Forum home Garden design

Pros and cons of using railway sleepers to create a retaining wall

2

Posts

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    Do you have any plans to raise it?  I'm sure there'd be plenty of volunteers to help empty the bottles....

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,560

    image

     No plans to raise it or extend it.  We built it when there were no bottle banks round here and the shops didn't give money back on our favourite Oz and Kiwi wine bottles so it was a recycling initiative - much scoffed at by OH and the chappy who laid the terrace but it has proven its worth since and they love it.  

    A tip for anyone considering building one is to make sure you have a good foundation of broken bricks and stones levelled out with concrete .   You then just lay your straight sided, high shouldered bottles with no fixing except something to hold them at either end.  Back fill with soil from the bed it's holding up.  Top with something to sit on (recycled marble slabs from fireplaces here) and fix them with cement.   The railway sleeper on the short wall is held there by gravity. 

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Lou12Lou12 Posts: 1,149

    We're getting a railway sleeper retaining wall for our veg garden at the front, it's being done in July. I think they look great and I've asked the builder to make sure they are without toxic substances in which is not a problem.

    The veg and herb garden will be about 12 by 8 foot.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,560

    It should look great Lou.    Here is part of ours vertical sleepers up the sloping path and horizontal long the flat part at the back of the house.  That extends another 10 or 12 metres on the other side of the path.

    image

     

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • image

     My sister and brother in law put in the pressurised new  sleepers and patio a year ago for me.The big stone on sleeper is for a water feature to go in my mini wildlife meadow, my garden had a  major makeover only in November, the sleepers are great for seating! 

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,560

    Looks really good.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Im considering using new oak sleepers for a project in my garden - I've seen that they are untreated as the wood is so 'hard' they will not rot.

    Anyone used these? Can they be laid directly onto the soil or is a base of hardcore recommended?

  • TootsietimTootsietim Posts: 178

    Oak sleepers can rot, particularly if they are mostly sapwood rather than the harder and more resilient heartwood.

    Treated softwood sleepers can also rot, usually due to the preservative not penetrating the wood very well. if treated wood is cut or drilled, then the exposed surfaces will allow rot to enter. Also large section timbers tend to split when exposed to the weather and this also allows rot to enter.  Redwood (pine) is more resilient than whitewood (spruce) so it would be worth checking with your supplier.

     

  • kath74kath74 Posts: 1

    We have some oak sleepers around a raised bed and they look great.  They are rotting, but very slowly and attractively.  They've been in about 9 years, good for a few more.

  • Lou12Lou12 Posts: 1,149

    That's very nice Obelixx and Deborah can't wait.

Sign In or Register to comment.