The struggles of Ebony

The struggles of gardening are real. The grass is patchy, invaded by crab, knot-weed, and ghost grass. Day in day out, we come home from a hard day’s work with a smile on our face as we go to gaze at our gnome army, each depicted to look like eighties-comic-comedians only to find that the dog’s got a nervous bladder and the kids have made up a new game called “Smash the Patio.”

Fortunately, composite decking in the UK aren’t like the others. While it may not contain the traditional awe of one-hundred-percent hardwood, or the weather-proofing of plastic it offers a durability and beauty that neither of the others can pull off by themselves. That doesn’t mean it’s all fair weather and cocktails by the beach, however. Even the hardiest of composites struggle from time to time, and ebony wood is no exception.

  1. You can’t see black mould

It’s common knowledge that composite decking requires less maintenance and is more durable than hardwood, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need a little tender loving care from time to time. Things happen, especially when you have a family, that special collection of love and good memories and trouble. Where there is life there is mould, and sooner or later it’s going to turn up. And with dark wood it can be hard to see the early signs of trouble.

  1. It’s harder to find the damp at a glance

It’s a luxury to be able to live in a place free from rain bathed in perpetual sunshine, but even they have to deal with people getting in and out of the pool, getting out the hose for the water-slide, or super-soaker water gun warfare. The rest of us struggle with the occasional monsoon like we’ve some how offended Zeus personally. This is annoying enough before we consider the issues surrounding what damp does to wood, even when mixed into a composite can cause issues and lead to long term problems.

  1. Coloured stains are much more noticeable

It has to be said, black is a cool colour. Well, technically it’s a pigment, but pigment, colour, or shade, black is pretty cool. James Dean didn’t wear a teak-coloured leather jacket. That doesn’t mean that black doesn’t come with its own issues, especially when you add a little humanity to the mix, ice-cream spills, soda cans exploding, wildlife using your patio as a toilet, the offences are endless, and unlike the other colours you can’t just look the other way and wait for the rain to sort it out. Unless it’s a black stain someone’s going to notice.

  1. May be hard to detect pests

The great thing about using composite decking to refurbish your garden is it comes with a ten to twenty-five-year warranty which means it’s going to be around for a while. The bad side is that when you put something nice and heavy down on the grass it’s going to attract the attention of the local wildlife, with the smaller and more vulnerable critters thinking that they’ve just won the lottery. Thankfully composite lumber means you don’t have to worry about wood worm and the like, but the struggles of tiny black beetles and other small creatures may slip your notice in the darkest of dark woods.

  1. May be hard to find other colours to match the garden

Nobody said being cool was easy and ebony lumber is no exception. The great thing about black is it looks really cool. The bad thing about black is it doesn’t go well with a lot of other colours, besides black of course. Chromatics tend to look cheap and the blacks are dull. You could mix and match with ivory, but you run the risk as being known as the Zebra garden. I guess it comes down to how committed you are planning on turning your garden into a gothic paradise.


There are no guarantees in life, which doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go after the things we want just because they might not be as expected. No, quite the contrary. Adapting to issues and being prepared are what separates the gardener from the guy with the garden. Ebony wood attracts a certain kind of mind, but even with such a rich and dark wood setting you apart from the rest of your neighbours there’s always a downside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it.

People don’t always play fair, so when you come home with a patio built from the darkest composite lumber word’s going to spread and pettiness is going to reach an all time high, so be careful. Be prepared.

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