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Hi all, just joined the forum as I'm about to landscape the garden. I plan on  building  log sleeper retaining wall, about 3 sleepers high. My question is, do I go with French oak, hardwood or softwood?

Thank you in advance


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,138

    Harder to find old creosoted railway sleepers now and they can be bumpy and uneven but do the job.

    New ones are very good but expensive and, in this part of France, we'd have to get a lorry load shipped from Brittany which is even more expensive so we're going to use roofing beams which are pine but have been treated.   We used them in our Belgian garden when we were repairing our raised beds and they did fine, even in all that rain.   They come in different lengths and will be easier for us to cut to size and also easier for us to lift and manoeuvre.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 1,393

    Old sleepers can still be found and will last many years. Try demolition yards or reclamation places. New oak sleepers will look nice but unless treated will rot in the soil.

    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • Nick74Nick74 Posts: 44

    Have you had a look at:

    I managed to get some old railway sleepers for free and look a good in the garden due to their aged look. 

  • Hi Nick74, thanks for the link! Great website

  • Beware of using reclaimed railway sleepers ... many of them have been treated with creosote which will kill off any plants you try to grow near to them.   Fine if you're not using them to edge a bed, but not if you want plants to grow around them.

    Last edited: 04 February 2018 10:06:43

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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