Using landscape timbers is a convenient and attractive way to border your driveway. Your driveway will likely be the first thing your guests will see, so its appearance becomes a reflection of your yard and your home. A little creativity and a lot of attention will guarantee that you have a visually pleasing driveway.
Landscape Timber Basics
When selecting landscape timbers, you can choose between softwoods—such as redwood and Western red cedar—or hardwoods like oak. Ensure that the wood you choose is treated for added strength and durability. Most wood that is sold for outdoor use is pressure treated and coated with a preservative.
Cedar, cypress, and redwood are typically rot-resistant when placed next to soil. A cheaper alternative could be to opt for pressure-treated wood, which also resists decay. Installing end caps on your wooden posts will also cut down on the possibility of erosion and rotting. This becomes all the more critical if the timber is going to come in contact with soil. Consider using a stain and varnish to further beautify and protect the wood.
Step 1 – Trenching
Use a spade to dig a trench. The dimensions of this trench will depend on the size of the timber you are using. Keeping the trench about 2 inches wider than the timber. Dig it 3 inches deep to hold a 4x4 wooden plank. This way, 1 inch will stay exposed once you finish. If you are working with soil that heaves from frost, bury the timber in halfway.
Step 2 – Flattening the Trench
Stamp a heavy piece of timber to level the trench. Periodically check for evenness by using the level.
Step 3 – Positioning the Timbers
Place the landscape timbers in the trench side by side. Starting from the edge of the driveway, place them all, checking for evenness regularly. Tidy up the exposed ends of the timber using a saw and sandpaper.
Step 4 – Adding More Layers
If you plan to add more layers of timber to the border, make sure you place the second layer on top of the first without any overlapping. The distance between the layers should be about 3 inches.
Step 5 – Making a Slot
You will have to make a slot in each piece of timber. This is where the metal stake will go in. Create the slot using a screw and the drill.
Step 6 – Securing the Timber
Secure the pieces of timber by using a sledgehammer. At every 3 feet horizontally, drive in the 12-inch metal stake through the slots you just made.
Step 7 – Finishing Up
Now that your timber border is standing and secure, tidy up the soil at the edges. Stamp it even.
Landscape Timber Care Tips
Timber tends to expand when wet and shrink when dry. In summer months, this can lead to cracking. Don’t worry too much about this. During wet weather, the timber will swell and the cracks will seal.
Depending on the climate you live in, many wood stains require periodic reapplication.
Regularly check your landscape timbers for any fungal growth or infestation.
Your outdoor living area can be transformed with the correct and innovative use of landscape timber. With care, treatment, and commitment, your attractive driveway border will last for years.