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Case Study - Gardener's roof terrace incorporates Southern Yellow Pine decking, pergola and bespoke seating

Designer: Liz Ackerley, Poppyhead Consultancy
Landscape Contractor: Landstruction
Product: Southern Yellow Pine Clear Grade Decking

Southern Yellow Pine on a Rooftop in Manchester

Poppyhead Consultancy’s Liz Ackerley is a Chartered Landscape architect and garden designer with a keen interest in contemporary spaces and all manner of garden and landscape projects. Her recent design is located on a rooftop in the heart of Manchester for a client with an avid interest in gardening.

Southern Yellow Pine bench, pergola and deck

Liz explains…

“The client is a gardener who has spent several years gardening on the roof, having previously owned an apartment with a roof terrace. The Manchester terrace is a perfect size at 70m2; big enough for entertaining as well as useable whilst not being so huge as to be challenging to manage. It required to have a sense of wild organic abandon and easy to move around.

The big idea we used was ‘Layering’. There is a great sense of the depth of view from the building to the immediate terrace, then to the buildings of Manchester and finally to the Pennines beyond. We sought to achieve this layering within the terrace itself. We also wanted to achieve a feeling of containment and of wrapping the terrace both to soften and ‘green’ it.”


A single wood species was very important in this design – one that would be durable, fit into the location and please the client. Liz used Southern Yellow Pine for the decking, as well as a pergola and bespoke seating. Some research into this timber revealed that Southern Yellow Pine is suitably durable, even in the harsh weather exposure of rooftop terraces.

“The client wanted a warm colour to balance with the grey colours in the immediate surroundings and liked the buttery colour of Southern Yellow Pine. It is also very attractively priced for a highly durable softwood. He was also aware that, as with any other timber in this sort of environment, some on-going maintenance would be needed to keep its rich colour. I always consult the wood suppliers for specific recommendations on how to clean and maintain a deck.



About Southern Yellow Pine

This is one of the hardest and strongest pines in the world. Silva Timber supplies C & Better Clear grade Southern Yellow Pine. It is kiln dried, then pressure treated and kiln dried again. This ensures dimensional stability and minimal shrinkage after installation. With a warm, natural look, Southern Yellow Pine blends beautifully with any landscape and offers one of the best defences against decay.

Southern Yellow Pine 25 x 140mm Clear Grade Deck Boards >>
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Southern Yellow Pine 90 x 90mm Posts >>

Southern Yellow Pine pergola and bench

This was Liz Ackerley’s first time using Southern Yellow Pine. Other materials were also considered such as composite decking. However, “the client wanted his terrace to be more like a garden rather than an outside room for an apartment, so organic materials were important. Also, time will tell as to whether composite decks are really as low maintenance and durable as claimed!”

We especially like how the various uses of the Southern Yellow Pine tie in together beautifully in this project. The seating mimics the pergola; which in turn works together with the raised deck to create an enclosed feeling in an otherwise highly exposed environment.


Poppyhead Consultancy
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The project was designed by Liz Ackerley, Poppyhead Consultancy and constructed by Landstruction Ltd. You can read more in Liz's blog article here.

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