Ideas for using Sleepers in your Garden
It is becoming increasingly popular to use wooden railway sleepers in gardens around the UK, as they add a rustic yet grand quality, and can be used in countless ways to landscape your garden.
Enhance your Garden Landscape Design
Sleepers started being used in landscaping and gardening when there was a surplus from the railway industry. The trend caught on, and now the timber industry supplies sleepers for railways and landscape design individually.
Wooden sleepers in your garden are aesthetically appealing and can help break up and protect grass, put emphasis on areas you want to show off, frame ponds, or raised flower beds. The possibilities to enhance your landscape design are endless.
Hardwood, such as oak, or softwood, such as pine, are mostly commonly used in sleepers. Wood’s natural properties provide a solid and reliable addition to your garden, and oak in particular is highly resistant to weather and decay, keeps its colour and can last for many years untreated. Oak’s natural tannins are a natural preservative which means the sleepers won’t need to be treated.
Other sleepers can be treated or untreated, but it’s always a good idea to buy new, untreated sleepers. Reclaimed sleepers may look more authentic but they are likely to have once been coated in substances such as creosote, which is hazardous to the environment, wildlife and people.
Wooden sleepers are particularly effective when installed by garden landscape designers, such as DPM Design & Build. To get you started, here are some ideas for using sleepers, and how they can best complement your garden.
How can Railway Sleepers be Used?
Raised Flower BedsSleepers laid vertically or horizontally can create attractive raised beds, highlighting the area and creating a contrast with the rest of the garden. The natural robustness of sleepers allow for thick walls to be built full of compost that won’t collapse.
StepsUsed or new railway sleepers can make wonderful rustic steps in your garden, whether it’s a couple of steps to connect levels, or a whole flight of stairs. They make a beautiful alternative to concrete steps.
Decking and patiosIf you’re thinking about renovating – or building – a patio, why not consider using wooden sleepers as the decking, instead of the traditional boards? They make a rustic-looking alternative, perfect for relaxing dining al fresco.
Fencing and Retaining WallsMuch like raised beds, retaining walls can be made either by laying the sleepers vertically or horizontally. They can be used for fencing off specific areas, such as eg for barbecuesbarbeques, ponds or swimming pools, or simply to give the garden a terraced effect.
Garden FurnitureThere’s nothing more rustic-looking than garden furniture made out of sleepers. Three sleepers can be converted into a simple table, using the cut-offs for the legs, and chunky matching benches can be made out of one sleeper each.
Water FeaturesWater features and ponds can become dramatic centre-pieces when made out of sleepers, adding a new dimension to your landscape design.
Garden PathsSleepers can be used either to define the edges of your garden path, or as stepping stones to give easy access across your garden, or break up your lawn.
Garden EdgingLawns and flowerbeds can be framed with a single sleeper, giving them a tidy yet stunning look. They can also be used on driveways as a kind of kerb, to protect plants and flowers from car wheels.
Garden Landscape Ideas
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