmark this page.
In most locations within North America and Europe, the traditional French half lap joints or Shoji style joints found in Japan rot prematurely. This is why you will find that we leave the trelliswork whole in nearly all our garden trellis designs. There is no need to expose additional end grain to soak up more moisture when you build a garden trellis. Sprinklers, rain, freeze-thaw cycles are hard on anything in the garden.
Wooden garden furniture
Wooden garden furniture is often too heavy and cumbersome to move indoors for the winter. If wooden garden furniture is to sit in the yard year round it should be designed for the frame to be sturdy enough to function even after rot sets in. We often use tapered plugs within our wooden garden furniture in order to keep moisture away from the fasteners. Modern deck joist tape can also be used to keep the support structure dry. These days, building garden furniture to last 30 years is not a stretch.
Wood garden furniture needs to be sturdy, pleasant to look at and functional. Much of the wooden garden furniture found on the web has tragic flaws like parts that inhibit movement or structural issues that cause benches and chairs to wobble. Our garden furniture is designed a little differently. Much of it will flex but remain strong. Look for our wooden garden furniture plans in the gallery above!
Decorative Garden Structures
Many of our decorative garden structures are hard to describe. We have had to come up with our own descriptive names for things like rose columns, freestanding rose trellis. We even looked at the French descriptions of things like our “Trompe L’Oeil Panel”.
Decorative garden structures are first driven by purpose, secondly aesthetic appeal. Inspired garden structures should contrast the color of the home to allow the foliage to pop when applied. Garden structures can be anything between privacy screens and freestanding trellises for vines. Most garden structures are created with the sole purpose of training vines over them. They should have an intriguing set of details, but still, attract interest after buried in foliage.