Landscaping logs add interest to otherwise flat landscapes. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They can be round, squared on two sides, or squared on all four sides. Squared logs are generally called landscape timbers. Rustic construction material in the form of split logs or rails can be bought at speciality lumber yards or sawmills.
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Raised Beds, Planters, Pillars
Landscape logs that have been squared on two sides are ideal for raised beds or planters. They can also be driven upright into the ground in groups of 3 or more to provide pillar supports. Untreated logs are preferred because the chemicals in treated wood can inhibit growth or kill plants. Non-toxic wood preservatives are available that can be painted on logs used for beds and planters to help prevent weathering and rot.
Log Compost Bin
Landscape logs make a sturdy compost bin that can hold large quantities of heavy materials like chipped wood and wet plant material. They can be painted with a non-toxic preservative before use to prevent rot. Since the stacked logs alternate, there is plenty of air space to speed composting.
Terracing and Edging
Landscape logs can be used for forming low terraces on gradual hillsides. Use them for edging and defining garden beds. The drawback to using the logs for terracing or edging is that contact with the ground will cause them to break down. Over time, they will have to be replaced unless treated with a preservative.
Landscape timbers or rough landscape logs make interesting fences. There are several types you can build. Zigzag stacked fencing or leaning log tepee fences add a casual country look to your property. They can serve double duty as the support for climbing roses or flowering vines. Logs can be set upright in the ground as poles for post-and-wire fences. Logs can also be split for post-and-rail fencing.
Unique Garden Shed
Construct a garden shed using landscape logs. Untreated eight-foot logs can be notched and put together in the traditional “log cabin” manner to make structures. A rustic shingle-roof shed can provide much-needed tool storage while providing a unique focal point. Treated wood is unsuitable for structures because the toxic chemicals in the wood can be absorbed through the skin during contact.
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- Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service: Raised Bed Gardening, page 3
- Mother Earth News: A Landscape-log Cabin
- Natl. Sustainable Agriculture Information Service: Organic Alternatives to Treated Wood
- Univ. of Wyoming College of Agriculture Extension: Landscape edging a great addition to yards
- Natural Resources Conservation Service: Terracing