Paul Newman, Landscape Gardener building High Quality Decks
Established in 1993 Paul Newman Landscapes has built up a solid reputation for producing well designed, well-constructed gardens with fine attention to detail. Offering a range of services to cover all landscaping requirements but particularly quality deck construction, pergolas, bespoke trellis & wall panels, we asked him a few questions and this is what he said.
What trade are you and where did you do your education.
I am a landscape contractor and designer. All my skills have been self-taught working on site with raw materials. I believe there is no better training and education than a hand on approach to construction. This way you actually have an understanding of the materials you are using and how they perform in real settings.
What made you choose the subjects that you studied
I chose this as my career as I studied art & technical drawing and also enjoyed the outdoor life (even in winter). I wanted to be creative so garden design & construction seemed the natural choice.
What got you interested in decking?
I love the beauty of natural wood with each piece having its own unique character. Being given the chance to use timber in a garden setting creates an ideal opportunity for deck construction and timber features. Decks enable you to create multilevel platforms & terraces which then give you exciting possibilities for garden design layout. A deck can maximise your garden use and create a great space to relax with friends and family.
Had you worked for any other decking companies prior to setting up your own?
Prior to setting up my own company 20 years ago I work for a garden maintenance company. My real Interest however was design, being creative and building things. This led to setting up Paul Newman Landscapes in 1993.
What is your company called, where is it based and what does it do?
Paul Newman Landscapes. We are based in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire and work throughout Herts, & London. We design & construct modern gardens using a range of materials including natural stone, hardwood timber, steel & glass together with a mix of architectural and exotic planting to create some unique outdoor spaces but we specialise in quality deck construction, bespoke benches, fencing & wall panels.
What is your favourite timber and why?
That's a difficult one! We use many different timber species on our projects and they all have their own unique character. I guess it’s true to say I like many timbers for different reasons - Freshly cut Western Red Cedar for its amazing smell, Iroko for its grain pattern and of course Ipe for its legendary strength and richness of colour.
What is the most complex decking project you have been involved with?
We have designed & built many quality deck projects with some facing their own particular challenges. A few come to mind - A raised balcony deck with viewing platform over the garden, a riverside deck jetty overhanging the water and multi-level structures with built in screens can be challenging.
At present we are working on the installation of 100m2 of Exterpark decking incorporating a built in hardwood pergola, outdoor tv and entertainment area, water wall, planters and LED lighting. This has to merge precisely with the height of the interior floor as we have designed the internal floor to come outside the building so this is quite a complex build.
Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years’ time?
I have always been a 'hands on' guy and still after twenty years of landscaping love to be on the tools. It gives me great pleasure to construct decks and timber features. I liaise with clients, arrange materials and oversee the smooth running of projects but in the future will probably take a step back (reluctantly) and just oversee jobs. My sons keep saying they want to be a part of it so who knows?
Would you like to say anything else?
A long time ago there was a decking frenzy in Britain with all the gardening and TV makeover programmes. This gave people mixed opinions about garden decks but all they ever saw were treated softwood grooved decking.
I still don't think people are fully aware of the beautiful timbers available for deck construction but with the help from this site that should hopefully change the general public’s view with the wealth of knowledgeable information they can gain from visiting the decking network.