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Round logs for border/raised bed/retaining wall

I currently have a mess of garden which we are trying to tidy up this summer, a year of chickens trashing it has made it look horrendous so they have been confined to a large pen only to be let out under supervision lol! (I can hear them squaking in horrer!)

We live on a slope so the garden of the neighbours to our right as you look down the garden are higher than us, as it there fence. This means there is a slope from the bottom of their fence to our lawn where I want to make a reasonable sized border. We thought about putting sleepers along and making it a raised bed which will match the fence height and also stop the chooks making too much mess. But I don't want to to be so straight so I am thinking of having a wall/raised bed made from wooden poles so I can make it wavy and less harsh. Like this

Has anyone done this? How easy was it? Do you secure the posts like you do with fence posts? with concrete? They will have to hold the soil back so need to be secure. I was think of getting 2' posts and sinking 1/3-1/2 into the ground. Would it be ok just to have them along the front and sides and not the back as this i bordered by next doors fence? As the garden also slopes from the top of the bottom we need to put a sort of step on them, either a continual decrease in height all the wall up, or in 2 or 3 longer steps.

We can't afford to get someone into do it but don't want to make a rubbish job of it, My husband is pretty handy but not an expert.





  • blackestblackest Posts: 623

    just one thought you would maybe want something behind them so the load is spread along a number of them. Would look a bit messy if some of them got pushed out of line. I'd set them in concrete again just to hold them firm.

    Never done anything like this thou, hopefully you will get a reply from someone with experience. it's quite pricy compared to sleepers I think a pack of 25 will do just over 8 feet. 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,091

    I've done this with logs cut from my own trees and they don't last long. Treated timber should last longer. I used much fatter logs and as it was a wildish area wasn't too concerned about level along the top. I made them deliberately different in height and size of log to disguise the defects. Things soon grew over and into them.

  • OlivedogOlivedog Posts: 43

    thanks for the replys, what would you put behind them blackest? We were thinking of digging a channel, putting some gravel in the bottom them cementing them in place. Are they still likely to get pushed forward by the soil? We could line them with something to stop roots pushing through them? Im not sure how else to get a curved rasied wall? Sleepers would be fine, just think it will make the garden look very straight!

  • blackestblackest Posts: 623

    I didnt realise you were after a curve might be worth taking a look at how log rolls are put together they are all wired in together.

    how about an old telegraph pole ?


     This was made with old telegraph poles that had been taken out of service and cut with a chainsaw and set in concrete you might be able to see the border on the left its also telegraph poles but laid on the side.

  • OlivedogOlivedog Posts: 43

    Thats the look Im going for, although telegraph poles are abit big, the garden isn't very wide so need to use something narrower so it doesn't take up too much room. My husband suggested log rolls, but Im wondering how they will work as the garden is also on a downward slope.

  • cazziebcazzieb Posts: 5

    Could you use the round type tree stakes for the edging? They come in all different diameters so might be good if you need smaller than a telegraph pole and it would be lots cheaper than the poles shown in your link - my local timber yard supplies these, so if you have one nearby it may be worth checking it out.

  • OlivedogOlivedog Posts: 43

    Hi cazzieb, the link was just to show what I meant image I can get them much cheaper from timberstore near me and they can cut them to my required sizeimage

  • cazziebcazzieb Posts: 5

    LOL...I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the price in the link...especially when I did the calculation of how many you would need image


  • OlivedogOlivedog Posts: 43

    I did at first, lol, them I looked on timberstore and it was much better image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,786

    We had/have a similar change in levels between us and next door, and there was just a loose soil bank on our side of the fence.  We used new sleepers (two deep laid on their sides, drilled through with reinforcing rods hammered through them and into the ground to hold them).  We got some of them cut at an angle so that they come out and around the base of a large ash tree that grows on the bank.  

    To make it all seem less 'straight and angular' we are not only planting up the raised bed contained within the sleepers, but we are also creating beds in front of the sleepers, and these will be quite wide at the ends and have gentle curves - well, that's the plan anyway image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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