If you’re wondering how you can tidy up your garden without making extreme changes, why not try using versatile railway sleepers? Sturdy wooden sleepers are the perfect solution to many landscaping problems and are ideal for creating stylish edging, steps, walls and even pathways.
How to landscape your garden with railway sleepers
Here are a few creative ideas to get you started with railway sleepers:
1. Raised planters
Garden sleepers are excellent for building raised planters. Solid and relatively resistant to rot when treated, they’re ideal for stacking on top of each other to create a stunning raised bed.
You can buy new railway sleepers or ones that have been reclaimed. The reclaimed variety will usually be cheaper.
2. Tiered beds
If you have a garden with an extreme slope, you might want to try creating tiered beds. You can do this by creating a level surface where the railway sleepers need to go and then filling the empty space behind them.
This way you can create flat levels to plant in with neat edges. This will prevent erosion and looks great as well. You’ll need quite a few sleepers, so make sure you have enough space to store them.
3. Garden bed edging
If your garden beds spill over onto your lawn or vice versa, you can solve this problem by using railway sleepers for edging.
Railway sleepers are thick, heavy and pretty rot resistant which makes them perfect for the job. They will keep the plants in the garden bed and the lawn out of it, neatening up the garden in the blink of an eye.
4. Pathway edging
To keep garden pathways clear of plants, you might want to add some edging. Railway sleepers will help you to do just that.
Simply line the sides of your pathway to keep the grass out and the pebbles or plants in. This way you won’t need to constantly pull out stray plants from the pathway.
If you line the path with plastic, you won’t need to worry about any weeds popping up.
5. Create sleeper pathways
Railway sleepers are excellent for creating pathways in your garden. They were originally used for trains, so already have the required flat surface to step on.
Simply bury the sleepers in the ground, at the depth of your choice. You can add stones or chippings around the sleepers to make them look even neater or you can grow grass between them. Whatever you decide, you won’t be disappointed by the final result.
6. Garden pond edging
Despite making excellent edging for garden beds, you can also use railway sleepers to create edging for a garden pond. Simply line the edges of your existing pond to make them look neat, or build a new pond out of garden sleepers.
To do this you will need to stack the sleepers and secure them together. Once that’s done, seal the inside and line it with the material of your choice. Now you can add water, plants and fish and enjoy your new pond.
7. Garden bed with built-in bench
Create an area for seating and planting by building a bench into your raised sleeper beds. You can add seating the length of the raised bed, using the height of the bed as a backrest or create a seated area on top of a section of the raised bed like the image above.
8. Railway sleeper steps
If you have a garden that slopes steeply, you can use railway sleepers to create steps in between terraced areas. This will look quite neat and create easy access to the different levels.
9. Decorative borders
Railway sleepers also make great decorative borders. You can use them to bring some character into your garden. Railway sleepers are quite heavy so they might not be the easiest things to work with, but they will definitely last. You can also paint or treat them to bring out the natural colours of the wood.
10. Flower bed edging
Railway sleepers can be used to create interesting flower beds. The edging can be uneven with each railway sleeper cut into a different length and placed on its end. You can also stack several together and create a tiered or raised flower bed.
If you’re not happy with any of those options, you can simply use the sleepers as edging for your existing flower bed to give it a good finish.
If you’ve been inspired to try some of the ideas in this article or have transformed your garden using sleepers, let us know in the comments section.
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