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Reclaimed Timber in Garden Design: Decking, Structures, Art and more …

Timber has been the preferred natural material for landscape architects for decades. But now, as sustainability becomes a high priority for residential and commercial clients alike, eco-aware garden designers are preferring to specify reclaimed timber to construct fencing, gates, retaining walls. pergolas, screens, boardwalks and so much more.

Here, we showcase some of the recent garden design and construction projects Ashwells Reclaimed Timber has featured in. And, look at some of the ways you can use reclaimed timber in your next landscape design.

1. Blue Diamond Forge Garden, RHS Chelsea 

Designer: The Blue Diamond Group Team

Sponsored by Blue Diamond and built by Conquest Creative Spaces, the garden is natural woodland with a traditional forge at its heart. A reclaimed Greenheart pile takes pride of place as a structural timber in this award-winning design.

2. A Rewilding Britain Landscape, RHS Chelsea 

Designer: Lulu Urquart and Adam Hunt

Built by Landscape Associates, the garden shows a rewilding landscape in South West England after the reintroduction of a native, keystone species. ‘A Rewilding Britain Landscape’ garden features our reclaimed Oak timber to recreate the Dartmoor landscape and a natural beaver dam.

3. Arcadia, RHS Chelsea

Designer: Martha Krempal

Martha Krempel’s garden Arcadia focused on providing a pure escape from the bustle of city life. We supplied beautiful ‘tiger face’ reclaimed Jarrah to be transformed into a swing seat.

4. Garden for a Green Future, RHS Hampton Court 

Designer: Jamie Butterworth

The RHS Garden for a Green Future drew attention to the impact that the changing climate is having on UK gardens and gardeners. The design demonstrates ways in which we can adapt to, and embrace, the changing climate. We supplied a range of reclaimed crossing timbers and crane mats, to be re-used as decking boards. The weight and superior quality of this timber allowed the fitting to be completed in under an hour.

5. Facebook: Beyond the Screen, RHS Chelsea 

Designer: Joe Perkins

Reclaimed Ekki from Whitstable Yacht Club took pride of place in the gold medal winning Facebook Garden at RHS Chelsea 2019. Designed to celebrate the positive impact of spending meaningful time on social media and how this enriches our lives in the real world. A central feature of the garden is a decked area, suspended over a tranquil pool of water.

Reclaimed Timber Provenance

The Forest Stewardship Council® is a global certification system that promotes responsible timber reclamation and procurement best practice.

As an FSC certified reclaimed tropical timber contractor we provide a transparent and traceable chain of custody for all our reclaimed timber, whatever its source. Our reclaimed tropical timber, including Greenheart, Jarrah and Ekki, is sourced by us from marine sites across the UK.

It becomes available because at a certain point a timber structure in a marine or river environment will have to be replaced or dismantled and reconstructed, usually because it presents a significant safety hazard or maintenance becomes increasingly uneconomical. The timing of this is usually determined by the condition of the primary timber members, which are the most difficult and expensive to replace.

Janine’s Top Tip:

“Source your reclaimed timber from credible reclamation contractors with the FSC stamp of certification. This gives concrete assurance that your project’s timber supply chain complies with the highest social and environmental standards.”

Choosing to source reclaimed timbers through an FSC accredited process provides you with a credible solution to complex environmental and social issues. Our landscape architect and garden design clients find that it is an effective way to gain public and consumer recognition of their responsible supply chain procurement practices and helps to make progress against Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) targets.

Feeling inspired? Walk through our step-by-step guide to help you use more reclaimed timber in landscape architecture projects. Download our guide, click here.