It’s tough stuff is teak. Or Tectona grandis if you want to give it its proper name. Some claim it’s the strongest of all the hardwoods. According to The Wood Database though, quebracho (which comes from the Spanish ‘quebrar hacha’, meaning ‘axe breaker’) earns the number one spot. Nonetheless, teak is engrained with strength. It’s been used in shipbuilding since the Middle Ages, and still is in high-end yachts and boats to this day. Because not only is it robust, but it’s weather-resistant too. It has naturally-occurring oils that repel water, stopping it from warping or cracking. Very few timbers can say the same. So, when it’s in your garden, coping with rain (lots of it, let’s face it), snow and summer’s rays, you know that it’s going to take it all in its stride. Think of wooden ski lodges. The yellower ones are made of pine, but the pricier chalets use teak, because it’s the best for the job.
On the subject of price, yes, teak is more expensive, but with good reason. It’ll last a lifetime. Teak is a timber to invest in. All those park benches, with their memorial engravings and messages, some centuries-old, are likely to be teak. They’re a testament to its durability. Even the kindest of park-keepers is probably not oiling them every autumn. They don’t need it though. They have their own defence strategy.