Before & After: Eliza's Baby Blue Deck

The Gardenist

I am gearing up to finish a few garden projects....one of which is a deck that we dug the footings for last fall. I have gone back and forth on the way to finish the deck. Do I do pressure treated wood that I stain (cheap), or do I invest in a hardwood that will be less maintenance (expensive)?

I have obsessed so much that I even had an architect friend write a whole article about the pros and cons of all the decking options. It is a useful reference, and I had all but decided to go for the hardwood and spend the extra money when I saw this garden.

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To my eye, pressure treated wood is ugly, so if I went in that direction, staining the deck would be an absolute necessity. Considering stain colors, I had thought about all varieties of wood tone colors, but I hesitated when it started to feel like I was making the wood something less true to itself. Wood stains seem to be all about making some wood look like a different wood and I find that when taken to extremes, this untruth can be a little annoying. But moving away from wood tones completely to consider something like a baby blue deck....that has an appeal I can get my head around.

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Inspired by Eliza's choice of color for a pressure treated stained deck, I am happily back in budget-land since, pressure treated pine costs as little as a third of the price of hardwood decking I had my eye on.

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Now, my main consideration is color — I like the baby blue, but wonder if there is another color that might also work well in the garden. What do you think of the color stained deck? If you were to stain a deck a color, what shade would you use?

(Images: our garden gate)