Wooden Sleepers – Creating the Perfect Terraced Garden

Terraced gardens – including plant containers, decking, shrubs and attractive patio garden furniture – are a popular choice in urban areas and are easily created if you have an outdoor area with a steep slope. The beauty of this type of garden (which dates back to ancient Rome and was also popular in the Italian Renaissance) is that it can be designed for either a small or a larger space, although you must have a sufficient gradient to make it possible. Timber merchants Nelson Potter can provide all the garden and fencing products you need to create such an outdoor space.

By using wooden railway sleepers, you can turn even an apparently impossible slope into a manageable space and make your new terraced garden a reality. You need to start by clearing the area, then dig trenches and fill them in to build your layers, starting from the bottom up and filling each layer with topsoil.

It is vital that a good foundation is laid before putting down any sleepers, so that there will be no problems with drainage. When putting down softwood sleepers, it is also important to use a liner to create a waterproof layer above the soil. We also have oak sleepers available, sourced in Europe, which are very hard-wearing. Whichever type of wood you choose, the sleepers are a great way to create raised beds, walls and borders within your garden, and work out much cheaper than brick walls.

You don’t just have to stack the railway sleepers in the usual way, one on top of the other, but can also cut them and place them vertically, rather than horizontally, to make a different effect. Then, depending on the space you have available, you can combine them with steps, logs and gravel paths as you choose.

Terraced garden ideas –  click here to find out more.

There are several different types of terraced gardens to consider, depending on your lifestyle and tastes:

The Practical Garden – It’s possible to use each layer for a different purpose, for instance creating herb gardens, mini-kitchen gardens or fruit gardens on each of the terraces – and garden sheds are another item you may want to include. This type of terrace is ideal if you love the idea of growing your own organic fruit and vegetables.

The Low Maintenance Garden – You could use your various layers of garden terrace to create lawned areas and you might also want to choose from the range of summer houses and log cabins which are available in addition to sheds. Alternatively, putting down a gravel surface and using a few attractive plant containers is another way to save on the amount of time you need to spend gardening. You might also want to combine a lawn on one terrace with a patio on another. These types of look are ideal if you are short of time and want something easy to maintain.

The Sociable Outdoor Space – You can use railway sleepers to create an area for dining and you might want to have a patio with some outdoor garden furniture and perhaps a built-in barbecue. This type of garden would be ideal if you like to have friends round and want to do a lot of entertaining. Planters with a few well-chosen individual plants or shrubs and outdoor lighting will also contribute to your outdoor dining area.

The Colourful Garden – Some of the most stunning terrace gardens are those which are full of flowers. You might be tempted to put a lot of colourful flowers and shrubs on the terraces so the garden is a sea of beauty. A way to do this is to use garden panels with trellising and some archways and benches in hideaway corners so that you can sit out and enjoy the floral feast. This kind of terraced garden is ideal for keen gardeners or if you have additional help, such as a professional gardener. However, the drawback is that it will be a long-term commitment to maintain it, so it is best to be aware of that before opting for this type of garden layout.

Whichever type of garden you choose, wooden fencing is an important element, and you can get fences with trellis panels – if you choose – for an extra floral touch, or panels in rural woods such as willow and hazel. Timber gates will also give your terraced garden added security.

About Nelson Potter

Experienced timber merchants Nelson Potter were founded more than 38 years ago and have a wide experience in selling wooden garden and fencing products. Based in East Anglia, we serve both trade customers and the public in Suffolk and Essex.

Designing your garden –  click here to see our range.

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