Decking ensembles

Decking ensembles 

Decks offer fantastic ways of increasing functional space in your garden - especially in the threshold zone between inside and outside. Often a simple rectilineal shape is the simplest and most practical option, but introducing a curve opens up all sorts of exciting possibilities. It's worth looking into the pros and cons of different timber types for your space, considering durability, fire rating, colour and especially how and where it is grown and harvested. I use spotted gum (Corymbia maculata) predominantly. Not only is this one of the finest Australian native timbers with its colour range from light blondes and honey-browns through to richer reds and flecks of almost black gum veins, but its densely interwoven grain lends incredible strength and fiddleback luminosity. It is in the highest fire-resistant category of decking timbers (along with 5 other Australian species Jarrah, Blackbutt, Red Ironbark, River Red Gum & Turpentine, and Merbau/Kwila from Indonesia). However most of these timbers - with the exception of Merbau - are not widely available in Tasmania, and I have concerns about the harvesting impacts of some of them. Spotted gum is plantation grown and milled mainly in Queensland, which agrees with my understanding and promotion of sustainable forestry practice.

All decking timber benefits from being protected from the harsh Australian sun, its bleaching UV, and the effects of fungal spores. I like to use Organoil which is made in Byron Bay from naturally occurring plant-derived oils without any petro-chemicals. In my experience of over a decade of use, it performs better than anything else, penetrating deeply and feeding the wood, darkening the timber slightly over time. And it smells amazing.


  • Spotted gum deck and BBQ

    Spotted gum deck and BBQ

  • Spotted gum deck and day bed storage beside pebbled garden bed

    Spotted gum deck and day bed storage beside pebbled garden bed

  • Curved spotted gum deck abutting curved bluestone paving

    Curved spotted gum deck abutting curved bluestone paving

  • Forest reds decking against a red brick wall

    Forest reds decking against a red brick wall

  • Spotted gum deck island

    Spotted gum deck island

  • Spotted gum decking steps leading to black limestone paved patio

    Spotted gum decking steps leading to black limestone paved patio

  • Spotted gum deck curved into sawn sandstone paving

    Spotted gum deck curved into sawn sandstone paving

  • Spotted gum deck under pergola

    Spotted gum deck under pergola

  • Native cypress (Callitris) deck between painted rendered brick walls and paving

    Native cypress (Callitris) deck between painted rendered brick walls and paving