How Should I Landscape Around My Deck?

You Ask, We Answer: How Should I Landscape Around My Deck?

Like clockwork, the warmer weather has us dreaming about being outside as much as possible. Coffee on the deck, working from home on the deck, dinner and drinks on the deck…check, check, check! But if the view from your deck is a little lackluster, we have ideas on how to landscape around your deck to make every angle an exercise in beauty and relaxation. Get your outdoor space ready now, and you’ll be able to enjoy it for many years to come.

Pick your plants

This is the fun part. Choose flowers, plants and shrubs that you’ll enjoy seeing both from the deck, as well as from other angles in your yard. You’ll want to consider the amount of light your deck gets during the day, the hardiness zone you live in, and how much maintenance you’ll want to put in to keep your landscaping looking its best.

When planting flowers, consider making perennials a majority of your selection if you don’t want to have to replant every spring, or flowering bushes like hydrangea that will add height and color around your deck. Ornamental grasses and easy-to-grow plants like hostas can add a blanket of green, and with so many varieties and patterns, they can add visual interest, as well.

Mark out your border

Once you’ve chosen your plants, it’s time to mark the border. Begin by arranging the plants how you’d like them to be planted, allowing ample room for them to grow and fill out. You can use a garden hose to trace the size and contours of how you’d like your border to look; once you create a border you like, mark it with landscape paint.

Get digging

Cue the heavy lifting! Once your border is marked, put your plants aside and grab your shovel, because it’s time to dig. You don’t need to dig too deep—just about an inch or so underneath the turf to sever the roots of the grass. Dig within the border of your border and peel up the turf to remove it, exposing the soil underneath. Make a slightly deeper trench (just a few inches should do) along the edge of the border to make what comes next even easier…

Install your border edging

Once you’ve dug up the turf within the border, it’s time to install your border edging. Using landscape edging or the edging of your choice, work small sections into the trench to clearly mark the border. Your edging should stand approximately an inch above the top of soil to help clearly demarcate the area, and to help keep soil in place when it rains.

Lay down landscape fabric

Laying down landscape fabric is an important step in landscaping around a deck. This helps prevent weed growth (and who doesn’t love that?) and will cut back on the amount of mulch you’ll have to lay down as a result.

Cover the entire area within the border with landscape fabric, cutting it to fit and securing it along the edging with landscape fabric pins. Now you’re ready to start planting!

Implement your plant layout

Take your plants and place them in the same spots you laid out earlier, keeping in mind that taller plants should go closer to the deck, and smaller plants or flowers should be near the edging. Once you feel good about the placement of the plants on the fabric, go ahead and cut a hole in the fabric and dig into the soil underneath. Place one plant per hole, filling in with the dug up soil as you go.

After all your plants are in the ground, give them a good drink of water to help them settle in. Follow with a 1-2” layer of mulch or stone, taking care to spread evenly and to cover any landscape fabric. Pro tip: Don’t allow your mulch or stones to directly abut plants, as this can lead them to rot.

Once you’ve finished this step in landscaping around your deck, it’s time for the most important step of all: Sit back and enjoy the view!


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