With the right pieces, you can create nearly anything with driftwood.

How to Landscape With Driftwood

by Nicole Vulcan

You love spending time on the beach with the kids -- and now that time sinking your toes in the sand can be productive as well. The next time you're at the beach, spend some time gathering all the driftwood you need to turn your yard into a sea-inspired oasis. Just make sure you have permission or that you get a permit to take driftwood from that beach; in some national parks and nature preserves, it's a big no-no to remove anything from the area without getting the OK first.

Lay large pieces of driftwood against the edges of your garden paths. Dig down into the ground an inch or two first, and then nestle the pieces into the trench. Fill the area around the bottom edges of the driftwood with the dirt you removed from the trench to keep the pieces in place a little better.

Build a basic garden arch with long pieces of driftwood. Inspect the pieces you've chosen to make sure there are no major cracks or damage and that they'll be able to stand up without fear of breaking. Drill or nail two 6- to 7-foot pieces together by securing a shorter 3-foot piece from one tall piece to the other, and then add two more 3-foot pieces between the two longer ones. That's one side of your arch; repeat that process to create a second side piece, and then drill or nail two 4-foot pieces from one side of the arch to the other to create the upside down "U" shape. Once you've created the basic structure, nail smaller pieces to the arch wherever they fit or wherever they will add some dramatic flair.

Stick 3- to 4-foot pieces of driftwood into the ground next to one another, to act as a mini fence barrier around your garden. Place them into the ground at a depth of at least one-third of their height so that they'll stay put. If you want to give them a little more stability, nail a thinner piece of driftwood horizontally across the vertical pieces.

Place three to four taller pieces of driftwood into urns or planters to add some height and character to your potted plants. If you're growing vining or climbing plants, the wood can also act as a trellis-like support.

Items you will need

  • Shovel
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Drill
  • Screws


  • Wear gloves when working with driftwood, as the surfaces will be rough and you'll be at risk of getting lots of slivers.

About the Author

Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.

Photo Credits

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