Wood is incredibly versatile and is one of the best materials you can use in your garden.
Timber adds warmth to any landscaping project. It can look rustic or ultra-modern. You can stain or paint and varnish it to protect it.
Whatever your style, there’s a project for you. We’ve picked out some inspirational landscape timber ideas in photos below, to get you started.
Landscape Timber Ideas: Outdoor Rooms and Furniture
Bring the indoors outside with beautiful decking
Extend your living space by building decking and get your living room set up outdoors! If you have the climate for this, what’s stopping you?
Bring design elements from your home outside.
If you live in a rainy place, think about how a covered pergola might work joined onto your building. Building vertically like the inspiring example above gives you more space.
A pergola to join home and garden
Well-placed large timbers can have an imposing and impressive effect in any backyard.
Create a space that flows through from the house to the garden.
Build a timber-framed pergola that blends with the wood you have indoors to pull the whole design together into one seamless vision.
Salvaged seating for a rustic look
Building a bench from timber can be relatively straightforward like this example above.
Using salvaged materials will give your new seat a nicely worn-in look if that’s the style you are after.
If you want to keep the weathered look but would rather avoid full-on rot, make sure you varnish your bench.
Use wood to brighten an outdoor lounge
Go for a rustic look or something more modern; whatever you decide on, timber makes a brilliant material for outdoor seating areas.
These timber design ideas for pergolas and decked seating areas should get the creative juices flowing.
A new porch for extra lounge space
Adding a porch can bring a new and attractive dimension to any building. It also gives you more space for seating, undercover but still outdoors.
You will have extra space to grow plants too. Climbing roses growing up and over a porch never goes out of fashion as far as we’re concerned.
Simple rustic furniture
Get inspired to create something different in your backyard, using new or salvaged timber materials.
Old railway sleepers could make perfect perches stacked up.
Sawn tree trunks make quaint stools.
Old wooden pallets are cheap (or free) and can be repurposed in a multitude of ways.
Landscape Timber Ideas: Paths, Walls and Garden Borders
Wood for a retaining wall
If you live on a slope, you could use timber to create a retaining wall, holding back the earth behind it.
Remember that wood buried in the ground needs to be treated because it will be prone to rot much more quickly if it isn’t.
Gathering earth behind your timber wall means you will be able to grow more in steep spaces.
Beautiful timber walkways
There are lots of ways you can make paths with wood – use pieces as edging or set the timbers themselves into the ground, like the cool example above.
Sometimes, a pathway just needs to be a suggestion to ‘walk this way’! We love this simple landscape timber design.
With treated timbers, you can create lots of different effects, from rustic to super-sleek. Use timbers to make steps.
If you need to make large steps, you could look at bringing in some big lumps of wood, such as old railway sleepers.
This natural garden above looks perfect with rustic timber steps.
Timber edges for perfect garden borders
This is a relatively easy way to finish off your garden borders and give them a neat look. You can buy specially shaped timber borders in a variety of styles.
There are loads of landscape timber designs you can create with different shapes and sizes.
Complete your water feature with a bridge
If you are lucky enough to have a stream or pond in your garden, you might think about adding a bridge.
Aesthetically pleasing, and kids love to look into the water from above to see what they can spot!
Landscape Timber Ideas: Planters, Planting and Raised Beds
Wooden raised beds for fruit and vegetables
Raised beds are quick to put together and make a brilliant addition to any garden, for lots of reasons.
You can add soil to them that is different to your garden soil, meaning you can grow more plants.
They also save your back, as there is a lot less bending over!
If you are planning to grow edibles in your raised beds, just be careful to pick untreated timber.
Or, if you are using treated wood, add a liner to your design to prevent any chemicals leaching into your soil.
Get creative with wooden planters
There is endless inspiration on the net for making your own planters.
You could go for something simple like a square box shape, or get your creative juices flowing and see what different designs you can come up with!
Whatever you make will be unique.
Timber is easy to put together and will last well in the garden.
Wooden trellis for small spaces and walls
There are loads of different ways to add height to your garden with timbers.
Trellises are useful because they are excellent support for plants and add a new dimension to your backyard.
They are also great if you have a small space – start growing vertically; there’s loads of room!
Perfect window boxes for herbs
Window boxes are super-easy to put together, and the most rustic landscape timber designs will add an established feeling to your backyard.
As long as they have drainage holes, anything goes. Once you’ve got your boxes together, start growing herbs in them – ideally on the kitchen windowsill!
That way, you will always have them to hand when you are cooking.
Super-sized planter with a seat
We love this oversized planter with a built-in seating area.
If you have a space big enough to try something this impressive, it could be the centerpiece of your garden.
Add a rose arbor
A wooden arch covered in roses that you can walkthrough. You’ll get the beautiful fragrance of roses every time you do.
This is a classic design idea and one that never fails to please in any garden.
The perfect potting bench
Use timber to make your own potting bench undercover or in a shed – your back will thank you for it!
A potting bench is basically a table that lets you pot up all your seeds and plants in comfort. It can give you extra storage space too.
Landscape Timber ideas: Garden Buildings
Create your ideal garden shed
You may be a bit daunted by the thought of building your own shed.
On the other hand, you may be a DIY superstar who knows no bounds!
There is something very satisfying about creating a structure yourself – and you can use a few simple materials like landscaping timbers to put it together.
Build your own treehouse
Depending on your design, this can be a lot of hard work, but the results can be incredible!
The author has helped to build a treehouse for guests to stay in: it’s not for the fainthearted, trust us.
Once completed though, you will have the most magical hideaway imaginable.
A fairytale playhouse
This could be a treehouse, or it could be something a bit more down to earth!
Check out the funky style of the playhouse above – it looks like something straight out of a fairy tale.
There are loads of simple and easy designs on the net for building your own playhouse.
Log cabin retreat
Another landscape timber idea that is not for the fainthearted! But the results can be incredible.
Imagine having your very own cosy log cabin tucked away at the end of the garden.
You could use it as an office, a hideaway, a yoga room or a playhouse.
Log store with a green roof
A log store usually has a straightforward design with a roof.
It’s useful if you don’t have any outbuildings to store wood in and want to have real fires!
We love this example above which has a green roof built in – how cool is that?
What timber size and shape?
You can use landscape timbers in many different ways.
They come in various shapes and thicknesses: square, oval, round, square with a rounded top.
Think about the size of timber that will best suit your project.
A curved shape can look nice on raised beds or as edging along your garden borders.
Long square pieces of wood can look great for modern pergolas on the sides of houses, or stacked as retaining walls.
What type of wood?
Some types of timber are well-suited to outdoor landscape designs, others aren’t.
In the US, cedar is an excellent choice – it is very weather-resistant and will last even longer if it is treated.
Cypress wood is also really durable and a wise choice for decking, flooring and roofing projects.
Other popular picks include redwood, white oak and treated pine.
The colors of your timber will fade over time so if you want to retain them, think about using a tough outdoor varnish.
If you want to change the colour, you can stain or paint your landscaping timber and then varnish it.
Don’t forget that pressure-treated wood will last longer in contact with the ground than untreated wood.