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Allan designs and plants flowering gardens in Montreal, Zone 5 [USDA Zone 4] .

See website, design work and favorite flowering plants at  gardengurumontreal.ca

Consultation and coaching for do-it-yourselfers is provided. Occasional emailed questions are welcome and answered free of charge. Oui, je parle francais.

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Sunday
Oct092011

Responsibly Harvested Trees Make Beautiful, Long Lasting, Garden Hardscapes 

Every week, I receive several inquiries from well meaning suppliers asking me if I would mention their goods or services in one of my posts. Usually, I decline because what they offer is outside my blog’s focus on design. However, the moment Everlasting Hardwoods contacted me, to introduce Ipe Decking, I was smitten by its beauty.

The fine grain and rich color of this weatherproof, tropical wood caught my eye and I was drawn into its story. Because I care about anything that will make a garden more attractive, I am pleased to share information about this product with my readers.

Imagine a wood so dense that it is naturally resistant to rot, mold, UV degradation, and termites.

Imagine a decking lumber so strong that - when professionally installed - can withstand hurricane winds.

Ipe wood is so durable that it will last over 40 years if left untreated, and up to 100 years with deck oil applied to its surface. This tropical wood, certified to be as fire retardant as concrete or steel, is environmentally friendly because it does not need the protection of artificial preservatives.

Ipe decking is also certified slip resistant. That makes it a very safe material for decks, porches, and playgrounds, as well as installations around pools, saunas, and hot tubs, where accumulating water is a hazard.

 

Furthermore, the high density of the wood provides for very little splintering, making it an excellent surface wherever bare feet and bare hands abound.  

Ipe [pronounced ee-pay] is a hardwood found in South America and some of the Lesser Antilles. Botanically known as Tabebuia, [a member of the Bignoniaceae family] this tree grows on ridge tops, riverbanks, and marsh or rain forests. However, the inefficiencies associated with cutting down indigenous trees in delicate rain forests has spirited the development of tree farms, specifically planted for the harvesting of the wood. This has encouraging responsible, sustainable, and renewable forestry practices in South America where Everlasting Hardwoods sources their Ipe decking. The tree may grow to 140 to 150 ft in height, with trunk diameters of 6 ft.  More frequently, they are 100 ft tall with diameters of 2 to 3 ft.  Boles are clear to 60 ft and more, with or without buttresses. 

Although Ipe has many building and furniture applications, much of it is used for decking. New York City uses Ipe for its boardwalks, including along the beach of Coney Island, while the resort town of Wildwood, New Jersey, used Ipe decking to rebuild a section of their famous boardwalk.

The above-mentioned, proven, commercial application underscores the desirability of using Ipe for domestic decks, pergolas, patio furniture, and gazebos. An interesting feature about this product is the pre-purchase construction support provided by Everlasting Hardwoods. Because of the high density of the wood, they ship the timber precut to DIYers’ and contractors' specifications. To learn more about Ipe Decking and Everlasting Hardwoods, click here.

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